DEAR FARMKETEERS: You know what time it is. It’s THAT time. The one day every year when you let the barnyard beasts host open mic on your family heirloom instruments.
Do we hear The Hen of Plenty?! Why yes we do! Archie is smashing the keys in a bombastic rendition of The Chickucopia, official theme song of Indian Creek Farm, trumpeting the dawn of picking season proper and the promise of abundant harvest.
And, yes, that means peaches are ready to pick. Did you think we might lose the whole crop again this year? Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Peach farming feels like that. Roll the dice enough times and eventually you’ll get a yield. Lady Luck blew us a kiss in 2017. America’s peach basket got no such PDA. So come pick. First come, first get. ‘Creekniks are going to bumrush the place. There will be successive waves of ripening, and hopefully enough for all.
Enterprising pickers know to look under the leaves. Farmketeer of the Week, @mariellenbrown, passed this wisdom to the next generation, teaching her lad the “hike” technique. If you come back to the farm stand with a frown saying, “There’s no more berries,” we will simply say, “Hike.” That means go back and look under the leaves. Prickly, though! Prickly raspberry canes… prickly farmers!
A surprise crop of strawberries is yours to mine. Farmer Greg and crew planted 20,000 plants this spring, expecting to harvest in Spring 2018. But a few dozen quarts of earlybirds have popped, to the delight of farmer and farm fan. Priced the same as raspberries so you can mix and match.
First apples of the year… Yellow Transparent. Are they any good? Could a July apple be worth picking? Farmer Steve, lifelong orchard veteran, puts it plain: “They actually taste good this year.” That’s a text message you can take to the bank. He doesn’t bullsh-t by text on the permanent digital record.
— FARM BUZZ —
THINGS HAVE COME TO PASS since last we spoke. In the inexorable flow of the eternal “time being” we have bid adieu to cherished beings on the farm. We bring you this news of happenings from the off-season. None of this is fake news. It is pretty darn real.
The Queen is dead: We have entered the interregnum. (Good word, look it up!) Tundra has gone to chase deer out of the Elysian Fields, where she remains on duty and all business forever. We thank you, Tundra, for your service. And we thank you, Farm Fans, for your kind comments on social media when we first announced Tundra’s passing.
The Prince, too, has reported for duty in Elysium. Balto was always on the work site, always on the beat. Jazz music has been described as musician’s music. Balto was the thinking dog’s dog. Brilliant and complex with impeccable — if occasionally inscrutable — timing.
Natasha has nuzzled her way to heaven. Hesiod wrote of the “honey-sweet fruit” that grows three times a year on the Elysian Plain, nourishing the blessed. Honey-sweet Natasha.
Last week we welcomed a kitten. A pint-sized Canadian import. Say hello to Féfé, short for Felina.
In honor of friends old and new, and because we have a sh!t-ton of garlic to pick, we are having a U-Pick Garlic Harvest Party, Sunday, July 30, from 10 AM to 5 PM. Free admission, free garlicky games, free garlicky snacks, free garlicky classes. You can pick your own garlic (it’s super easy) with volume discounts and the farm will be open for a normal u-pick day. Now don’t expect a full-on Pigs-n-Apples kind of bonanza. More like a pokey little community event for picking and whatnot. All details on the Facebook event listing.
Finally, the newest addition to the farm family. Say hello to Nancy. She is such a tool. In fact, this past week she was the most important tool on the farm. Nance marked the spot where each new post was to be pounded for the revitalized pagan party palace formerly known as Stumphenge. We will invite you to beta test “The Henge” soon. Meanwhile it will be great to welcome you all back to the farm for summer picking. Thank you for reading this bona fide covfefe from the farm newsdesk. We had some catching up to do. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.