DEAR FARMKETEERS: Four years ago today, the tomatoes of Indian Creek convened a plenary session. It was a gathering without precedent in their inchoate tomatocracy. Even elders and youngsters were consulted. You see, the weather had lost its way. Chilly nights and cold soil had sown uncertainty and anxiety. When would the tomatoes ripen? How would they know when to jump the vine? In a test of their ability to govern – after so many years of merely complaining about federalistic tyranny by the weather – they would have to create a plan for ripening. A process fraught with consequences for all.
They met, debated, created, and thrived. Thousands of tomatoes were picked at peak ripeness. Thousands of pickers were fed. Now fast forward to the present. Runaway global cooling has again beset Finger Lakes farms with cold nights. ‘Creekniks are asking, will the tomatoes be ready THIS Creekend? Next Creekend? Ever?! Tonight the tomatoes will decide. We will bring you the news when it gets to us. The tomatoes have sworn: The decision will not be left to the ORANGE ONE alone. Each beefsteak and heirloom and cherry and saucer will have a say. Kumbay-diggety-yahhh.
Meanwhile, Farm Fans are seeing the world through peach-colored glasses. There are peaches to pick, but pickers are keeping up. You know the story: To the clever and diligent go the spoils. Such as sneaking by YOURSELF up to the orchard on a quiet TUESDAY afternoon and scoring a sweet HAUL of donut peaches BEFORE the crop alert hits inboxes. This week’s Farmketeer-of-the-Week-Runner-Up did just that. She had the top prize in the bag, but we didn’t get a photo and you know how the internet works: Pics or it didn’t happen! If that was really you, @scout.ithaca, get ’em next time?
Rookie Indian Creeker Emily is harvesting her first beautiful crop of lettuces – Red Sail and Romaine. Get yours at the stand and support a starter upper. Fresh, crisp, and tender. 2 heads for 3 bucks.
Dusky’s sweet corn is best eaten naked – no butter, no salt, nothing needed. Good enough right outta the pot. In fact Dusky eats it right off the STALK. Boo-diggety-yah.
Farmer Steve says push the purple peppers. They are leading the pack. Plenty of other types are coming into season. Hunt for your haul of sweets, bells, hots, fryers, and more. Eggplants are ready, too, but Steve says, “say it in a small font.” A little mention while they size up proper for another week.
Steve muttered something in his sleep last night about an “apple cider slushee machine.” Who knows what that portends, if anything, for life at The ‘Creek. Meanwhile donuts are rolling off the line every Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 AM. (Caution: Donuts and donut peaches are NOT adequate eye protection for viewing the solar eclipse.)
People, do we have to spell it out for you? P-E-A-N-U-T B-U-T-T-E-R V-E-H-I-C-L-E. As always, Farm Fans are fraidy cats when it comes to picking early apples like Pristines, so we stripped them off the trees for sale down at the stand. Get some and use these sweet-tart specimens for their naturally appointed uses. To carry peanut butter, roasted garlic mustard, red pepper jelly. Come on, chickens!
A flower, a child, and a hammer walk into a bar… This week’s Farmketeer of the Week, Laura, put the kids to work with a great craft of smashing Indian Creek flowers with a hammer. Sounds so therapeutic!
Such a lovely transformation. Thanks for sharing your mashed flower blanket thing!
At least 100 people per week turn RIGHT upon reaching this sign. Any theories?
To be fair, our signage can perplex at times. By “AHEAD 500 FT,” we mean, to the LEFT some large number of feet and who knows how many.
Note live porcupine on farmer’s head. Eating farmer’s hair. We were on location this week filming a summer wildlife blockbuster for Go Finger Lakes, the Finger Lakes Land Trust, and Cayuga Nature Center. Watch for the video!
Stay tuned to next week’s TOMATO update – as well as your TOTAL ECLIPSE PLANNER and the 5th ANNIVERSARY of the most amazing and transformative crop phenomenon ever witnessed in Finger Lakes farm country. Rain or shine, hope to see you this Creekend at The ‘Creek.