DEAR FARMKETEERS: The super-secret farm plan was to send you a special Fresh Crop Alert this past Monday morning, wherein we would trumpet our First Annual Big Ol’ Pumpkin Clearance Sale, such that no pumpkin would be left behind come Halloween. But, a Sunday night text message from Farmer Steve caused an 11th-hour stir in the newsroom: “PUMPKINS KAPUT.”
It’s true, we sold out of pumpkins a full 4 days before Halloween – leaving no pumpkins behind, but leaving some pickers without a pumpkin! This occurred despite our planting more pumpkins than ever. There appear to be three principal reasons for this agroeconomic blunder:
(1) You are the best customers ever
(2) You are the best customers everrrrr
(3) You are the best customers everrrr-rrr-rrrrr
So, to Frederique, Maria, Bob, and everyone else who cleaned out the Pumpkin Patch last weekend, thank you, and so glad you found the dream pumpkin with your name on it.
Time for a pumpkin-sized thanks to all Farmketeers and ‘Creekniks: Announcing FREE Personal Quirk Dropoff and Winter Storage. Yes! You CAN believe what you are reading! In appreciation of your prodigious farminess this season, we are offering something we have never done before. Today through Sunday, November 3, you can bring your most unwanted personal quirks to the farm. We will store them over the winter for FREE! If you would like them back in the spring, you may pick them up in May when strawberry season opens. If you don’t want them anymore, we will plow them into next year’s pumpkin field where they might do more good for the pumpkins than they have done for you. Here’s an example. Suppose you have a “weird shoe thing” – you are obsessed with collecting and wearing unusual shoes, to the point where it is interfering with your life as you would like to live it. Just tell the cashier at the farm stand, “I hereby relinquish my weird shoe thing for the winter and possibly forever.” The cashier will smile and charge you nothing. That is the end of the transaction and you are free to go. Note: Please do not bring the actual shoes, just the personal quirk. We cannot store any items that take up space in 4-dimensional spacetime. Also please limit your dropoff to three (3) quirks per adult to leave room for others. You must be 18 years or older to participate. Thank you, Quirketeers!
But that’s not all! Come pick apples for 99¢ a pound! Down from $2.25 per pound normally! Any apples that you find in the orchard are fair game. That includes the Dwarf Orchard, the Vintage Orchard, the Mutsu Orchard, all trees hither-and-thither. You will really have to hunt-and-pick. It is the end of u-pick season and you have done such a laudable job of scouring the orchard so far. There is NOT much left on the trees. Farmer Steve often says, “I could pick 200 bushels out there before sunset…” but he is singing a different tune today. Apples that you might find include Winecrisp primarily, plus Mutsu, Rome Beauty, Red Delicious, Cortland, Red Spy, and assorted exotics and heirlooms in the lower rows of the Dwarf Orchard. Please help us finish this beautiful harvest by cleaning out the orchard good and proper. Thanks to farm fan Joe Wilensky for the photo of Yordi Wilensky, age 11, showing extraordinary airborne apple picking form!
Another sale! You can get apples at the farm stand for only 99¢ a pound! So there’s no price difference whether you pick your own apples or grab them at the stand. The sale price of 99¢ is the WHOLESALE price that we offer to big buyers like grocery stores, but this year – in recognition of your dogged picking and exuberant patronage – we’re going straight to the people with the 99¢ deal. We did the picking, you do the eating. You will find fancy, high quality apples that we’ve been harvesting as each variety hit peak ripeness. You will find Spy, Mutsu, Roxbury Russet, Golden Russet, Ashmead’s Kernel, Winecrisp, Goldrush, Calville Blanc, Sir Prize, Margil Russet, Cox Orange Pippin, Suntan… all kinds of treats as supplies last. This is your chance to level-up your locavore credentials by buying a mix of local apples to put up for the winter. “Mix up and put up to level up.” That’s what Ma always says.
Apple identification tip: Mutsu on left, Sir Prize on right. Kelsey at the farm stand points out that, though these two apples can look very similar – especially when Mutsu takes on its famous blush – you have only to look at the underside to tell them apart definitively. Mutsu smooth, Sir Prize bumpy.
BOGO Brussels! 2-for-1 stalks! BOGO means buy-one-get-one-free in the biz. That piece of sweet lingo came straight down from Madison Avenue. You can get 2 stalks of sprouts for only $5, or 1 stalk for $5. (So, duh, maybe get 2 stalks.) Cut your own sprouts in the field OR simply grab them at the stand. These are as nutritious as ever, but they are not the best sprouts we ever grew. It was a wet and buggy year so you will find that each stalk has some good sprouts and some that you might leave for your pet bunny. It’s not that you’ll find bugs IN the sprouts, just that the leaves have holes from earlier in the growing season. Anyway, as you all know by now, every week we have to come up with a new nickname for Brussels sprouts or we die. Like a shark that has to keep swimming lest it sink to the seafloor – or Sisyphus rolling that eternal (infernal!) rock uphill. Last week was “Br’zzouts” and before that was “Brazzle-Sprozzles” and before that was “Brouts” and before that was “Sprussel Brouts.” They all worked pretty decent; kept us alive anyway. This week, we landed on Bruxellesproux from the French for “Brussels sproux” – whatever sproux is. Come load up on sproux at bargain prices and fry up these nutrition pods.
Veggie bone. Rover might looooveeeeee the actual stalk of a Bruxellesproux, which is rather like a veggie bone that “gives a little” when the canines press into it – and gives hours of fun to the right animal, spinning round the yard with tail flying high. After you pluck the sproux, try this adaptive reuse of the stalk.
Cider donuts and fresh cider. You can get your freshly fried toroids of fructotic yummtion 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 twig your meaning. You can wash down your donuts with freshly squeezed sweet cider, known around here as “Orchard Ambrosia” – 100% unpasteurized old-time juice of apples and pears. It freezes great for off-season storage. Just drain a little off to allow for expansion. Now is the time to put up cider for the winter; these weeks are the best blends of the year and it’s not clear how deep into November or December we will keep pressing. We’re brewing hot mulled cider, too, which you can get in cups at the stand.
Cal’s radical radishes are still coming. Get these little spice pods in several varieties while the harvest is active. A fresh radish has a culinary snap you won’t find in a grocery store. Might be only another week or two depending on temps.
Well folks, that’s the news for this week and you’ve heard our NEW IDEA, Number 628-B: Free personal quirk dropoff. Come any time between 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, open every day for now, and after the weekend we will assess how long to stay open into November.
If your quirk is a “weird crawling through tire tunnels thing,” no problem. We will take it off your hands.
If you have a “salmon-tinted arrows thing,” no sweat. Drop it off. We won’t judge.
If you are terrified of chickens, don’t panic – you are not aloneeee! (Chickens ARE the stuff of nightmares. Monkeys, too! And of course bunnies. So scary!)
If you obsess about measuring things that don’t really need to be measured, it’s okayyy. Ditch it at the farm.
This is your chance to hit the RESET button.
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.