BELOVED FARMKETEERS & ‘CREEKNIKS: You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind. This is true even for the headiest smarty-pantses of Ithaca. Our little town has virtuoso thinkers strolling the promenades. More polymaths per capita than you can shake an abacus at. But serpentine chains of esoteric sophistry won’t pick a single pumpkin — nay, won’t save a single apple from the ignominy of rot. We need ACTION. Folks, when you hear the Cornucopia (that’s High Latin for “Horn of Plenty”), you have been summoned to The ‘Creek with primeval harvest urgency.
Berrrr-wheeeeeee-ooooooooh! There it goes. That’s the sound. Just because Zorro didn’t spring to action doesn’t mean he didn’t feel it. There’s snow on his roof… but a fire in his hearth. Oh, he feels! Deeply and ardently. He will dash to the pumpkin patch just as soon as he solves the abstruse puzzle that’s been troubling him since he saw the bumper sticker back in 2011: “What if the Hokey Pokey is what it’s all about?” Meanwhile, there’s no reason YOU shouldn’t drop whatever mental bone you’re gnawing on and come help us harvest. Here are 12 REASONS to put your tuchus in gear for October apple country action. The bone will be there when you get back.
#1 – Pumpkin sale expanded! Pick any 5 for $25. Pick any 12 for $50. Any size. Now applies to grabbing your pumpkins at the farm stand as well as u-pick in the field. We got 13 days to move EVERY pumpkin on the farm. Nobody cares about pumpkins (or the farm, really) as of October 32nd.
#2 – Weekday Brussels sprout sale! Cut your own sprouts for $5/stalk (that is 16.66667% off), or 5 stalks for $20 (33.33% saved), through Friday, October 19. Weekend weather looks blecchhhy so get out here before Saturday. People who love sprouts tend to love weekdays more than weekends, anyway. “Cruciferous, delicerous, and nutrixerilous.”
#3 – Special seed garlic sale! Time to plant yours! Our neighbor Paul will be selling his organically grown garlic bulbs at the farm stand Saturday and Sunday, October 20 & 21. He has grown these lines of garlic for about 10 years at his homestead on Indian Creek Road. Paul has Georgia Fire, Italian Easy Peel, Tochliavri, Persian Star, Romanian Red, Chesnok Red, Georgia Crystal, and other varieties. Soft necks and hard necks. Large bulbs and cold-hardy. Come support a local gardener and get your own garlic patch planted! He will also have utility garlic for sale and specials at his table. You can contact him at (607) 279-4866 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
#4 – Mutsu apples open for U-picking! Dessert apple. Pie apple. Giant apple. Versatile apple. The versatile little black cocktail dress of apples. But they get big as pumpkins. Dad planted the Mutsu orchard back in ’84. We could rhapsodize about the Mutsus for days. The British call them “oven busters” since a coupla old orchard ladies could pick one giant Mutsu and bake it in the oven and split it as dessert for their afternoon stitch-n-bitch. Dudes can do that, too. Just saying. Ovens and stitching and b*tching aren’t just for girls. And dessert. And feelings. And sharing. And little black cocktail dresses. All welcome at The ‘Creek.
#5 – Northern Spy, Spigold, and Prairie “Spy” apples open for U-picking! Here’s where sh*t gets real. Dr James Cummins, one of the preeminent apple rootstock breeders of the 20th Century, a.k.a. Dad, dropped some science on us JUST YESTERDAY. Without warning. Just standing in the orchard picking a few early Goldrushes and he says, “You know, there’s no spy in Prairie Spy.” BOOM. Just like that. You see, Spy is one of the all-time great apples. Northen Spy is famed among pie makers and old-time apple lovers. Then you get Spy “children” like Spigold and Nova Spy and Prairie Spy, crosses of Spy with other varieties. That’s how apple breeding works. You cross a couple varieties to get a new apple with desired traits for flavor, color, disease resistance, and all that. But Praire Spy was NOT A CROSS OF SPY. It was a marketing trick back in the day. So says Dad. We were just stunned. Just standing there like a coupla knuckleheads who thought we knew about apples. Then Dad went on to his next story, some apple tale from back in ’47.
#6 – Heirloom apples open for U-picking! Yummm, right?! Okay that is actually a picture of (edible and delicious) heirloom cider apples from the home kitchen at Eve’s Cidery – all full of sooty blotch fly speck and whatnot. You can pick pretty heirlooms here at Indian Creek for the first time ever. Technically you rebels were picking in this orchard even when we had it roped off and DO NOT PICK signs everywhere. But now you can pick this whole orchard without sneaking. Please come explore. Foodies: This means you.
#7 – More awesome apples open for U-picking! Farmer Steve says you can now pick Fuji and Winecrisp and others along with the Mutsu, Prairie “Spy” (pictured), Northern Spy, Spigold, heirlooms, Macs, Cortlands. We are sliding into the last wave of apple picking. Please come enjoy the plenty.
#8 – Donuts. Served always fresh and usually pretty toasty Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM. Not sure how many more weekends. This is donut season.
#9 – Squashes. Delicata, butternut, sweet dumpling, acorn, blue hubbard, pie pumpkins. Bake, roast, broil, fry. Farm Fan @kendalls.kitchen even describes how she used butternut squash raw, julienned, in salad.
#10 – Fresh turmeric and (fingers crossed) ginger are still here! Sharon and Dean at Tree Gate Farm, around the block near Coy Glen, are keeping us supplied and you have been gobbling up the rhizomes. Great for ginger tea and myriad culinary uses. But fresh ginger and turmeric in October in New York? Sharon explains: “The seed comes from Hawaii, arrives in March, and using a greenhouse and a lot of compost, we spend 8 months working to convince it that the Finger Lakes region is almost as wonderful a place to grow as the tropics. Unlike what you find at the grocery store, our uncured baby turmeric is snappy and sweet, roughly the texture of an apple or a slice of water chestnut. And no peeling required! Just be sure to use or freeze within a week; it’s perishable.” Sharon says they will definitely bring turmeric and hopefully ginger.
#11 – Fresh cider. Orchard Ambrosia, Nectar of the Dogs Gawds. Fresh pressed unpasteurized cider. 100% fruit. No sugar added. Nothing added. Just apples and pears, cold-filtered into jugs. Get gallons and 1/2 gallons.
#12 – Free relaxation & digital detox. Always free. You don’t even have to shop here. Think of Indian Creek as the state park with no cover charge. Turn off your phone. Wander around. Have a picnic. Grill out. We won’t bug you. Thanks for the smiles, Cornell Alpha Kappa Delta Phi.
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.