FRESH CROP ALERT
Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 8:00 rain or shine (closing at 7:00 after Labor Day) • Pick St. Edmund’s, Jefferies, Honeycrisp apples • Pick a few pears possibly • Find the very last few peaches IF you’re especially lucky or uncommonly perseverant • Pick tomatoes of various kinds • Pick 23 kinds of peppers • Pick a kaleidoscope of flowers • Enjoy extended holiday donut hours Thursday thru Labor Day Monday 11:00 to 6:00 • Goodies at the stand = tomatoes, peppers, pears, corn, garlic, potatoes, honey, syrup, flowers, lemon and cider slushees • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) we provide picking CONTAINERS • Drive slowwwwwwly on the farm • Thank you for being kind ‘Creekniks and rational Farmketeers
DEAR FARMKETEERS: This week we dispense with our usual mumbo-jumbo and cut to the chase. Yes, as the calendar turns to September, the harvest turns up the pace into a race and a chase – to pick the last peaches before your frenemies, to grab the shapeliest pears before they go poof, to pick every apple before it plops. So here’s the dope.
Peaches are basically toast. Hosed, finito, kaput. If this exquisite freaknik double peach was a glass of kombucha, it would be down to the dregs. Farmer Steve said don’t even mention peaches in this Fresh Crop Alert. But we knew you’d ask so we’re cutting to the chase – most of you will not find a peach on a tree this weekend, and no peaches at the stand. But you MIGHT chase down a few peaches in the orchard if you are especially lucky or uncommonly perseverant. Ready go.
Bartlett pears are picking now, right as you come up the drive way. “But I couldn’t find the pear trees…!” Good point, by the time this Fresh Crop Alert hits newsstands, the Bartlett pears might be scarcer than deviled eggs after a church picnic. Thank you for being such radically fervent parishioners. Pear-ishioners. You might have to look behind the leaves to find any. Steve says you also might find some assorted pears in Row 19 of the Dwarf Orchard. Ask at the stand and we’ll give you a map.
WTH? When the Honeycrisp? You can pick them now. They are just starting. They are not really ready yet, if you ask an apple farmer. But ‘Creekniks are INSANE for Honeycrisp, and you always start picking before we announce them anyway, so you can start if you like. Pick for color, find ones with a nice rich honeyed hue on the shoulder and in the lenticels. Kollman here on the farm, age 8, says, “I love picking Honeycrisp early. They are sour and sweet.” Honeycrisps on the trees will flavor up and sugar up in the coming week, but you may pick them now since the chase is on. Ask for a map.
In case you don’t find pears, Jefferies apples are open for u-pick. A fabulous early apple, with a rich pear-like flavor. Juicy, crisp yet melting. 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.
Another beauty with pear-like flavor, St. Edmund’s Russet. Pick your own now. St. Edmunds is covered in a smooth, velvety, pale fawn russet. The flavor is exceptional when fully ripe. In Apples of Uncommon Character, Rowan Jacobsen writes: “Like vanilla pudding infused with pear essence. Early in the season, the richness can be masked by a blast of lemony acid, but this gives way to a yellow-cake flavor.” The texture is finely grained, crisp, and meltingly delicate. St Edmund’s Russet is not a storage apple; eat it quick!
Get the first jugs of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider. You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs. Freezes great. It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.
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.” No hog’s fat here, but every weekend is donut time, and this weekend is extended. Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, AND Labor Day Monday 11:00 to 6:00. Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. All you have to say is, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.” Thanks to Farmketeer @carolinespalate for the pic.
“You have some, Da-Da.” Some kids like sour Honeycrisp, some chomp into tomatoes. You can pick your own tomatoes 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. Thanks for the visit from NYC, @chef_gregorymark72.
You can pick some 23 kinds of peppers now. Sweet and hot. Same deal as tomatoes, you have to come explore. All depends on how many pickers got here first. Note: no eggplants for picking right now. Might rebound in a week or so.
You can cut your own bouquets in the field by the stand and other spots around the farm. It’s our best flower crop this year. 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.
If you do find peaches – or if you had “put up” peaches from your pickings in August – here are some delicacies submitted by ‘Creekniks. First is peach matcha mille crepe cake by @jennysbreadbaby. “Picked some fresh peaches from @indiancreekfarmithaca last weekend and had to use them!! They were so delicious and worked well with matcha crepes and whipped peach cream! 😋 This cake also literally took like 5 hours to make because my crepe making skills aren’t that great, but glad that it worked out in the end!”
Next, peach custard pie. Thank you @flourgrrl. “I baked a thing. #peachblueberrycustardpie #glutenfree Crust recipe from @bobsredmill Peaches picked at @indiancreekfarmithaca Blueberries picked at @glenhavenfarm #farmfresh.”
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.