DEAR FARMKETEER: Are you a meaning junkie? Are you you always asking, “What is the meaning of all this? What does that even meannnn?” Not to worry! We can help. In this week’s Fresh Crop Alert, we decipher the meanings behind the ordinary – but nonetheless mystical (oooo weeeee ooooo) – foodstuffs you will find on the farm this time of year.
Donatoes. An Indian Creek original pairing, based on deep analysis of terroir, flavor profile, and the relentless pursuit of an explosive eating experience. Take a cherry tomato, pair with donut, jam it in your gob. That’s what “donato” means. Pick tomatoes now! All varieties ready! Get donuts pretty fresh every Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.
Cider. These days when you say cider, people think booze, cidré, äpfëlwëin, snooty hooch. That’s because there is a surging foodie hubbub about fermented apple juice, such as the national press attention on our dear friends at Eve’s Cidery. They make some of the best ciders in the USA, 100% estate grown organically (and some wild foraged), including trees from our fruit tree nursery. But the LITERAL translation of “cider” is: Orchard Ambrosia, Nectar of the Dogs Gods. Pressed fresh here at the farm. Nothing but apples and pears squooshed into a jug. Unpasteurized. No sugar added. No barrel aging or hoity-toity tastings in Zoo York City or Frenchy methode champenoise. No sommeliers or schmancy pairings. Just fruit. Squished and squuushed. Get the first cider in gallon and half-gallon jugs! No ID required.
Did we mention tomatoes four times already? Here’s number five: TOMATOES. Five means: Things are happening fast and there are tons ready to pick. We are picking boxes every day, just running through the field grabbing ripes for the stand. But we need you to pick your flavorites right off the vine. There are 38 varieties. Pick tomatoes now. Season could be short. Go time.
Asian Pears & Bartlett Pears. You can go to the grocery store and pay $4 per pound for Asian pears – those fruits that are so precious they often get wrapped in individual netting. Or you can pick your own at our U-pick price of $1.95 per pound with volume discounts when you pick 20 pounds ($1.50) and 50 pounds ($1.25). Same goes for Bartlett pears. What does this mean? Bite into a perfect Bartlett pear and it will TELL you what it means. Poach it and it will sing. Asian pears are at the early edge of their season. For some of you, a new delight. Pick pears now. Finish in a brown bag if needed.
Peaches. Notwithstanding the preposterous bumrush you perpetrated on the peach orchards last week, there are more to pick. It is a bumper crop. What is the meaning of this? It means MOMENTUM. You run up the score when you have a decent year. Crops ebb and flow, farms hop then drop. If you get a good crop, you enjoy it now AND share with friends AND put some up for winter. You don’t assume past peformance predicts future results. Nobody on earth knows if we will have peaches next year. (Paul Manafort might know but he’s not talking.) Come pick peaches. Ask which rows ready.
Peach Exhibit A: Professional peaching & plumming. Farm Fans, this is what premium peachery looks like. Local baker @dolcedelightithaca says: “All local all delicious! Peach Plum Coffee Cake in the making. Love the summer fruits! Surrounded by beautiful local flowers.” Bravo.
Peach Exhibit B: Properly putting up. ‘Creeknik Cécile did solid work picking peaches and canning 12 quarts for breakfasts in winter. Exemplary Farmketeering!
Peach Exhibit C: “Peachzza” challenger. Two weeks ago Farmketeer Kelly sent a pic of her peachzza. This week she kinda got challenged by upstart Farmy @teresa_padavona, who sent this succulent version: “Wood fired pizza, with fresh peaches, ricotta con latte, basil and honey.” What do you got for that, Kelly?
Peach Exhibit D: Pick & play. Farm Fan Jenna brought her gang. They picked 2 pecks of peaches which turned into cobbler, peach-raspberry crisp, and freezer jam. Then they hit the playground. Good work, Team Jenna.
Apples – Ginger Gold, Zestar, Sansa, and Akane. These are among the best early apples you can get. That’s why we planted them 8 years ago. And that’s the meaning of apples: Plant a tree, help it grow, get fruit for 100 years. You can find cold-hardy and disease-resistant varieties to plant in your yard. Til your trees are bearing fruit, you can come to The ‘Creek. Pick apples now in the Dwarf Orchard. Please ask which rows when you get here.
Eggplant, tomatoes, peppers. The NIGHTSHADES. Check out this beautiful steamed Chinese garlic eggplant dish from Farmketeer Risa. She picked eggplants here at the farm and cooked them same day. Warning: Uses raw garlic. Risa says, “You should eat this in the evening with people that won’t judge you for how bad your breath smells.” The meaning: Bad breath can signal good eating. Pick eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes now. All types ready, abundance varies day-to-day with temps and crowds.
Flowers. An outdoor adventurer and conservationist at the Finger Lakes Land Trust called this “the most beautiful donut to grace the face of the planet.” Possibly overstated, but we love the spirit. We also love the work the Land Trust does – saving farmlands, lakeshores, forests, wetlands, and gorges forever. Check out their new campaign to save a heron rookery and expand the Biodiversity Preserve just south of Ithaca. The meaning of this photo: Flowers make nearby things look better than they really are. Flowers are visual monosodium glutatmate. Apply liberally. Cut your own bouquet, $5.
Farmketeers of the Week: Nancy and Chief. Picked a beautiful box of summer vegetables and a bouquet to boot. Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.