Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 8:00 rain or shine • Pick peaches • Pick Ginger Gold apples • Pick Bartlett pears • Pick tomatoes • Pick peppers • Pick flowers • Get your fresh donuts Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 to 6:00 • No eggplant to pick for a while • Goodies at stand = peaches, tomatoes, peppers, apples (maybe), pears (maybe), garlic, potatoes, honey, syrup, flowers, slushees • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK when in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) this year we provide CONTAINERS • Drive slowwwwly on the farm • Thank you for being gentle on our minds
DEAR FARMKETEERS & LOYAL ‘CREEKNIKS: May we share a few cogent notions? Bite-sized inklings that will rouse your spirit as the summer wind tickles your petticoats?
This is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel posing (suspiciously) as a Bergamasco Sheepdog, adapted from the work of the artist Sam Schonzeit. To the left is a peach. You can pick peaches now, and you ought to pick them now if that is on your pandemic bucket list. The next 7 days will see the passing of peach season
Verily, in the fullness of time, sweater vests will again be seen on Main Street and Wall Street. Til then, shower compassion on your fellow citizen, for the waiting is the hardest part. Meanwhile, this public service announcement starring Farmer Steve of Yor and Sister Sarah of Yesteryear. #badsweater #whatevenisit #1970s #crochet
Not everyone loves peach fuzz. And that’s okay. You don’t have to coax, badger, cajole – or legislate – people into liking peach fuzz. Indeed the solution might be even closer at hand: yourself. You can let those people be. You can witness that story and set it free. Amen. There are peaches at the stand. If you don’t find any to pick, because you didn’t keep up with the Joneses (again, not the Joneses fault!), you will probably find peaches at the farm stand for another few days.
Ginger Gold is a vigorous, hardy apple tree with wide crotch angles. Yes, in the orchard business, we talk about crotch angles unabashedly like mechanics talk about grease nipples. The sooner you make peace with that, the faster you’ll advance your farming career. You can pick Ginger Gold apples now. These are greenish-yellow apples that bear a lovely, delicate blush on their sun-side. Crisp and sweet-tart, Ginger Gold is an irresistible herald of the coming harvest season. It does not store well and is best eaten fresh – being an ideal salad apple, as the flesh does not oxidize after cutting. How to avoid heartbreaking waste in apple season: Pick an apple with 2 hands, steadying the branch 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… and you’ve got a disconsolate apple farmer. Please read our Farm School tutorial, How to Pick an Apple.
The Bartlett pear is the yardstick pear. This heirloom was discovered as a wildling by English schoolmaster John Stair, who cultivated it in Berkshire, England. By 1799 it had reached America, where it was grown in Roxbury, Massachussetts, under the name Williams’ bon Crétien, but in 1817 Enoch Bartlett of Dorchester was producing the pear under his own name, “Bartlett.” In England and France, however, the pear is still known as the Williams Pear. Under any name, the Bartlett has become the most popular pear in Europe and America, and it accounts for about 50% of all US pear production today. You can pick Bartletts on the trees along the road at the first crest of the driveway just past the old peach orchard where the sign says “Tomatoes / Eggplant / Peppers.” Just don’t look for a sign that says “Pears.”
Not all red octagonal traffic signs mean stop. Some apparently mean yield. A good yield of apple crop.
In a further perversion of national signaling standards, still other red octagonal signs don’t mean stop OR yield. They mean, “Main road… GO here.”
Probably best to simply drive slowwwwly on the farm. Red painted apples mean stop. Green painted apples mean go. A sign with 2 reds and 2 greens would mean stop, but there’s a just a little more green than red (see the leaves), so in the end it really means “Slow.”
Tomatoes have a last name, Nightshade. Pretty great last name. They are in the Nightshade family with peppers and eggplants. You can pick your own tomatoes and peppers now. Many varieties, some ready, some ripening. Hard to tell you which types you will find in abundance when you arrive. But Farmer Steve is bullish on the paste tomatoes right now. Please enjoy exploring around.
More news from the Nightshade family: no eggplants for u-picking right now, could be a couple weeks, or maybe next year. A few obsessed folks picked hundreds of baby eggplants despite our pleas to let the babes fatten up. But we’re not bitter at all. No sirree, everything’s cool in the eggplant department. Nothing to worry about on this TINY BABY EGGPLANT SPECIALTY FARM. Breatheeee.
A word of encouragement from Farmketeer @flxbubbles who posted this on Instagram: “If you’re looking to pick flowers in the local area, @indiancreekfarmithaca is the place to go!” Yes, you can cut your own bouquets in the field by the stand and other spots around the farm. The flower list has included 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 giving self-care as they heal from the eggplant pillage.
Donuts were once called olykoeks. From the Online Etymology Dictionary: “Small, spongy cake made of dough and fried in lard, 1809, American English, from dough + nut (n.), probably on the notion of being a small round lump (the holes came later; they are first mentioned c. 1861). First recorded by Washington Irving, who described them as ‘balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks.’ Earlier name for it was dough-boy (1680s). Bartlett (1848) meanwhile lists doughnuts and crullers among the types of olycokes, a word he derives from Dutch olikoek, literally ‘oil-cake,’ to indicate a cake fried in lard.” Every weekend is donut time. Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00. Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.” No hog’s fat here.
And now a special recipe submitted by our ‘Creeknik of the Weeknik, Carine R. Feist, MPH Nutritional Educator, @carinerfeist. Anyone who cooks this dish and sends us a photo will get automatic ‘Creeknik of the Weeknik next week. As long as the photo isn’t shot with a potato, as they say.
Barley Risotto with Grilled Fairytale Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, and Fresh Corn
Produce from Indian Creek Farm, Ithaca NY
This dish is a wonderful celebration of the August bounty in New York. After visiting Indian Creek Farm, we were thrilled to prepare a dinner using the spectacular harvest available at this time of year with quarts of fragrant juicy tomatoes of several varieties, colors and sizes, and we even picked super sweet peaches that will be used in a peach, blueberry galette dessert later this week. This is our favorite time of year as nothing beats fresh tomatoes, corn and other summer vegetables. I’m sure that you’ll agree!
- 2 cups of vegetable broth, bring to a boil
- 1 cup water, bring to a boil
- 11⁄2 cups barley, einkorn wheat or farro (your choice)
- 1 to 2 cups of oat milk (or half and half if you prefer dairy)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Simmer barley or other grain of your choice in the broth/water mixture in a covered pot over medium heat for approximately 1⁄2 hour. Add the oat milk in 1⁄2 cup increments until creamy as desired. Remove from heat; it will thicken slightly off the heat. Add parmesan cheese, if desired.
Fresh seasonal summer vegetable topping:
- 1 pint of mini fairytale eggplants. Trim off the stem and slice in half. (Our container had 16 small eggplants.)
- Vinaigrette dressing – 2 T. reduced balsamic vinegar or fig vinegar, if available.
- 2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pint Supersweet cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half. (The orange variety is our favorite!) 2 ears of corn, grilled with kernels sliced off the cobs
- 10 basil leaves, washed, dried and sliced just before serving (chiffonade style)
Marinate the sliced fairytale eggplants for 1 minute in the vinaigrette, stirring periodically.
Remove the eggplants from the marinade (reserving the remaining marinade). Grill the eggplant halves on both sides (about 20-30 minutes) until softened and grill marks develop. Use a grill pan for this or use a grilling mat on your outdoor grill. (They will lose most of their lovely purple color, but they will be so delicious and the other colors of the completed dish will make for a gorgeous dish!).
Meanwhile, grill two ears of corn and then slice the kernels off the cob. Set aside. Slice the tomatoes in half and set aside also.
After the eggplant is cooked thoroughly (but not so mushy that its falling apart!), add it back to the bowl with the remaining marinade. Add in the tomato halves and fold gently with a spatula or large spoon, so as not to break up the eggplant. Just before serving, add in the corn kernels with one stir of the spoon. (Add the corn at this point to keep its lovely yellow-white color.) Gently pour the vegetable mixture over the top of the risotto. Place the shredded basil on top of the mixture and bit of salt and a grind of fresh pepper.
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.