– SUMMARY –
Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 8:00 rain or shine • Pick first few peaches (just a few – see below, maniacs!) • Pick flowers • Pick sweet peppers • Pick first hot peppers • Pick first few cherry tomatoes • Pick Pristine apples • Pick the one beefsteak tomato • Fresh donuts Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 to 5:00 • Stuff at stand = cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, garlic, cukes, PA peaches, honey, syrup, pottery, flowers, slushees • COVID protocols include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) we provide CONTAINERS • Drive slowwwly on the farm • Thank you for NOT picking baby eggplants and NOT climbing on peach trees • Thank you for supporting small farms
– FULL STORY –
DEAR FARMKETEERS, Bob Dylan said: “Tomorrow is a long time.” But these days, yesterday seems like forever ago. The past year has been chock full of time dilators – things that make foggy memories out of other things that weren’t so long ago. Impeachment was only a few months back; seems like a year. Peach harvest was only a year ago; seems like a dream. So you could be forgiven for thinking that peaches are just an idea – not fuzzy droolworthy fruits of the material world.
But here they are in the flesh, primping for showtime, with help from fashionista eggplants. Peaches will debut this weekend. There will be a FEW peaches ready for u-pick in the upper block. It was not clear how to share this news with you, since the mere mention of the p-word could incite a bumrush on an orchard that is still plum with unripe peaches – not prudent in any year, let alone in a pandemic with pent-up u-pick appetites and nerves frayed by uncertainty. Given the thousands of readers, there is a high chance that by the time you read this email, early birds will have picked the ripe peaches clean. We saw 40% crop loss to spring frost, 90% loss of the donut peaches. Yet we do see peaches on the trees.
So please come out and enjoy the farm – it is the beginning of the August harvest bonanza – and see if you find peaches. If not, do not worry. We have planted the peaches in more or less orderly rows that ripen in succession, and we will alert you each week to new waves. (Pro tip: Come on weekdays BEFORE the newsletter hits inboxes.) Also you will find PA peaches at the farm stand which might salve the crestfallen picker who finds none on the tree. Finally, look around: There is a nice big vegetable field this year, first apples to pick, abundant flowers, and of course donuts. All good, and more to come, so please be of good cheer even if you don’t find peaches this week.
Instead of rummaging through random peach rows, ask at the stand and we’ll Sharpie a map. Also remember that we cannot keep up with the HUNDREDS of messages that flow in through Facebook and email. We will not respond in time to your well-meaning messages like, “Will there be peaches to pick in an hour? Will there be peaches to pick at noon tomorrow when I bring my kids? Will we find enough peaches to pick for a party of 7 on August 23 and what varieties are they and what do they cost and are they freestone?” You just have to come out here. The ‘Creek is not on Instacart and there is no way to preview the real-time inventory remotely. When you come, please do not climb, shake, or pull on peach trees. We already hauled out one broken tree, before picking has even really started. Peach trees are more delicate than apple trees. By hanging off a trunk and toppling it over, you could deprive future you (and future you’s frenemies) of 10 years of juicy, succulent, locally grown peaches. Per tree.
Pick peppers and tomatoes and (mature) eggplants. You will find sweet bell peppers, Italian fryers, nassaus, and the like, plus the first wave of jalapeños and Serranos and other hots. The hots are still green, of course, but you can pick now. You can pick the first cherry tomatoes. Farmer Steve says there is “one beefsteak” that’s ready. So really it’s just the cherry tomatoes right now, with a whole field of other varieties coming. You can pick eggplants, but – and this comes right from the top, meaning Farmer Steve – please do NOT pick baby eggplants. Let them size up. Pick them a week or two later. Pictured here is a lovely haul from @samanthanfountain who was ‘Creeknik of the Weeknik two weeks ago, and she kinda just won again. Come on, Farmketeers, up your game before she wins a trio. Look at what she made and Instagrammed below… and that ain’t the half of it…
Lactofermented salsa verde. Includes roasted jalapeños from The ‘Creek, fermented tomatillos (West Haven Farm), fermented onions and garlic (Here We Are Farm), fermented garlic scapes and other ingredients from Ithaca Farmer’s Market. We slapped the #LOCAVORE tag on there.
Lactofermented hot sauce. Includes habaneros, Fresno chilis, other peppers from The ‘Creek, and onions and garlic from Here We Are Farm and Ithaca Farmer’ Market. #DIY!
Salsa and hot sauce in squeezy bottles – with LABELS! That is some next-level foodistry, Samantha! Thank you.
Flowers: Cut your own bouquets in the field by the farm stand. Current flowers include zinnia, snapdragon, celosia, ageratum, gomphrena, scabiosa/pincushion, cornflower/bachelor buttons, dianthus/carnations, strawflower, aster, marigold, verbena, and statice. You can also get them at the stand in bouquets (jars included), designed by fruit farmers in the increasingly rare dull moment.
Git Ya Gar Gar! You can get Garlic Greg’s garlic at the stand, as bulbs or beautiful braids. Braids include about a dozen big bulbs and are doped with herby botanicky things.
The new meaning of Donut time. In news from outside the farm bubble, the former King of Spain – who previously ‘retired’ amid personal scandals – has now fled his country under investigations into financial scandals, with the New York Times reporting that Juan Carlos said that his “decision to leave amid multiple inquiries was taken ‘with the same eagerness to serve Spain that inspired my reign.’” Umm, say again? Absconding with the same zeal that you cheated the public before?! Good one! Sounds like DONUT TIME! Yes, Farmketeers, we dedicate this week’s donut plug to Former King Juan Carlos of España. Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 5:00. Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR,” is all you need to say. Tune in next week to find out which honorable public servant will take home the DONUT TIME AWARD. Nominations can include any bad-faith bozo worldwide.
25 years ago Sunday, this hard-working artist drifted into the hereafter. What a long strange trip it’s been. Some people have since seen The Madonna in the Northern Lights. Others have seen their ancestors’ faces in raviolis. We have seen Jerry in Zorro. A pretty good impression, don’t you think?
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.