DEAR FARMKETEERS: Breaking news – The president’s personal lawyer has just hired a former Watergate prosecutor to be his personal lawyer. Isn’t THAT a love triangle for the ages? Who knew democracy could be so cozy? So tidy and sweet?
Dang near sweet as apple pie. Yes, Farmies, while your leaders have been preparing for a bipartisan slobberknocker of historic proportions, your fellow ‘Creekniks have been keeping it real down here in farm country – picking apples and baking drooly pies. Thank you for the ins-pie-ration, @4lettersfood! (Also for the adorbs cover photo in the kitchen!)
Come pick 11 kinds of apples. Or was it 13 kinds of apples and 11 reasons to get out here? But who’s counting? All you need to know is there’s a veritable “crap ton” of apples still hanging here on the trees. That’s what old cousin Owen would say. Crap ton. We called him Onion Ring since he didn’t like onions. Just kind of joking around, you know, calling somebody a food they don’t like. All in good jest. And he secretly did kind of like onion RINGS since they were breaded and deep fried. We called him Onion for short. Anyway, Farmketeers, your work here is not done. Please come pick Jonagold, Fuji, Macoun, McIntosh, Cortland, Liberty, Spartan, Pixie Crunch, Fortune, Snow Sweet, and probably more that have ripened in the 2 days since Farmer Steve surveyed the orchard. Thank you to everyone who has come apple picking in the rain this week. Surprisingly active round the farm, and we’re always humbled by your dedication. By the way, you can still get Honeycrisp apples at the stand.
Bake apple, pecan, cranberry, brown butter bread! You’re on a roll, @4lettersfood. Epic farm-to-table action.
Make your own apple butterrrrrrrrrrrrr! Thank you, @emmyinthekitchen, for reminding us that it is time to be “putting up” stuff for after harvest.
Cut your own Sprussel Brouts. Most people have never seen a stalk of sprouts, let alone cut their own. Even fewer have traveled from New York City just to wear a sprout leaf on their head. Try it if you like – it is strangely calming. Famously paired with bacon, Brussels sprouts also pair magically with fresh ginger root. How about cooking gingered sprouts?
Eat fresh donuts and sweet cider. Get your freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor by the dozen or half-dozen on Saturday and Sunday 10:30 to 6:00. If you want cinnamon sugar, simply whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.” Nick the Donut Kid will know what you mean. Wash down the donuts with freshly pressed sweet cider, known around here as “Orchard Ambrosia” – 100% unpasteurized old-timey juice of apples and pears. Freezes great. We’re brewing hot mulled cider, too, now that a nip is in the air.
Get bulk cider on biggly sale! Hello, homebrew cider fans! Bring your 5-gallon carboys to Indian Creek by OCTOBER 13 and we will fill them with 100% unpasteurized cider for $30 each (only $6/gallon) OR get it down to $5/gallon when you buy 10-45 gallons (2-9 carboys) OR only $4/gallon when you get 50 gallons (10 carboys). That’s backcountry moonshine prices! And it’s the best cider we’ve had in years. Blend includes Mutsu, Gala, Empire, Mac, Autumn Crisp, Honeycrisp, Virginia Crab, and Elstar. Just leave your carboys inside the double doors at the farm stand with your name and number attached. We will call you when filled.
Cut your own sunflowers in the sunflower maze. Don’t wait long, these suns won’t shine forever. Thank you again, @4lettersfood. Seems like an exemplary visit.
Pick the last tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. The Indian Creek Tomato Council – pictured at their October conclave – will soon shutter the season. The nightshade field is plugging along. Diligent pickers, who plod along patiently and look below the leaves, can still find fresh tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot), and eggplants. These summer vegetables will be gone soon. Pick up and put up.
Explore new realms with Cal’s radishes. New this week – Watermelon radishes (pictured). Cal just started harvesting these earthy, spicy gems with green rind and bright pink center. They are great for roasting, pickling, shredding into salads. You can also get French breakfast radishes, which are tender, white and red, crunchy, with mild spice, the best fresh-eating radishes. Also Sora radishes, the classic, reliable, round red radish for all purposes. Coming soon will be the “five color mix” of yellow, white, burgundy, pink, and red. All these spicy little treats are versatile. Roast them. Make quick “fridge pickles” for a piquant addition to tacos, burritos, salads. Eat them raw to power up your personal spice.
Get fresh ginger root, surely a recherché rhizome here in the Finger Lakes. Few people know that fresh ginger has been growing in Ithaca. Sharon and Dean of Tree Gate Farm, our friends around the corner on Coy Glen, are delighting Farmketeers for a second year. Last year Farmies snarfed up the roots as fast as Tree Gate could deliver. It’s great for ginger tea and myriad culinary uses. Sharon explains how they grow it: “The seed comes from Hawaii, arrives in March, and using a greenhouse and a lot of compost, we spend 7 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 ginger 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.” Ginger now, turmeric soon!
Ready or not, it’s pumpkin season. Nobody cares about pumpkins before October 4th and nobody cares about them October 32nd. That gives pumpkins some 28 days to matter. Please come get yours. Last year there were no leftovers.
Please, Dear ‘Creekniks, no jokes about impeaching the Great Pumpkin or the Pumpkin of the United States (POTUS). These are grave matters and not to be trifled with for cheap comedic effect. No mudslinging and tittle-tattle about the highest office in the land when the elected executive hasn’t had a chance to meet his accuser. Not fair!
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.
(Thank you to Farmketeer @adri.m.darcy for that last photo!)