Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 8:00 rain or shine • Pick peaches • Pick flowers • Pick sweet peppers • Pick hot peppers • Pick cherry tomatoes • Pick first other tomatoes • Pick Williams Pride apples • Fresh donuts Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 to 5:00 • Stuff at stand = tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, garlic, cucumbers, potatoes, 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 being kind
DEAR FARMKETEERS: If your back-to-school spirit is shaky, don’t worry. Farm School will be held remotely this year. Hooray! You can lie back in your hammock and tune into lessons each week in these Fresh Crop Alerts. First lesson: Latin. Here we go. Uni means “one,” and corn means “horn.” Thus unicorn means: “one horn.”
Meanwhile copia means “plenty,” as in copious. So cornucopia means “horn of plenty,” from the Classical Latin. But words slip and slide over the eons. Nowadays, in Modern Latin – the language of the agricultural classes – the meaning of corn has shifted ever so slightly from “horn” to “hen.”
And what’s THAT we hear?! Is it the Hen of Plenty?! Why yes it is! Sounding in the hills above Ithaca! Archie is smashing the keys in a bombastic rendition of the official theme song of Indian Creek Farm, trumpeting the dawn of picking season proper and a pretty decent local harvest. (Psychedelic daydream: Imagine a jazz band braying on their horns of plenty. Fruit flying higgledy-piggledy and ‘Creekniks dancing like donut peaches kaschnockered on apple wine.)
Yes, Farm Fans, it’s THAT time. The one day every year when we let the barnyard beasts host an open mic on the family heirloom instruments. This year it coincides with the announcement that William’s Pride apples are ready to pick. On your walk to Row 10 in the Dwarf Orchard you can debate whether it is properly Williams’, William’s, or Williams. The internet has not decided. When you get to Row 10, you can pick your first apples of the year. These are RED apples, which seems to be what everyone has been holding out for. The Yellow Transparent and Yellow Pristine apples that kicked off the season were received with precisely the indifference that those poor varieties have come to expect perennially. Sigh. Meanwhile there are only a few trees of Williams Pride, so they might get stripped fast, but they are the tip of the spear for apple season. Despite big losses in the peach crop, we should be headed for an abundant apple season over the coming 10 weeks. Note: In Row 10, sandwiched between William’s Pride and Pristine, are Sansa apples. Sansa are not ready yet.
How to avoid heartbreaking waste in apple season: Pick with 2 hands, steadying the branch and/or nearby apples with your non-dominant hand, then twist off your target apple with your best paw. Don’t let an apple fall, then knock another apple below, causing a chain reaction. Multiply that effect by thousands of pickers… and you got a defeated apple farmer. Please read our Farm School tutorial, How to Pick an Apple.
Peaches are picking. We enter week 2.5 of peach season with a half-decent crop to be picked – after losing half the crop to spring frost. However, fans of “donut” peaches will be shocked and dismayed: The donut peaches were almost froze out totally. We had a 10% donut crop so you probably won’t find any of those sweet fat little frisbee fruits.
How to avoid heartbreaking waste in peach season: Don’t squeeze peaches on the tree. Exhibit A is a cold, hard thumbprint. Straight up peach abuse. Somebody was testing ripeness. They found out it was ripe. They left it on the tree. It takes an experienced eye to judge ripeness in a peach by looking. Best thing to do is: Ask us which rows are ready. Pick those peaches. Take them home even if they feel a little firm. In 2 days you’ll have a perfect peach. Stick them in a brown bag to expedite. Up to you whether you squeeze a peach after it’s yours. None of our business. In the peach orchard, please do not climb, shake, or pull on peach trees. We already hauled out a broken tree. 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.
Sweet and hot peppers for u-pick and boxed at the stand. Many varieties, all ready or ripening. Hard to tell you which types you will find in abundance when you arrive. Please enjoy exploring around. Generally the hots won’t be red yet.
Are tomatoes picking? “Yes. That’s a soft yes,” says Farmer Steve. People have been finding tons of cherry tomatoes, while the bigger varieties are just filling in. So make a pass through the tomato patch on your visit, and stay tuned for what Steve says will be a huge crop over the coming weeks.
Summer sweet corn is an OMGawdsend. Eat it right outta the pot or right offa the stalk cavekid style. Zero butter and even less salt than that. (But try Old Bay Seasoning!)
Another idea for “putting up” peppers from a recent ‘Creeknik of the Weeknik. Enterprising locavore @samanthanfountain posted this DIY hot sauce using jalapeños and Serranos from Indian Creek, and garlic from Here We Are Farm, our neighbors round the corner in Perry City. Love to see a young person sourcing from so many local farms.
And this one with beets! Samantha mentions habaneros which will be heating up soon – along with so many other varieties that ripen and redden through August and September.
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 (nice jars included) assembled by fruit farmers between Latin lessons.
Every weekend is donut time. 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.”
It’s hot for a ball of somnolent fluff. Genetically, Zorro has the hardware for long days of mountain work in the Pyrenees. Culturally, his software has been hacked by the hippy ethos of Ithaca. A dogologist might describe this hybrid creation as an alpine canine bong hit, Canus alpinus bongus. He has an infinitude of engrossing if dubious ideologies to ponder in daytime dreamland. Try not to wake him when you go wandering in the orchards.
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.