How to Pick an Apple, and Something Kind of Amazing.

IN A SURPRISE MOVE that rattled stakeholders, the Tomato Council declined to issue a press release with details on the tardy tomato crop.

03-P1180102“No comment,” said Cherry Roma, VP for Heirloom Compliance.  Roma had previously gone on record saying, “You say tomato, we say to-MAH-to.”

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“We can neither confirm nor deny,” added the comptroller, Allie Saladette, who is known to have deep ties to the fried green tomato lobby.

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“We will speak at a time of our choosing,” offered boss Tom Ato.  Dr. Ato was Chief Lycopene Officer before assuming the top post in a spring coup.

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The executive committee issued only this terse statement at press time:  “There are a few pecks of ripe ones out there.”

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Meanwhile, tomato fans were left reeling by allegations first reported on “The Farm O’Clock News with Eggder Furrow.”  While pundits have suspected that cold nights are delaying the bulk of the crop, Furrow cited an anonymous source claiming that the tomatoes have been colluding with the pears—which are also expected to be ripe in the next few weeks—in a bid to upstage prime apple season and the Second Annual Pigs-n-Apples Party.  Tune in next week for the rest of the story…

What’s Picking?

{ Come help harvest. }

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It is peach season.  Y’all have been picking like mad.  This week the ripe batches include the Red Havens in Row 6.  Ask which rows are hot when you arrive.

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Time for apple warmups. There are a few trees of William’s Pride in the Dwarf Orchard.  Note how Joanna uses two hands to pick apples—one to steady the branch and one to twist the apple.  This keeps other apples from falling.

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When you are picking one apple from a pair, hold them both.  If you just tug on one, the other is likely to pop off.  Imagine 500 pickers knocking a few apples off each time.  It adds up to heartbreaking waste and unworkable farm finances.

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Did you know? The shoulder of the apple, where the stem attaches, has tougher skin.  Grab the apple like you are throwing a fast ball, with pressure on either side of the stem, but not much pressure on the bruisable bottom.

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Once you get a grip, rock the apple with a twisting motion.  A ripe apple won’t give you much resistance.  You want to remove the apple, but not tear the foliage or rip the bark off the branch.  Thank the tree and move along.

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The popular Sansa apples are ready to pick.  They are in Row 7 next to William’s Pride.  Sansa is a Japanese apple with a juicy, sweet, and crisp flavor.  Its parents are Gala and Akane, and Sansa brings the best of each.

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Jump over to Row 8 for the Zestar trees. Professionals say “zeh-star,” but we say “zee-star.”  It’s more zeeee sounding and nice.  In England they call it “Flavar,” which is kind of cheap-sounding.  Pick a few of these cold-climate beauties.

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Finally, the Ginger Golds are resplendent and ready at the other end of Row 8.  A law was proposed to make Ginger Golds the state fruit of Virginia.  The bill was tabled but the apples are delicious.  Lovely touch of blush on these specimens.

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In the vegetable fields, tons of stuff to pick.  Eggplant and peppers, including our favorite poblanos.  A couple of you poblano enthusiasts have written to us.  There are a bunch of medium size ones.  Savory and smoky.

Down at the Stand

{ Ring the dinner bell. }

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The farm stand is poppin’.  It is hoppin’.  It is croppin’, droppin’, and utterly bee-boppin’.  One of our Facebook friends said, “It’s like the high holy days of August.”  Amen, sister.  There is much to be thankful for.

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The word “cornucopia” relates to the phrase “horn of plenty.”  See, corn = horn and copia = plenty (like copious).  That’s Latin.  Imagine a jazz band braying on their horns of plenty.  Fruit flying all over the place and people dancing.

The Sound of Signage

{ Get lost in the music. }

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By now you all know that our signs are challenging for even the smartypants in your picking party.  We are aware of the situation and taking action.  Tino is in the greenhouse painting like 25 signs right now.  But we’re not stopping there.

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We’ve called in the Van Valen boys!  The bulldozer has arrived!  Time to make the ‘Henge Highway.  It will be a firm gravel road that leads from the bottom of the farm all the way to Stumphenge.  It will be something kind of amazing.

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It appears in bright yellow on the brochure map.  It will remain a farmy road, dirty and full of little stones, but solid and level and free of bone-crunching potholes.  We shouldn’t call it a highway.  Drive slowly.

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Zorro loves the cold, fresh dirt and we hope you will, too.  Dan the Dozer Man is a real pro. He helped us build the barn last year and this road will be just as revolutionary.  We’ll touch up other roads when we can afford it.

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The road should be ready this weekend.  If not, please bear with us.  It’s gonna be great.  Then Tino’s new signs will roll out and everyone will have even more ways to get lost on the farm.  The adventure continues.

Farm Buzz

{ Scuttlebutt. }

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Everyone, meet Sheila.  She is your new parking model.  We put her right near Stumphenge at just the correct angle.  Please park next to her.

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Someone left this weird and wonderful thing on the Big Big Table.  Thank you, it was very kind.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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4 Responses to How to Pick an Apple, and Something Kind of Amazing.

  1. jim sobol says:

    Dreaming; fresh peaches……..peachy keen. Dreamy peachy need couple trees of my own

  2. Penny Davis says:

    Tino is the creative artist behind these newsletters, right? He’s a genius! Anyone else who works on them is also a “gee knee us”! Everyone at Indian Creek is fantastic!

  3. in new england that would be “flavah”

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