DEAR FARMKETEERS: You’ve often heard us say, “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” But what do you call a clock that tocks 3 different times at once? That’s the ‘Creek Clock. Yes, our jankety old farm chronometer is currently bonging out 3 readings: Peach O’Clock! Tomato Time! Apple Hour! All this minute. All with some urgency.
It is GO time for locavores. In a single ramble round the farm, you can pick juicy peaches, bursting tomatoes, crisp apples, and – a last-minute addition to this Fresh Crop Alert – sweet pears, both Bartlett and Asian pears! That’s a bona fide cacophony of bells bonging on the ‘Creek Clock.
Bing bongggg – Peaches! Good morning, sleepyhead! Don’t hit “snooze” on this breaking news. Peach picking season is peaking now, about 4 to 7 days later than a typical year, so you can have chin-drizzling bites of summer in September. You deserve every one. But this beautiful and abundant crop will go poof soon. Every bonggg is followed by a pooffff.
Bing bonggg – Tomatoes! You can pick about 20 kinds of tomatoes. The abundance of each variety ebbs and flows with crowds and weather. You should find plenty of romas and beefsteaks and cherries and heirlooms. Hard to send a precise report; you have to come explore, maybe try new kinds that you find in the field. Time to “put up” tomatoes for the off-season.
Bingggg bonngg – Apples! The 2019 apple picking season is already off to a brisk start – you apple fanatics have torn through each of the early varieties. Picked them clean. Now picking: Honeycrisp (shhhh… secret!), Elstar, Dayton, and oddballs. Probably a couple additional varieties by the time you get here. We have over 75 kinds in the Dwarf Orchard, some familiar, some new to you. Don’t just pick H—-crisp. Explore!
Bartlett Pears and Asian 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. You can give them a day in a paper bag on the kitchen counter to reach perfect sweetness. Try them poached with a balsamic drizzle? Then hike up to the Asian pears in the back orchard. If you’ve never had an Asian pear, do this now. You will almost certainly become a devotee – and they will get picked fast. They are round like apples, green like pears, and a delight at first bite.
Donuts Saturday & Sunday. Get your freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor by the dozen or half-dozen. The Mark II Donut Robot runs from 10:30 (loosely) to 6:00 (sharp). Nick the Donut Kid runs a tight robot. Good luck getting a donut at 10:29 or 6:01. Remember, if you want cinnamon sugar, just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”
Apple cider – also known as “Orchard Ambrosia.” Pressed fresh every week and available in jugs every day. It is 100% unpasteurized fruit juice like the old days. Freezes great, just let a little out before you put it in cold storage. The blend gains character and depth with each passing week because new apples come into the mix.
Veggies – sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplants, and the aforementioned tomatoes. Come get yours. Forage in the Nightshade fields for dozens of varieties. Don’t rub your eyes after picking hot peppers. Watch out for prickles on the eggplant stems. Don’t step on squishy fallen tomatoes.
Flowers – bouquets and buckets. Pick your own $5 bouquets of zinnias, snapdragons, verbena, gomphrena, celosia, cornflower, statice, strawflower, scabiosa, sweetpeas, salvia, aster, dianthus, algeratum, and others. Need a bucketful? Bring a 5-gallon device and pick it full for only $35. Also shop at the stand for beautiful bouquets in mason jars, handcut and arranged by ‘Creekniks.
Thank you… for being convivial and genuine Farmketeers.
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.