The Devilishly Handsome Farmers of Finger Lakes Orchard Country Say, “If Not For the Apple, We’d Still Be Stuck in Eden (Without Fig Bikinis).”

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FAITHFUL FARMKETEERS:  We celebrate the apple.  We lean and loaf at our ease, crunching and munching on mutsus.  And we wonder aloud, “What shall we send to our loved ones?  How shall we say Happle Holidays?”
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We shall ship them boxes.  Heirloom Harvest Apple Boxes!  Each package is an exotic orchard to-go, full of special varieties that you won’t find in the grocery store.  Even the Primal Apple Pusher in Paradise never dreamed of Cox’s Orange Pippin or Ashmead’s Kernel.  Tempt your friends to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad apples.  See photos and details and order now for shipping by Xmas.  New – You can now ship to California and Arizona!  And all states red or blue.  Even spray-tan orange.

ORDER YOUR BOXES

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Freshly lopped Brussels sprouts.  You can get them at the farm stand every day.  We’ve moved inside the double doors.
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$20 squash sale.  Fill a reusable farm bag with all the squash you can fit for only $20.  4 kinds of squash.  Keep the bag.
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We are still pressing cider weekly.  Trying to go a couple more weeks, but the supply will evaporate without warning.
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We are still filling carboys.  Drop off your jugs with your name and number.  We’ll fill and call you.  Don’t wait.
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You can still get apples at the stand.  Value bags of mutsus and the last spies.  Mutsus are the most versatile apple ever.
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Don’t hoard the apples – send to friends and family!  Order apple gift boxes now for shipping by the winter holidays.  You can see photos and details here.  Order online at our sister site, Cummins Nursery:

ORDER YOUR BOXES

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Speaking of giving season… We would gently urge you to consider supporting the Finger Lakes Land Trust.  They are a great nonprofit here in Ithaca.  Almost 19,000 acres of lakes, farms, and forests are protected – forever – by the Land Trust.  You can hike 32 nature preserves that are free and open to everyone.  Did you know that Indian Creek Farm is protected by a conservation easement that will keep it in farmland forever?  Well, the Land Trust protects small farms like ours.  You can chip in to their campaign and help them advance an ambitious slate of 2017 conservation projects.  Every gift helps, $25, $50… and a generous family will match your new gifts.  Thanks for supporting local, place-based organizations like the farm and the Land Trust.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Local November Harvest Stuff: Fresh Cider, Sprouts on the Stalk, Apples, and a Big Squash Sale.

GENTLE ‘CREEKNIKS:  You have no idea how bleeping good it is.  Roasted acorn squash is some bleepety bleep squash.
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You simply cut it in half and roast it face-down.  Acorn squash is a naturally sweet food.  You don’t even need those fancy recipes with honey and cinnamon.  The edges will caramelize on the pan.  But a farmer’s secret:  Wait til it cools down, scoop out the flesh, form it into patties, and fry it in a pan!  Holy smokes it becomes a savory-sweet pancake affair.  Add sea salt and chow down.  Dip in chipotle?
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A Facebook Farmketeer recently wrote:  “What is a carnivale squash?”  We had just been talking about this heady topic by the woodstove.  Farmer Ly offered her genetic theory:  “When an acorn squash and a delicata squash have a love child, they usually get a carnivale squash.  But it has to be love.”  You can really see it in this picture — left squash plus right squash yields middle squash.  Good looking kids.
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You can load up on the 4-squash harvest.  Fill a reusable Indian Creek bag with all the squashes you can cram in there for only $20.  Keep the bag.  This is our Black Friday sale but announced on Wednesday night.  So it is our Red Wednesday Night sale.  Going til further notice.  We are still open every day.  You can swing through for 11th-hour Thanksgiving supplies, or any time on the long weekend.
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Sprouts in the wok with bacon and nuts.  If you can name a more nutritious food, good for you.
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We are still pressing cider.  It freezes great.  The reason we keep telling you this is:  The cider season will end soon.  We will run out of apples.  If you love Orchard Ambrosia, you can buy it now, freeze it, and crack it open down the line.  Once we’re out of apples, we’re talking August 2017.
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We still have apples.  You won’t find them outside because the stand has moved indoors.  Come in the double doors and poke around the modest winter display.
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And you can order Apple Gift Boxes for delivery by the winter holidays.  You can see photos and details here.
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These enterprising folks from the Cornell Food Recovery Network took 601 pounds of apples, squash, and pumpkins from the farm to be distributed through their partners at the Friendship Donations Network.  In that sharing spirit, hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Electoral Donut Therapy, Cider Carboys, Brussels Sprouts, and Apple Boxes.

DEAR FARMKETEERS:  There are more kinds of psychotherapy than there are dubious critters in the U.S. Congress.  You got cognitive behavioral therapy, humanistic therapy, rational emotive therapy, group therapy.  Psychoanalysis.  Even retail therapy.
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We are licensed to practice donut therapy.  In response to recent events, we have extended our office hours to include this Saturday and Sunday.  Serving fresh donuts from 10 to 5.  Everyone is welcome.  The donut does not discriminate.  The farm does not hate.
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This pear tree has not heard about the election.  It is still shiny and resplendent and hopeful.  Truth is, the trees in our Vintage Orchard don’t have much to say about the POTUS, FLOTUS, or SCOTUS.  They’ve stood here quietly for a hundred years through presidents and wars and scandals.  Politicians come and go; agendas get washed away.  The trees make fruit through it all.  The latest poll of everyone on the farm crew predicts that this pear tree will be here in 4 years.
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The farm is a melting pot.  Over 75 kinds of apples grow in the orchard.  Some are sweet and mellow.  Some are tart and edgy.  Some have grown here for a century.  Some are newcomers.  Each one adds its unique energy.  Every one matters.  Picking is basically kicked for the season, but you can treasure hunt for Rome Beauties.  A few hang on the trees.  Overall a great crop this year.  Thanks for picking it clean.
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Cold War apples are on sale at the stand.  You can take home a whole bag of hand-picked Red Spies for less than the price of a Foreigner album during the ’80s.
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Cider still flows.  Each week we are pressing fresh Orchard Ambrosia.  You can drink it here and take jugs home.  It is GREAT for freezing – the season will end soon so buy more than you need.  Later thaw out a jug for an off-season treat.
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Bring your carboys.  We filled a bunch for people this week.  It is unpasteurized Orchard Ambrosia which you can get at a volume discount:  only $6/gallon (5-10 gallons) and $5/gallon (over 10 gallons).  Leave your carboys with your name and number.  We will fill them and give you a ring.
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Brussels sprouts.  You probably pronounce it “Brussel sprouts” without the middle s.  That’s okay.  That’s just how you say it.  There are many other people who say it like you.  We won’t blame broader problems on people who drop that s.  There is no ‘capegoating on the farm.
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Apple gift boxes.  You can order online starting next week for delivery in time for Thanksgiving and winter holidays.  Stay tuned for a special newsletter next week and place your orders before we sell out.  We only have enough of the specimen apples for a couple hundred boxes.  Lovely gift of Finger Lakes food.
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What are we doing now?  We’re in the nursery.  Time to dig 40,000 baby fruit trees.  Store them in the barn for the winter.  Ship them in the spring to backyard growers and professional orchardists around these… United… States.
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Rhode Island Greening?  What about Wisconsin Redding?!  Michigan Bluewallbusting?!  Annyyyywayyy, back to business.
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The farm is still open every day 10 to 5 til further notice.  Come keep Amanda company by the woodstove.  Today she is reading Still Life with Woodpecker, which might add some dimension to your thoughts about the election:  “There are two kinds of people in this world:  Those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.”
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A few more timely nuggets from Woodpecker:

“If you’re honest, you sooner or later have to confront your values.  Then you’re forced to separate what is right from what is merely legal.  This puts you metaphysically on the run.  America is full of metaphysical outlaws.”

“Often… it is that aspect of our being that society finds eccentric, ridiculous, or disagreeable, that holds our sweet waters, our secret well of happiness, the key to our equanimity in malevolent climes.”

“Tunnel vision is caused by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego.  It is complicated by exposure to politics.”

Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Last Weekend of Fresh Donuts, Last Chance to Pick Apples, and a Sale on Bulk Cider (for Making Your Own Booze Basically).

LOYAL FARMKETEERS, welcome to the 2016 Presidential Election Issue of Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz.  In our country of 320 million people, it has boiled down (some might say melted down) to two individuals.  Two out of 320,000,000.  And soon to be one.  One to lead us all.  One cursed apple from the whole blessed orchard.
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It’s preposterous!  When you ‘Creekniks — you lovely and diverse ‘Creekniks — come picking at The ‘Creek, we don’t say, “You have to elect one apple.  You have to pick one apple from this whole orchard.  And that apple might not even like your kind of people.  But you have to keep that apple on your collective kitchen counter til 2021.”
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On the contrary, you can pick as many apples as you want.  But there is one rule:  You can’t stop time.  And the clock is ticking.  This week is almost certainly your last chance to pick Mutsu apples and Rome Beauty apples.  Only a few trees left.  First come, first get.  Ready… go.
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Same deal with donuts.  You don’t have to elect just one.  You can buy bag after bag.  But this weekend is probably your last chance til next autumn.  We’re leaning toward shutting down the donut factory on Sunday at 5 PM.
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Orchard Ambrosia!  We are still pressing fresh cider every week.  Get your gallons and half-gallons.  Might only have a few more weeks of cider.
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Here is one way to extend your season:  Fill your carboys with bulk cider.  This is unpasteurized Orchard Ambrosia which you can get for only $5/gallon (5-10 gallons) or $4/gallon (over 10 gallons).  Just leave your carboys with your name and number.  We will fill at our next pressing and give you a ring.  Then you can make winter hooch.
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Another way to extend your fresh-food feels:  Make sauce from apples you pick or buy at the stand.  Mix and match, blend and boil.  @mapleandmatcha
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A few other things to pick while they last:  delicata squash, last hot and bell peppers, Brussels sprouts.  You can also get squash, sprouts, apples, pears and more at the stand.
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Yes, folks, time to pick the crops clean.  Local food is precious.  You all did a good job on the pumpkins.  Just a few left from the THOUSANDS we planted.  These stragglers will go to The Piggery pigs.  Nobody cares about pumpkins after October 31.  @arstephens18
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Yes, the seasons are really turning in the Finger Lakes foodshed.  We are still open every day 10 AM til 5 PM.  After this Sunday, it will be dark by 5 PM anyway.  @gregdov
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Rain or shine, the farm is open daily.  We are here at the stand or doing chores around the farm.  You might find Amanda warming her magic potions on the woodstove, such as this “Golden Milk,” a healing brew featuring turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, honey, coconut, black pepper, ginger…  @redbearbotanica
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Well, Dear Farmketeers, by the time of our next crop alert, there will be a new POTUS electus.  It is a messy business choosing one person to lead us all.  Not the 1%, but the 1 PERSON, or 0.0000003125% of the population.  When we farmers get bogged down in the heady math of politics, we look to Zorro to break things down for us.  He does not disappoint.  His single word of wisdom for today:  “Foooooood.”   Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Come Dressed to Pick & Play! Wizarding Weekend Downtown and On the Farm; Pumpkin Sales and Apple Picking Rush to Finale.

DEAR FARMKETEERS:  Abra cadabra… Harrius doublus!  Poof, now you have twice as much Harry Potter.  This Saturday and Sunday, the farm will be pottering proper.  (If you can’t bear to hear more about that snide little pagan Potter, skip to slide #3 below where we report on the crops.)
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Saturday DOWNTOWN – We will return to Diagon Alley downtown as Ithaca is overrun by wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, magi, and enchanters of all ages.  Find our booth with the bubbling copper cauldron.  Meanwhile the farm will be OPEN, so if you want your fresh cider served free of amateur hexes and wayward wandsparks, you can escape to The ‘Creek.
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Sunday AT THE FARM – Wizarding Weekend 2.0 sees an expansion of the global franchise to scattered locations including the farm.  Join us for a special Sunday called “Happy Harryween” when you can catch free rides on the Hogwart’s Express (see wagon in beta trial), a free puppet show (2 PM), pumpkin carving, apple picking, and more.  FEEL FREE TO WEAR YOUR HALLOWEEN COSTUMES.  Not just wizards.  That snide little parseltongued pagan Harry Potter did not invent Halloween and we won’t let him steal it.  All freakniks and ‘Creekniks are welcome.  Activities run 10 AM to 6 PM.  Rain or shine!  The usual Sunday crops and donuts will be available… see below.
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Apple Picking – This weekend could be the last hurrah for apple picking.  It is prime time to get your haul of classic late season varieties:  Mutsu, Rome Beauty, and Red Delicious.  Please help us pick the orchard clean and make good use of this year’s crop, which turned out half-decent despite complete loss of the peaches, plums, and apricots.
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Make Pie – Turns out Mutsu is a brilliant pie apple.  Also delicious when eaten out of hand, but a professional performer in pies.  Just ask your high-scoring neighborhood locavore.
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Pumpkin Sale #1 – We must find a home for every pumpkin by Halloween.  Pick any 5 pumpkins for $20!  Any size.  Any patch on the farm.  Everyone is so worried about Harry Potter’s cruddy living conditions under the staircase, but Harry Potter DOESN’T EVEN EXIST.  These pumpkins are real and they need a home.  Please come pick.
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Pumpkin Sale #2 – Stuff one of our new (cute + pretty) red bags full of pumpkins for only $12.  You keep the bag.  You WILL get complements on these reusable bags.  They’re not green like Greenstar or black like Wegman’s.  Splashy red!
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Donuts – Still serving 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday.  Attention donut-fiends:  This could be the last weekend of donuts.  To be determined after Halloween.  November is next week.  Things will start to fizzle down.
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Cider – Fresh and tasty, crisp and local.  We pick apples and pears; we squeeze the juice; we bottle it.  Nothing fancy.  Just good.  Served hot and cold on the weekend.  Available in jugs daily.  Pressed fresh a couple times a week.  Freezes great.
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Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant – By the time you get this Fresh Crop Alert, the summer veggies might not be so fresh.  Cold nights and possible ice pellets will wither the remaining tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.  Pick them for $1/pound.  Ask about our secret rows when you get to the stand.
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Brussels Sprouts – Get them on the stalk.  As old-fashioned as it gets.  Once upon a time everyone grew these in their yards.  Now it’s a novelty to see sprouts on the stalk.  Special deal:  Buy sprouts, pluck them off the stalk, and you are left with a big green magic wand.  Wave it over the wok when you stir-fry the sprouts with bacon or facon.
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Squashes – It’s a squashy time of year.  Butternut, delicata, acorn, and carnival/dumpling.  Eating squash recipes on fall nights can warm the very heart.  Secret tip:  Add crumbles of feta cheese when serving butternut squash soup.  Another:  Add crumbles of feta cheese to baked delicata rings-n-onions.
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See You in Wizardland – Both Potter parties are rain or shine.  Come dressed to play and pick.  Costumes encouraged.  Help us harvest pumpkins.  Pick apples.  Still open every day til dark.  Watch the Hogwart’s Express in prototyping trials.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Pumpkins, Apples, Donuts, Cider Now Trending at Ithaca’s Orchard Playground Solar Farm!

EVERY HARVEST SEASON, foodies come out of their kitchens to kibbitz in Franglish (terroir, anyone?) and gossip about pairings.  “This booze gels with that bologna.  This Velveeta shines with that saltine.”  It’s a heady business.  If you can stomach it.  But it didn’t start with the millenials.
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“Pumpkines Payre withe Pumpkines” – In her legendary medieval tome, The Locavore’s Cornucopia, Madame d’Veg (1066-1199 C.E.) suggested pairings which were considered outrageous in her day, but they show prescience on a par with the great Nostradamus.  Her boldest claim:  Pumpkins pair with pumpkins.  We are honoring that notion, one millenium later, with a 5-for-$20 sale on pumpkins!  ANY SIZE!  Pick 5 pumpkins for $20.  Pick yours in any patch on the farm.
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“Orange Gourds Do Goe withe Red Bags” – Even the doyenne de gastronomie could not have foreseen our Dozen Dollar Pumpkin Pack.  Or could she?!  Did she?!  In her honor, you can fill our new red bag with pumpkins for just $12.  Keep the bag.  That’s the whole point.  It’s reusable.  Duh.  Get with the zeitgeist, people!  Reduce, reuse, re-apple.
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“Apple Pycking and Familie Time” – Friends and families wandering the orchards.  Just as it was in the middle ages.  Except cellphones have improved.  And the apples are different.  But same idea.  Now picking:  Mutsu, Red Spy, Splendour, Cortland, Red Delicious, Rome Beauty.  This is the LAST WAVE of apples for this season!  Come pick now!  Cute photo from loyal ‘Creekniks @hookedproductions.
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“Bigge Green Apples withe Artisticke Humours” – Mutsus are those big, green, crisp, honey-sweet apples famed since yesteryear for their versatility.  Great for eating fresh, baking pies, and, if you are an advanced Farmketeer, making bunnies.  And it’s vegetarian and no bunnies harmed.
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“Fresh Cidre with Olyve Tapenade” – Here the lady bridges antiquity and modernity.  Says that our classically minded Orchard Ambrosia is best paired with olive paste from Athenian orchards, ideally aged at least 2,000 years.
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“Donuts and Weekendes” – Long before the weekend was a thing, and eons before the communists turned it into like a human right, Our Lady of What-Goes-With-What predicted that fresh cider donuts would be the perfect complement to your Saturday and Sunday routine.  Served 10 to 6 PM.
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“Payres Payre with Crisping” – You can choose from our panoply of pears at the farm stand, take ’em home, slice ’em up, toss ’em in the oven at 225° and forget about ’em.  Hours later, a beautiful guilt-free snack.  Shown:  Shenandoah pear crisps.
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“Squashes and Onyons” –  If there ever was a tough-skinned vegetable with delicate insides, it’s the delicata squash.  They don’t store well and you can really only get them now.  ‘Tis the season, ’tis delicious.  Sear with onions.  Sprinkle with feta?  Also still picking in the vegetable fields:  some peppers (hot and bell), plenty of eggplant (but ask about our secret row if you want classic rather than Japanese eggplant), just a few cherry and heirloom tomatoes.  Plus Brussels sprouts and several kinds of winter squashes.  Make soups and stuff.
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“Orchardes and Magyck” – Yes, we will return to Wizarding Weekend at Press Bay Alley on Saturday, Oct 29.  But this year we will also have a special day (Wizardween?  Potter Party?) at the farm on Sunday, Oct 30, 10 to 6 PM, in celebration of the dark arts.  You can catch the Hogwart’s Express (wagon rides), see a free puppet show at 2 PM, and get pumpkins, apples, donuts, cider, caramel apples, and more.  Basically a normal fun Sunday at the farm with a few magical extras and YOU SHOULD TOTALLY WEAR YOUR HALLOWEEN COSTUME TO TEST IT OUT.  It’s kinda the last big Sunday of the fall so come join us — rain or shine!
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“Paynts and Childes” – This Sunday you can pair your child with our facepainter Ella from 12 to 3 PM.  She’ll be at the farm stand turning your kids into works of art – Oh, they already ARE works of art?  Of course they are.  They’re masterpieces.  But a little paint can do wonders.  Not just for kids!
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“Farmes and the Powers of Sunshyne” – Not even Nostradamus saw this one coming.  The ‘Creek is going solar!  We’re pairing our barn roof (background) with panels by our neighbors Renovus Solar (thanks for pic).  This is a big deal that will fundamentally change how the farm uses energy — and even put net juice back INTO the grid.  The installation is in progress, so just a sneak peek for now.  More news to come about this delicious pairing between the farm and Renovus.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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The Pumpkin Patch Has Twins While Mutsus Get the Greenlight; You Can Pick Green Pumpkin-Sized Apples, Famous for Eating & Pies.

DEAR FARMKETEERS:  The changing light of autumn focuses the brain.  Simplifies the message.  Distills the plan.  Time to pick apples.  Time to pick pumpkins.  Both are abundant and ready for you.  Distractions can wait.  The harvest won’t.  Please come pick and play.
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Pumpkin Sale Continues – The new red bags are a hit and so is the All-You-Can-Pack Pumpkin Sale.  For $12, you can fill a red farm bag with pumpkins and keep the bag.  You can mix and match pumpkin sizes.  Squeeze ’em in.  It’s like 3-D Tetris.  We had somebody get 28 pounds of pumpkins in there.
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Triple Pumpkin Patch – The big mama pumpkin patch had babies.  Now you can find your pumpkins in 3 places on the farm.  Every pumpkin left behind will be meaningless on October 32nd, so please come pick.  Watch a few moments of last week’s frenzy.
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New This Week — Mutsu Apples Open!  These are big beautiful apples that look like a pumpkin crossed with Golden Delicious.  Our English double agents say, “One of its parents is Golden Delicious so it has that lovely sweet honeyed flavour.  It cooks superbly too and the women picking them in our local orchard used to call them ‘oven busters’ — take a big one home and bake it and you have a feast for two — and you don’t need many for a deep apple pie.”  We all love Mutsu season.
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New This Week – Other Apples!  The stand is stocked with dozens of varieties.  A rare chance to explore apples you won’t find at the supermarket.  Now open for u-pick:  Red Spy, Spigold, Cortland, and Winecrisp.  Plus Mutsu, of course.
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Fresh Donuts & Crisp Cider – Did you know?  Our fresh Orchard Ambrosia contains apples and pears (nothing else!), so our apple cider donuts are really PEAR-APPLE DONUTS.  Mmmmm hmmm.  Get yours on Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.  Hot and cold cider available every day.
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A Muffin of Pears – Yesterday turned brighter when Amanda Farmstanda delivered a single gluten-free ginger-pear muffin (burnt slightly upon the bottom, truth be told) baked with hand-picked pears from The ‘Creek.  Right at snack time.  Just saying.  You can’t buy these here.  But you can bake ’em.
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Last Veggies of the Year? – A frenetic picking session at dusk saved these San Marzanos from a possible frost.  Turns out the rest of the crop survived the night.  But Allie says, “There are still bell and hot peppers, eggplant, and a few tomatoes.  Threat of a frost Friday night, so they might be frost-damaged by the weekend.”  Come pick now!
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Veggie Frenzy – See crowds of ‘Creekniks scoring tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants last weekend.  You’ve been warned, Farmketeers!  Come git.  Don’t wait.  It’s the ninth inning for vegetables.  Except Brussels Sprouts.  They’re looking great!
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How to Make an Apple Shiny Without Grocery Store Shellacs or Waxes — Amanda Farmstanda (not the one who burnt the muffin) demonstrates this advanced technique.  You can practice on apples that you pick!
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Farm Shirts – Yes, we are still hawking these dandy merches.  And, yes, Amanda Farmstanda (the same one who made the nummy, if burnt, muffin) still thinks the fuschia shirt is hideous.  But technically the color is called SANGRIA and isn’t it dashing on this handsome lad?  Note how it hides dirt better than the sunny yellow one.  So it’s practical, too.
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Honor System Reminder – If you pick an apple, please take it home.  If you bite an apple, and you don’t like it, take it home anyway.  You can slice it up, slather it with peanut butter, mash it into sauce, or chop off the bite marks and gift it to your frenemy.  Anything is better than the heartbreaking waste of 1,000 apples thrown on the ground.  How would you like to be bitten once and thrown away?!  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Bite it, buy it.  Pretty please.
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Go Big – The Mutsu Orchard is right next to the main pumpkin patch.  Both are EASY PICKING.  You can pick a peck of apples and a bag of pumpkins in 15 minutes.  And you can score BIG.  Big pumpkins.  Big fun apples.  Just look at Farmkeeter Eva.  She was like, Whoa.  High-level ‘Creekniks will ask whether that is indeed a Mutsu in the photo or rather a Spokane Beauty.  But if you’re working on that plane of apple knowledge you probably have your own orchard, so you should probably get back to work.  It’s harvest time!  To the rest of you, hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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High Apple Season, Peak Pumpkin Time, and a Free Puppet Show on the Playground!

LOYAL FARMKETEERS:  Remember how we lost the entire peach, plum, and apricot crop this year?  It hurt.  But you have rallied to salvage the season by coming to the farm for apples, pumpkins, cider, and donuts.  We need a few more solid weeks in October.  Please join us while the picking is good.
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Apple Picking – New this week are the blue-ribbon apples called Red Delicious.  They get the blue ribbons because they are Farmer Stephen’s favorite apple – and boy does he know apples.  “Red Delish is my wish,” says he, “O, the ‘Licious is so Vicious!”  You can also pick Red Spy (red ribbons), Autumn Gala, Snowsweet, Fortune, and Sir Prize; an abundant and beautiful crop of Jonagold; and, possibly the last of the Macouns and Spartans.
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Pumpkin Picking – Your Dozen Dollar Bag!  Pick all the pumpkins you can fit into our new reusable bag for only $12!  You keep the bag and leave with a cozy pile of pumpkins.
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Cucurbitastic and bombastic – This year’s capacious pumpkin patch is positively cucurbitastic.  That means full of herbaceous vines like pumpkins, squashes, and gourds.  Come pick yours!  This message is sponsored by Farmketeer Laura, who challenged us to use “cucurbita” in a Crop Alert.
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Sunflower Picking – The pumpkin patch is full of sunflowers and they won’t last long.  Cut your own and take some sunshine to your home or office.  Stylie photo by local company and farm fans, @hookedproductions.
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Donuts – ‘Nuff said.  They derive their savory-sweet powers from the simple fact that they are hoops of fried dough, brewed with fresh apple cider and topped with cinnamon sugar.  Saturdays and Sundays 10 AM – 6 PM.
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Cider – Straight tree juice, nectar of the dogs gods.  Pressed here from fresh apples and pears.  No added sugar.  Not even pasteurized.  Just squeezed fruit.  In honor of Cider Week Finger Lakes, our fabled Orchard Ambrosia is on sale for full price!  What, do you think this stuff grows on trees?!
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Veggies – Check out this exemplary haul from about a week ago by visitors @winegasm_ (Astoria, NYC).  By comparison, this week you will find that tomatoes are mostly picked out, although determined pickers can find heirlooms, cherries, and Marzanos.  Plenty of hot peppers, while bell peppers are still in a second wave of immature green-purple.  Plenty of eggplant.  U-pick eggplant sale = $1/pound on weekdays.
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SPROUTS – These scions of Brussel never cease to capture the attention of folks who’ve never seen them on the stalk.  Come lop your own.  They work great as party favors, housewarming gifts, and bacon stirfry staples.
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Puppet Show – Join us Saturday, October 8, 2016, for an all ages puppet show!  Free admission.  Gather at the playground for a 4 PM show by LilySilly Puppets, featuring singing creatures, puppet dancers, poems, and a whole lot of absurdity.  Live music from classically trained Matthew Ocone.  See the official Facebook event for details and weather updates.  Rain date is Sunday, October 16.  Seating is butts on grass.  Expect crowds on farm.
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Playground – The playground hits prime time with Apple Mountain, ping pong, table tennis, swingset, climbing tractor, giant sandbox, and a picnic table for 28.
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Farm Shirts & Red Bags – Amanda here at the stand says this shirt is ugly.  Maybe she is right.  Nonetheless, these handsome farmers are in the primes of their lives and they display their farm merch with pride.  Beauty is boring.
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From Apple Fest to Happy Harvest – You guys made our weekend at Apple Fest a blast.  Now you can come to the farm any day of the week for the ongoing delight of October apple and pumpkin harvest.  We’re open every day til dark.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Aren’t You Excidered? Time for Apples, Pumpkins, Donuts, Cider, Festival, and Special Events.

DEAR FARMKETEERS:  Water levels are historically low, but The ‘Creek is running all the way downtown.  That’s right, our unruly band of farmhands and ciderlings will be at the 34th Apple Harvest Festival on the Ithaca Commons, Friday through Sunday!  Rain or shine.  It usually rains.
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Find us on the corner.  Last year was our first time and it was a whopper of a hoot.  Find our ramshackle booth where we will be slinging hot and cold cider, caramel apples, boring apples without caramel, pumpkins, Brussels sprouts, and glee.  The glee is free.  The caramel is gooey.
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Meanwhile the farm is OPEN for apple picking.  This week’s fantastic crop is Cortland, Empire, Early Fuji, Liberty, Spartan, Jonagold, Macoun, and the last of the Macs.
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The apple and pear display gets big!  Discover new types.  Weird ones you never heard of.  Some are amazing, some are meh, some are bleh.  You won’t know til you try.  This game has all the thrill of black-jack without the dirty dealing.
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New this week — Pick a Bag o’ Pumpkins!  Pick all the pumpkins you can fit into our new reusable bag for only $12!  You keep the bag, and outfit your whole gang with pumpkins.  And yes we did fit all 28 pounds into that bag.  Booyah.
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Pumpkins love company.  You don’t want to separate a single Jack- or Jill-O-Lantern from their mates.  They thrive in numbers.  Pick a bag full and your porch will sing.
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Fresh cider served hot and cold.  This is plain tree juice, nectar of the dogs gods, a straight-shooting fruit bev.  Pressed here from fresh apples and pears.  No added sugar.  Not even pasteurized.  Just squeezed fruit.
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Donuts.  These toroidal flavor poppers speak for themselves.  Line up at the Donut Hole (which is rectangular, as luck would have it) on Saturdays and Sundays 10 AM to 6 PM.
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Sunflowers!  More than you can shake a flower at.  Fill your home or office with sun.  You will find them planted between the pumpkin rows and growing around the farm.
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Professional flowers.  These sunflowers are professionals.  They go to work locally with @bizbloomfloraldesign.  Good enough for the pros, good enough for home and office.
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Last wave of veggies?  Green and purple bell peppers, lots of hot peppers.  Tomatoes are more of an effort.  Heaps of eggplant.  Will this be the last easy picking weekend of the season?  Note the new reusable bag!  Good customer!
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Pick, cook, eat.  This really is the time.  Veggies will soon go poof.  Apples, too.  Check out this drool-worthy Japanese curry by rising star Farmketeer @mapleandmatcha.  She used apples from the farm and grated them to “make it a little sweet bento buddy.”  Unimpressed Giraffe was unimpressed.
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Playground for bigs and littles!  Cornell grad students have it rough.  You’re not exactly a student and you’re not exactly a professor.  You’re a tweener.  Here at The ‘Creek, we offer safe harbor to tweeners.  You can prance and frolic and be silly with no judgey professors being all judgey.  You can work on your second career as badminton champs, like Sanlin and Yolanda here.  Scientists by weekday, shuttlecockers of great pizzazz on weekends…  Go Big Rad.
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Amanda’s Platypear.  Or Peartypus.  This is what happens when you work with fruit all day.  You start seeing things.  The fruit talks back.  Illusion and reality coalesce.  Please come give our farm stand folks compassionate human company.
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Special event on the farm October 5, 4-6 PM!  Register now online!  This is a rare chance to talk shop and break bread with a nationally recognized cidermaker and your veteran neighborhood fruit tree farmer.  Autumn of Eve’s Cidery and Steve of Indian Creek will host “Twilight Walk, Talk, and Picnic Dinner” here at the farm.  You will tour the nursery, learn which apple varieties make the best cider, and finish with dinner and drink by The Piggery and Eve’s!  Space is limited and the event is NEXT WEEK, Wed, Oct 5 at 4-6 PM.  Register now.  Cost is only $15 per person including dinner and drink.  Click here to register online.
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The event is rain or shine.  Come hang with us for an informal, educational, agriculinary soiree.  Help us celebrate Cider Week Finger Lakes!  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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11 Reasons to Visit the Farm Now and Breaking News of Donuts; Come Be Here, Farmketeers!

DEAR CREEKNIKS, this Fresh Crop Alert is sponsored by the autumnal equinox.  Such a lovely word, equinox.  Tacked on the end is nox, night.  But the dark times are not yet nigh.  And they are farther still if you expaaaaand your autumn.  If you get outdoors for fresh air and fresh food.  Here are 10 reasons to be… here… now.  And 1 bonus for careful readers.
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New apples this week – Pick Cortland, Empire, Sweet 16, Elstar, Pixie Crunch, McIntosh, and more varieties that are ripening as the days roll by.  Wander, mix, and match.
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Even more apples – Down at the farm stand you will find the apple display filling with varieties you’ve never heard of next to farm fan favorites like Honeycrisp!
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New this week – Pick your dream pumpkin!  Or warmup pumpkins for carving practice.  The field is ready and striped with towering sunflowers.
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New this week Fresh hot apple cider donuts!  You can waltz right up to the new “Donut Hole” every Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM to 6 PM, and get these poppable treats.
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Fresh cider – Behind every good donut is an orchard-based cider.  We call it Orchard Ambrosia, and it is just fresh fruit, unpasteurized, no sugar added, squeezed and bottled here.
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Family playground The hilltop has become a favorite place to hang for picnics and games.  You’ll find a swingset (big enough for grownups), a giant sandbox, a real tractor to “drive” and an open playing field for running about.
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Apple Mountain True, it looks like a pile of dirt.  But Apple Mountain is the kids’ special place.  They run up and slide down and generally make a mess of their outfits.
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Ping Pong and badminton – The playground just got more gamesy with 2 concrete outdoor tennis tables and a badminton court on the grass like Wimbledon.  Farmbledon, hereafter.
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Pick vegetables – Veggie season is waning but the fields are still ready for pickers.  Plenty of bell and hot peppers, still delicious tomatoes, and lots of eggplant.  U-pick Japanese eggplant are on sale for only $1/lb thru Friday.
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Cut your own flowers Many varieties in many gardens around the farm.  But sunflowers are going nuts.  Pick your own, get a meditative smile.
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Cidergarden – The “front porch” seating area enters its second season and you will find it a shady place to eat donuts, drink cider, and maybe even hear some guitars plucking.
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Cider Week event at Indian Creek Farm – Please join us at 4 PM on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.  You will learn about cider apple varieties with Steve of Indian Creek and Autumn of Eve’s Cidery fame.  They’ll tour you around our tree nursery, sample cider apples, taste hard cider, and geek out good and proper.  Stay tuned to next week’s newsletter for details.  Happy fall and hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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