DEAR FARMKETEERS: For pagans and astronomers, summer begins on the solstice, June 21. But for us Finger Lakes fruit farmers, summer begins when the mystical triad of tree orbs comes into transcendental alignment – when peaches, pears, and apples are all ready for plucking at the same time. When, indeed, we collectively stumble from Peachtown to Appleville… across Bartlett Bridge.
Happy first day of summer. Just in time for Labor Day. Yes, peach season is powering into its peak week, and apple season threatens with all its autumnal glee and gloom. Meantime, a humble little pear crop has appeared to help us make the transition. You can pick Bartletts now.
Won’t you cross over with us? Climb into your u-pick buggy with friends and family. Cue your favorite road trip sing-a-longs. John Denver and all that. Peaches, pears, and apples are all picking. Come help us pick the summer orchards clean. That will clear the road to a bumper apple season ahead.
Peaches! Pick lots now! This is the moment. Tons ripened this week. Do not wait. They’ll be here and gone. Remember – Donut peaches already got hosed in a flash by fanatical hordes. Now you can pick big, round, juicy yellow-fleshed and white-fleshed peaches. It’s go time.
How to avoid heartbreaking waste in peach season: Don’t squeeze peaches on the tree. Exhibit A is a cold, hard thumbprint. Straight up peach abuse. Somebody was testing ripeness. They found out it was ripe. They left it on the tree. It takes an experienced eye to judge ripeness in a peach by looking. Best thing to do is: Ask us which rows are ready. Pick those peaches. Take them home even if they feel a little firm. In 2 days you’ll have a perfect peach. Stick them in a brown bag to expedite. Up to you whether you squeeze a peach after it’s yours. We won’t be judgy.
Pears! Start with Bartletts on the old trees by the main road. Ask at the stand for a map. These are delicious classics for eating fresh – but you might give them a day in a brown bag on the kitchen counter, since pears ripen from the inside out. Try them poached with a balsamic drizzle, a first date flavorite.
Apples! Pick your own Zestars (pictured), Ginger Golds, Akanes, and St. Edmund’s Russets. All tasty early apples. More varieties ripening every week.
How to avoid heartbreaking waste in apple season: Pick with 2 hands, steadying the branch and/or nearby apples with your non-dominant hand, then twist off your target apple with your best paw. Don’t let an apple fall, then knock another apple below, causing a chain reaction. Multiply that effect by thousands of pickers… and you got a defeated apple farmer. Please read our Farm School tutorial, How to Pick an Apple.
Bouquets and buckets. Pick your own $5 bouquets of zinnias, snapdragons, verbena, gomphrena, celosia, cornflower, statice, strawflower, scabiosa, sweetpeas, salvia, aster, dianthus, and algeratum. Need a bucketful? Bring a 5-gallon jobber and pick it full for only $35. Also shop at the stand for beautiful bouquets in mason jars, handcut and arranged by ‘Creekniks.
Tomatoes, Eggplants, Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers. There are many varieties in the field, and the abundance of each varies with the days and the crowds. You simply have to hunt around when you get here. It’s hard to give a detailed report when that might go out of date within a day. Come pick, you’ll find something savory. Don’t rub your eyes after picking hot peppers. Duh, right? But just saying.
“Orchard Ambrosia” – Pressed fresh every week, 100% tree fruit, unpasteurized like the old days. Get your gallon and half-gallon jugs. The blend gets better with each passing week as new apples ripen. Freezes great. One family down the street makes ice cubes with it. Another turns it into moonshine. And still another turns it into donuts. Oh, wait, that’s us.
Donuts Saturday & Sunday 10:30 to 6:00. Get your freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor by the dozen or half-dozen. The Mark II Donut Robot runs from 10:30 (roughly) to 6:00 (sharp). Nick the Donut Kid runs a tight robot. Good luck getting a donut at 10:29 or 6:01. If you want cinnamon sugar, just whisper to him, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”
Speaking of Peachtown, we share this image of a road sign from nearby Cayuga County. Something to reflect upon… Chonodote.
Thank you for being reflective and mindful Farmketeers.
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.