Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 7:00 rain or shine • Open Monday holiday 10/12/20 • Pick your pumpkins fast, the small 2020 patch will be picked clean in a couple days • Pick Mutsu, Cortland, Northern Spy, Prairie Spy, Spigold, Sir Prize, last Fuji, last Spartan, last Splendour, and more • Cut your own Brussels sprouts • Cut last flowers • Eat fresh cider donuts FRI, SAT, SUN, MON 11:00 to 6:00 • Now filling cider carboy orders, details below • Goodies at the stand = apples, pears, sprouts, squashes, ginger, turmeric, garlic, honey, syrup, slushees, hot spiced cider • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) BYOBags for picking produce • Drive slowly on the farm • Thank you for being the best Farmketeers since sliced bread
DEAR FARMKETEERS: You probably think of pumpkins as the whales of the vegetable world. Jumbo and blubbery and slow, undulating languidly through the depths of our collective agrarian unconscious. Well, good thing you have come to Farm School this week, so we can dispel two faulty notions in one swoop: Pumpkins are not vegetables, and they are not slow. They move faster than you think, faster than some ‘Creekniks can blink.
The Pumpkin Patch is now open for u-pick, and the pumpkins will disappear very fast this year. Our 2020 patch is much smaller than usual, and earlybirds snuck around the gate last week to grab their dream gourds before you could even dream your dream. As it is in life, so it is in Pumpkinland. Anyway these fruits are moving fast and the patch might not last the weekend.
If you don’t find pumpkins in the u-pick patch, you might find others scattered around. We have piled hundreds of pumpkins around the farm for easy picking as you wander by. They are priced individually with labels.
It is high season for some of the very best apples on the farm: Prairie Spy, Northern Spy, Spigold. Time to pick your favorite members of the Spy family in Rows 16 and 17 of the Dwarf Orchard. These October apples are prized by pie makers and lovers of old-fashioned American apples. Great for fresh eating, baking, and putting up – beloved “winter” apples. You might also find the last of several varieties in the Dwarf Orchard (Sir Prize, Fuji, Spartan, Splendour) and Vintage Orchard (Cortlands on big trees with yellow ribbons).
It is also the start of Mutsu season! Some people wait all year for this moment. You can pick your own Mutsu apples now in the Mutsu Orchard south of the Dwarf Orchard. Also known as Crispin, Mutsu is perhaps the most versatile apple on the farm. It is a dessert apple. A pie apple. A bake-it-right-in-the-oven apple. It is the little black cocktail dress of apples. Appropriate for any occasion – and irresistible with that fetching hint of Mutsu blush. Plus they get as big as pumpkins, their fellow fruits. Dad planted the Mutsu orchard back in ’84. We could rhapsodize about the Mutsus for weeks. The British call them “oven busters” since a couple of old orchard ladies could pick one giant Mutsu and bake it in the oven and split it as dessert for their afternoon stitch-n-bitch. But – as we have opined before – boys can do that, too. Ovens and stitching and b*tching aren’t just for girls. Same with dessert. And feelings. And sharing. And little black cocktail dresses. All welcome at The ‘Creek. Hooray.
Cut your own Brussels sprouts. Also known as Brouts for short. Stirfry with bacon or fakin’ and feel the nutrients flow. In one of our best signage moves ever, you will find the sprouts in the patch marked “SPROUTS.” We have removed the leaves from the stalks that are ready. Cut the whole stalk; don’t pick individual sprouts since that wrecks the plant. Don’t be a plant wrecker. Be a sprout lover.
Get fresh cider donuts every weekend – including the holiday Monday 10/12/20. Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot Friday, Saturday, Sunday, AND 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. Just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”
Get CIDER every day. This is the 6th week 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. It gets better every week as the apple blend complexifies.
Homebrew cider fans, get your carboys filled NOW. Bring your 5-gallon carboys to Indian Creek and we will fill them with 100% unpasteurized cider for $35 each (only $7/gallon) OR $6/gallon when you buy 10-45 gallons (2-9 carboys) OR $5/gallon when you get 50 gallons (10 carboys). As of today the ever-changing blend includes Cortland, Gala, Spy, McIntosh, Liberty, Fortune, Honeycrisp, and more. Just leave your carboys inside the double doors at the farm stand with your name and number attached. We will call you when filled.
Get local GINGER and TURMERIC. You only need to taste an itsy-bitsy slice of fresh ginger root to be a convert for life. Good enough to eat out of hand, not to mention bringing life to your cooking creations. Same with the fresh turmeric root. Sharon and Dean from TreeGate Farm around the corner have been delighting farm fans with these tropical roots grown here in the Finger Lakes.
Please BRING YOUR OWN BAGS for picking fruits and vegetables. You can fill your bags as you wander the orchards, then set them on the scale at checkout, and we will ring you out without touching your bags. You can also buy our totes which you might have seen around town.
Did you pick any of the last peppers of the year? Did you “put up” some in September? See what Farmketeer @katnessharriet did with her jalapeños. “Kitchen experiments in keto: bacon wrapped, cheese stuffed, jalapenos 😋 Farm fresh peppers from @indiancreekfarmithaca were made for this kind of exaltation 🔥🧡” Yummmmmm.
An apple thought: “For nearly a thousand years a small orchard was a part of nearly every viable farm in northern Europe, and later in the northeastern United States. Apples being the hardiest fruits, the apple orchard would hold at least a dozen trees of several varieties — some for fresh eating, some for cooking, some for making cider. Most of those trees were grafted onto full-size rootstocks that could grow to a height of 30 to 40 feet,” (Frank Browning, Apples) which put much of the fruit out of reach without huge ladders and considerable strength. Today at Indian Creek you will find some 1,500 apple trees on dwarfing rootstocks which keeps the trees short and plump for easy picking – allowing folks to pick a few fruits with kids and elders for a lazy afternoon of local fooding. So we can pat ourselves on the back for that, but meanwhile…
Remember that there is more to the story of local food in America. It is good to think about the nature of this holiday in all its complex dimensions.
Love to y’all. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.