ESTEEMED FARMKETEERS: Have you ever said this to yourself? “Wow, I’m amazing.” If you have said it, three cheers for you. You probably really are amazing. If you have not said it, don’t worry. Let us help. It’s pretty easy.
All you have to do is: Turn left when you see these arrows by the pear trees. If you turn left, you will have achieved all that is asked of you at that moment in your life. And that IS amazing. Go ahead and say, “Wow, I’m amazing.” You would be amazed by how many people turn right –or– drive straight when they come to this farmy intersection. (For the record, nobody has “turned straight” or “gone straight” here, as far as we know, but that would be fine too. The pears are experts at minding their own business. They would never think of telling you how to live your one wild and precious life.)
“But I couldn’t find the pear trees…!” Good point, by the time this Fresh Crop Alert hits newsstands, the Bartlett pears will be scarcer than deviled eggs after a church picnic. Same for the Asian pears. Thank you for being such radically fervent parishioners. Pear-ishioners. Truth is, by the time this Fresh Crop Alert hits newsstands, the red arrow signs might be gone too – sneakily moved to another part of the orchard and FLIPPED OVER to point right and stuck, absurdly, to an AMPERSAND. This state of affairs is called ‘entropy’ and our signage team has received commendations for excellence in that most esoteric discipline. Meanwhile more exotic pears are ripening and you can find them at the farm stand.
Pick your own peaches – or load up at the stand. This is the last major weekend of peach season. The final 2 rows are open for picking. If doing the labor of picking peaches yourself sounds too… laborious… and also makes you ask yourself, Why I am paying these people when I am doing the labor myself? – don’t be ashamed, you are not alone. Perhaps one thousand pickers before you have carried that ponderous notion around the orchard and departed with a bag full of fruit and head full of additional questions they picked up along the way. You should expect to leave the farm with at least one unanswered – even unanswerable – question for every pound of produce you buy. To make the u-pick equation even weirder, you can buy peaches at the stand in various configurations, some of which end up at a better price per pound than u-pick (while supplies last). Thus trying to leave The ‘Creek in a state of mental clarity is like slinging a hammock between two cornstalks.
Pick your own apples – HONEYCRISP and others! Did somebody say HONEYCRISPPPP?! Well does a cat have climbing gear? Yes. Yes it does. And today is the official start of Honeycrisp season. Some of you started last week but now is your chance to conform and be like the rest of us. No crop motivates pickers like Honeycrisp and we expect the orchard to be livelier than a flock of two-tailed puppies on Coke Zero and catnip. Also in the Dwarf Orchard you can find Gala, Jonamac, and Autumn Crisp. Autumn Crisp used to be called “NYS 674” but somebody thought a rebrand would sell more apples. Can a name influence your perception of taste? Think of chocolate mousse versus chocolate mouse, like in the cinematic classic Rosemary’s Baby. An altogether creepy gig once you factor in Roman Polanski, Mia Farrow (with eery Frank Sinatra sending her divorce papers while she was on set), and the occult-obsessed neighbors canoodling in the closet. Not to mention “tannis root,” which we do NOT grow at The ‘Creek. But we digress. You can also pick McIntosh – a classic of its own – in the Vintage Orchard.
High time to load up on tomatoes and peppers – sweet and hot. There are a few dozen varieties of tomatoes and peppers and you simply have to come out and rummage around under the leaves to see what’s in abundance. It’s too hard to tell you here, or in response to Facebook and Instagram questions, exactly what kinds you will find when you come. Eggplants, meanwhile, are mostly small and scattered since your collective appetite for them has been voracious since first mention a couple months ago. Anyway, don’t delay, it’s time.
Super secret tomato sale – prepicked pecks of Beefsteak ($18) and Romas ($15). These would normally be about $25 by the pound. The sale is so sudden and so super-secret because it might only last one day… or LESS. Kelsey here at the farm stand said we have about 5 or 10 pecks of each that must be sauced NOW, so first come, first get. This Fresh Crop Alert might reach 10,000 people in the first few hours, and there are only a few pecks. So ask as soon as you get here, and if they are gone, please be nice to the stand worker. Try your hand at picking and hopefully find some beauties in the field.
Fresh cider & cider donuts. Everyone is back to school and this topic is going to take some explaining. Okay here we go. There is fresh cider in our donuts, but if you want cider, you don’t have to squeeze it out of the donuts. You can just buy a half-gallon or one-gallon jug. That’s Part One of the lesson. Part Two: A baker’s dozen is 13, a farmer’s dozen is 14, but Nick the Donut Kid isn’t really a baker or farmer so he’s serving 12 donuts per dozen like a dozen is supposed to be. Just like Grandma said. Sometimes it takes a thoughtful teenager to bring things back to the Old Ways. If you find that your bag of donuts has one or two extra in the bottom, please count that as dumb luck and don’t get uppity and start thinking you deserve that bonus every time. Bonus donuts aren’t a right or a privilege – they’re a mistake. Our free advice is don’t get all high and mighty; because remember, the higher a monkey climbs the more he shows his BUTT. You can get your freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor by the dozen or half-dozen between 10:30 and 6:00 on Saturday and Sunday. If you want cinnamon sugar, just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”
You are invited Thursday, October 3, at 6:00 PM – Dinner Party with the Cider Makers of Eve’s Cidery, Chef Brad Marshall from The Piggery, and Special Guest, Author Jason Wilson. Get info and tickets now! You have probably heard about the nationally acclaimed cidery just south of Ithaca, Eve’s Cidery – often credited with stimulating the artisan cider revival here in the Finger Lakes. They are our old friends and indeed many of the trees in their orchard come from our nursery here at The ‘Creek. Eve’s Cidery features large in the new book The Cider Revival by leading food and wine writer Jason Wilson. Please see the menu and sign up for this special six-course farm-to-table cider dinner hosted at Eve’s Cidery in Van Etten. Your ticket includes dinner, drinks, and a signed copy of Jason’s new book that covers so many familiar businesses in our burgeoning regional cider scene. See you there?
Want to know what’s prettier than a pat of butter melting on a short stack? A fresh-fired, farm-to-table pizza with peaches from The ‘Creek. Whoa @stonebendfarm.
A special guest in the flower patch. Say hello to Magnolia Pie Adventure Dog, @magnolia.pie_adventure.dog.
Thank you… for being cherubic and helpy Farmketeers.
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.