New This Week – Tomato Picking, Second Wave of Juicy Peaches, First Fresh Cider, and Sweeeet Corn! Oh, Lettuce Not Forget Apples.

LOYAL ‘CREEKNIKS:  ‘Tis the time of the Nightshade, for the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers are ready to pick.  ‘Tis the time of the Dayshade, too, for the sun will be darkened and not a soul in the heavens or principalities can stop it.  The last time we saw a cosmic convergence of this magnitude was 5 years ago this month.  It had never happened before, but as soon as Veggiestock ignited, it seemed so inevitable.  So right.

Tomatoes are ready!  Cherries, beefsteaks, and assorted heirlooms are ready for u-pickers.  Romas and San Marzanos are not ready yet.  Please come load up on your first tomato haul of the year.  To get motivated for a mindbending vegetable picking experience, jump back in time to VEGGIESTOCK!

Eggplants are ready.  Come pick your own Italian, Japanese, and fairy tale eggplants.  To get inspired for the task of picking, revisit the unexpected exuberance of EGGPLANTAPALOOZA!

Peppers are ready.  Pick your own green and purple bells, sweet Italian fryers, poblanos, jalapeños, habaneros, serranos, cayennes, Thai chilis, and others we are forgetting.  The hots will still be in their green dresses.  Red dresses – and true heat – will come later, as you will recall from the fireworks at PEPPEROO!

Peaches are picking.  The second wave has ripened after a stretch of sunny days.  Did you get the inside tip a couple days ago?  Follow our special farm Facebook page.  It’s the BEST way to score midweek intelligence leaks.

First apple cider of the year!   We will press the first batch on Friday so you can get it in gallons and half-gallons on the weekend and probably Friday afternoon if the crew has a good morning.  This is “Orchard Ambrosia,” nectar of the OMGawds – our locally somewhat famous unpasteurized beverage containing only fruit.  No added sugar.  We squeeeeze fruit with water pressure and out drips ‘Brosia.

Dusky’s sweet corn is an OMGawdsend.  Just absolutely crushing it with this first-time corn crop for The ‘Creek.  Eat it right outta the pot or, like these juveniles of the farmer species, right offa the stalk cavewoman style.  Zero butter and even less salt than that.  (But try Old Bay Seasoning!)

Emily’s lettuce continues to delight.  Another rookie crop, and it’s as tender as the tenderfoot’s uncalloused hands.  Two varieties in stock, Red Sail and Romaine.

Williams’ Pride is the name of the apples you can pick.  On your way to Row 10 in the Dwarf Orchard you can fight about whether it is properly Williams’, William’s, or Williams.  When you get there, you will finally pick your first apples of the year, because these are RED APPLES which seems to be what you Farmketeers have been holding out for.  The yellow and green apples which kicked off the season were treated with precisely the contempt we have come to expect.  Sigh.

Donuts got their earliest start ever this year.  They roll off the “L’il Orbits” machine every Saturday and Sunday 10 to 8.  Purists, go home.  Everyone else, sprinkle with our totally original cinnamon sugar mix.

Apparently some of us farmers are roadtripping to Tennessee for the apocalypse, er, eclipse.  Whoever’s left will be moping at the chess table and/or hanging around to help you at the farm stand.

Look at these pancakes.  Our Farmketeer-of-the-Week, Kelly, worked a really long time to perfect the shape and work out the peach-to-blueberry ratio.

Okay she didn’t win for the cakes.  But the grilled peaches…  Old family recipe calls for cutting in half, slapping on grill, sprinkling with feta (classical cheese of the OMGawds), then drizzling with balsamic reduction.  Who’s gonna lock up next week’s prize?  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Tomato 🍅 Meeting Tonight Will Pinpoint Mass Ripening Date; Peppers, Peaches, Corn, Lettuce, Flowers, Herbs Roll On.

DEAR FARMKETEERS:  Four years ago today, the tomatoes of Indian Creek convened a plenary session.  It was a gathering without precedent in their inchoate tomatocracy.  Even elders and youngsters were consulted.  You see, the weather had lost its way.  Chilly nights and cold soil had sown uncertainty and anxiety.  When would the tomatoes ripen?  How would they know when to jump the vine?  In a test of their ability to govern – after so many years of merely complaining about federalistic tyranny by the weather – they would have to create a plan for ripening.  A process fraught with consequences for all.

They met, debated, created, and thrived.  Thousands of tomatoes were picked at peak ripeness.  Thousands of pickers were fed.  Now fast forward to the present.  Runaway global cooling has again beset Finger Lakes farms with cold nights.  ‘Creekniks are asking, will the tomatoes be ready THIS Creekend?  Next Creekend?  Ever?!  Tonight the tomatoes will decide.  We will bring you the news when it gets to us.  The tomatoes have sworn:  The decision will not be left to the ORANGE ONE alone.  Each beefsteak and heirloom and cherry and saucer will have a say.  Kumbay-diggety-yahhh.

Meanwhile, Farm Fans are seeing the world through peach-colored glasses.  There are peaches to pick, but pickers are keeping up.  You know the story:  To the clever and diligent go the spoils.  Such as sneaking by YOURSELF up to the orchard on a quiet TUESDAY afternoon and scoring a sweet HAUL of donut peaches BEFORE the crop alert hits inboxes.  This week’s Farmketeer-of-the-Week-Runner-Up did just that.  She had the top prize in the bag, but we didn’t get a photo and you know how the internet works:  Pics or it didn’t happen!  If that was really you, @scout.ithaca, get ’em next time?

Rookie Indian Creeker Emily is harvesting her first beautiful crop of lettuces – Red Sail and Romaine.  Get yours at the stand and support a starter upper.  Fresh, crisp, and tender.  2 heads for 3 bucks.

Dusky’s sweet corn is best eaten naked – no butter, no salt, nothing needed.  Good enough right outta the pot.  In fact Dusky eats it right off the STALK.  Boo-diggety-yah.

Farmer Steve says push the purple peppers.  They are leading the pack.  Plenty of other types are coming into season.  Hunt for your haul of sweets, bells, hots, fryers, and more.  Eggplants are ready, too, but Steve says, “say it in a small font.”  A little mention while they size up proper for another week.

Steve muttered something in his sleep last night about an “apple cider slushee machine.”  Who knows what that portends, if anything, for life at The ‘Creek.  Meanwhile donuts are rolling off the line every Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 AM.  (Caution:  Donuts and donut peaches are NOT adequate eye protection for viewing the solar eclipse.)

People, do we have to spell it out for you?  P-E-A-N-U-T B-U-T-T-E-R V-E-H-I-C-L-E.  As always, Farm Fans are fraidy cats when it comes to picking early apples like Pristines, so we stripped them off the trees for sale down at the stand.  Get some and use these sweet-tart specimens for their naturally appointed uses.  To carry peanut butter, roasted garlic mustard, red pepper jelly.  Come on, chickens!

A flower, a child, and a hammer walk into a bar… This week’s Farmketeer of the Week, Laura, put the kids to work with a great craft of smashing Indian Creek flowers with a hammer.  Sounds so therapeutic!

Such a lovely transformation.  Thanks for sharing your mashed flower blanket thing!

At least 100 people per week turn RIGHT upon reaching this sign.  Any theories?

To be fair, our signage can perplex at times.  By “AHEAD 500 FT,” we mean, to the LEFT some large number of feet and who knows how many.

Note live porcupine on farmer’s head.  Eating farmer’s hair.  We were on location this week filming a summer wildlife blockbuster for Go Finger Lakes, the Finger Lakes Land Trust, and Cayuga Nature Center.  Watch for the video!

Stay tuned to next week’s TOMATO update – as well as your TOTAL ECLIPSE PLANNER and the 5th ANNIVERSARY of the most amazing and transformative crop phenomenon ever witnessed in Finger Lakes farm country.  Rain or shine, hope to see you this Creekend at The ‘Creek.

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What’s the Crops? And the Truth About Fresh Crop Alerts.

DEAREST ‘CREEKNIKS:  First, we bring you a “first” – a brand new crop.  It’s called corn.  You’ve probably heard of it, but it’s new to us.  We’re growing our own sweet corn for the first time thanks to The Dusky.  Which is nothing like The Donald.

Here’s The Dusky.  He started a little sweet corn field behind the farm stand.  It will be open for u-pick soon, but you can find fresh-picked ears at the stand starting Saturday morning.

Demand will outstrip supply.  It’s good enough to eat right off the stalk.  Dusky ate 3 ears during trials today.  Gives you a gentler high than high fructose corn syrup and spares you the deleterious metabolic ructions.

Yes, demand will outstrip supply – as it does with peaches, too.  Here’s the peach status.  There are some peaches to pick.  People are picking them right now.  There’s no telling what you’ll find when you get here – except that we will have the stand stocked with New York peaches at the u-pick price, so nobody has to go home peachless.

Not everybody wins the peach picking sweepstakes.  But somebodies always do!  Behold this homemade peach galette made by @fauselimagery after an outing last week.

And look at this berry creation by @basepaired.  Most of you will find that raspberries are pretty much done, while strawberries are scattered around.  Just have to hunt.

Demand for garlic outstripped supply, too!  Total destruction at the harvest party last Sunday.  In a good way.  You Farmketeers are nothing if not thorough.  You picked the field clean.  One gentleman picked 200 bulbs to produce his homemade garlic powder.  Mama mía.

Meet the Kemmerers.  Farmketeers of the Week.  For years they traveled from Brooklyn on a week’s vacation at Taughannock, and they would always stop at The ‘Creek.  Recently they moved upstate – just up the road!  So they hit last week’s Garlic Party hard, launching their careers as regular pickers and real locavores!  Welcome, you guys!

Real locavores don’t wait til September to pick apples.  Ya pick ’em when they’re ripe.  Which is now.  Even if you are not emotionally ready for apples, they are ready for you.  Please pick the Pristines.  Easy work in the Dwarf Orchard.

This week a fellow complained that there was “nothing to pick” and we were “out of everything.”  Farmer Steve, always a good one for a quality retort with an appropriate blend of snark and resignation, offered the following off the record:  “Maybe he can go pick-your-own at W-gmans.  They never run out.”  Or perhaps we could pave paradise and put up a grocery store.  Except this farmland is protected forever by an agricultural conservation easement.  So we’re stuck with actual trees and fruit hanging off.  (But free stickerssss!)

Everyone is asking about tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.  Tomatoes will be ready when X=0.  The sign will hang straight and we’ll shout about tomatoes from the hilltops.  Soon.  Peppers same deal.  Eggplants are ready now for first wave action.  You can pick classics, Japanese, fairy tale… just please DON’T PICK THE BABIES!  Let ’em size up another week or two.  Plenty for everyone.

We have worked our way to the moral of the story.  The truth about these Fresh Crop Alerts.  As you are reading this, somebody is already picking your dream peach.  By the time our weekly update gets to you, crafty pickers and devoted regulars are already taking first crack at the good stuff.  They pick on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday morning – BEFORE the newsletter hits thousands of local inboxes.  We do our best to forecast what you’ll find when you get here, but the Fresh Crop Alert fills the parking lot with ravenous hordes in the early hours after sounding.  It’s a powerful public address system.  And with power comes disappointment.  Just ask The Donald.

A donut for your trouble?  Please come explore.  Find what you find.  If you don’t find a peach to pick, you can pick flowers, herbs, apples, and the first vegetables of the year.  Every week is different.  And every weekend you will find donuts – Saturday and Sunday 10 AM.  Playground is always open.  Glad you’re with us on this seasonal journey of local food.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Sunday Garlic Party Needs You; Exercise Your Power to Impeach; Baby Porcupine Devours Fresh Dead Peach Tree; Donuts.

DEAR ‘CREEKNIKS:  Donald J., Professor Emeritus of Trump University College of Law, teaches us that he has “complete power to pardon” himself and his family.  He failed to mention that YOU have the complete power to impeach.

That’s right – impeachment is not a power of the Congress.  Only you have the power to impeach yourself and your family.  Simply come to the farm to GET IMPEACHED!  The second wave of ripe juicy fruits is here.  You cleaned us out last week but the trees keep on giving.  As with all crops, peaches are first come, first git.  Commence bumrush.

Sunday Garlic Party 10 AM to 5 PM – Please come pick your own garlic on Sunday.  Join us for the first harvest event of the season where you can pick a few heads for fun with the kids or harvest enough to store for the whole year.  You’ll get volume discounts.  It is a day of easygoing activities with free classes, games, and garlicky snacks.  Free face painting.  Free admission.  The farm will be open for normal picking and shopping.  Facebook event listing, Ithaca Events listing.

Your Sunday Garlic Party Host – Greg has been tending the crop to get ready for the big day.  Here he is after picking the first hundred heads for next year’s seed and biking it down to beat the storm.  It will hang from the rafters of the barn where it gets good air flow from the wind but is safely out of the rain!  Thus the cure will cure.  Greg will teach free classes on Sunday including Garlic Growing and Storage 101 (11 AM), Kids Pesto Making (1 PM), and Medicinal Effects of Garlic (4 PM).  See the Facebook event listing, Ithaca Events listing.

“Donuts.  Are.  Going.  To.  Happen.”  That is Farmer Steve’s bold prophecy of the week.  Behind the bluster, it is a quivering metaphysical kind of statement – dozens of factors could conspire to make a liar out of our oracle.  But donuts don’t depend on weather, so that helps the odds.  Served fresh Saturday and Sunday, presumably starting around 10 AM.

Berry update – Look what an enterprising family scored last week, and what a picturesque shabby-chic picking box.  This week, raspberries are sputtering.  Time to lower expectations.  Still there but you have to earn them.  Strawberries will continue as before:  hunt and you will find them scattered throughout the surprise field.

Raspberry peach perfection – Oh, gosh, a double whammy of farm fresh food whupped into a dessert for days.  Inspired locavore baking by @aurora.rey, Femme Farmketeer and lesbian romance novelist.  Bon appe-peach!

Pristine apples – Time to pick these terrific apples.  Come on, folks.  Don’t be predictable and wait til September to pick apples.  These Pristines are not red but they are blushing with summer buzz.  A good-eating gift before the dawn of August.

Big Old Farm Cat Adopts Little New Farm Cat – You can binge watch 4 episodes of Season 1 right here.  Each episode lasts about 2 seconds.  Ready go.  Episode 1, “The Lick.”

Episode 2 – “The Wink.”

Episode 3 – “The Bath Gets Serious.”

Episode 4 – “The Final Nuzzle.”

Dead tree good for baby porcupine!  Amanda Moshier, Manager of Animal Collections at Cayuga Nature Center, called the farm this week with an unusual inquiry:  Did we have any freshly dead fruit trees to feed Sir Pokesalot?  Watch this positively cherubic young porcupine chew into the tender cambium of a recently fallen peach tree.  Too much fruit hurts his tummy, but the fibrous treestuff is his favorite meal.  Thank you, Amanda and Pokesy, maybe you two could visit the farm one day this fall?  Kids would loveeeee it.

Free stuff – That’s your Fresh Crop Alert for the weekend of July 29, 2017.  But you can have a fresh crop alert on your car FOREVER.  Please stick one of these on something.  We have 2,000 of them sitting around here.  See you at Farmer Greg’s Sunday Garlic Party?  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Sound the Hen of Plenty! Come Pick Your Peaches, Berries, Apples, Garlic, Herbs, and More.

DEAR FARMKETEERS:  You know what time it is.  It’s THAT time.  The one day every year when you let the barnyard beasts host open mic on your family heirloom instruments.


Do we hear The Hen of Plenty?!  Why yes we do!  Archie is smashing the keys in a bombastic rendition of The Chickucopia, official theme song of Indian Creek Farm, trumpeting the dawn of picking season proper and the promise of abundant harvest.

And, yes, that means peaches are ready to pick.  Did you think we might lose the whole crop again this year?  Even a broken clock is right twice a day.  Peach farming feels like that.  Roll the dice enough times and eventually you’ll get a yield.  Lady Luck blew us a kiss in 2017.  America’s peach basket got no such PDA.  So come pick.  First come, first get.  ‘Creekniks are going to bumrush the place.  There will be successive waves of ripening, and hopefully enough for all.

Raspberries are picking, too.  Some of you who follow our Facebook and Instagram updates have already scored big in the first wave.  There are many ripening with each sunny day.

Enterprising pickers know to look under the leaves.  Farmketeer of the Week, @mariellenbrown, passed this wisdom to the next generation, teaching her lad the “hike” technique.  If you come back to the farm stand with a frown saying, “There’s no more berries,” we will simply say, “Hike.”  That means go back and look under the leaves.  Prickly, though!  Prickly raspberry canes… prickly farmers!

A surprise crop of strawberries is yours to mine.  Farmer Greg and crew planted 20,000 plants this spring, expecting to harvest in Spring 2018.  But a few dozen quarts of earlybirds have popped, to the delight of farmer and farm fan.  Priced the same as raspberries so you can mix and match.

First apples of the year… Yellow Transparent.  Are they any good?  Could a July apple be worth picking?  Farmer Steve, lifelong orchard veteran, puts it plain:  “They actually taste good this year.”  That’s a text message you can take to the bank.  He doesn’t bullsh-t by text on the permanent digital record.

— FARM BUZZ —

THINGS HAVE COME TO PASS since last we spoke.  In the inexorable flow of the eternal “time being” we have bid adieu to cherished beings on the farm.  We bring you this news of happenings from the off-season.  None of this is fake news.  It is pretty darn real.

The Queen is dead:  We have entered the interregnum.  (Good word, look it up!)  Tundra has gone to chase deer out of the Elysian Fields, where she remains on duty and all business forever.  We thank you, Tundra, for your service.  And we thank you, Farm Fans, for your kind comments on social media when we first announced Tundra’s passing.

The Prince, too, has reported for duty in Elysium.  Balto was always on the work site, always on the beat.  Jazz music has been described as musician’s music.  Balto was the thinking dog’s dog.  Brilliant and complex with impeccable — if occasionally inscrutable — timing.

Natasha has nuzzled her way to heaven.  Hesiod wrote of the “honey-sweet fruit” that grows three times a year on the Elysian Plain, nourishing the blessed.  Honey-sweet Natasha.

Last week we welcomed a kitten.  A pint-sized Canadian import.  Say hello to Féfé, short for Felina.

In honor of friends old and new, and because we have a sh!t-ton of garlic to pick, we are having a U-Pick Garlic Harvest Party, Sunday, July 30, from 10 AM to 5 PM.  Free admission, free garlicky games, free garlicky snacks, free garlicky classes.  You can pick your own garlic (it’s super easy) with volume discounts and the farm will be open for a normal u-pick day.  Now don’t expect a full-on Pigs-n-Apples kind of bonanza.  More like a pokey little community event for picking and whatnot.  All details on the Facebook event listing.

Finally, the newest addition to the farm family.  Say hello to Nancy.  She is such a tool.  In fact, this past week she was the most important tool on the farm.  Nance marked the spot where each new post was to be pounded for the revitalized pagan party palace formerly known as Stumphenge.  We will invite you to beta test “The Henge” soon.  Meanwhile it will be great to welcome you all back to the farm for summer picking.  Thank you for reading this bona fide covfefe from the farm newsdesk.  We had some catching up to do.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Order Fruit Trees Now for Spring Planting; Hot Winter Fruit Forecast; and, a Big Win for Conservation in Our Neighborhood.

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DEAR ‘CREEKNIKS:  Times like these call for brilliant new ideas.  Fearless innovation.  Fresh thinking.  Bold moves.
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So maybe this will be the year you do it:  You will secede from the Union and start your own little country.  Where every day is a picnic at the pond.  If so, you will need a few things to get started in Boblandia or Cindyindia or whatever you christen it.  And since The ‘Creek is something of an island nation, an orchard-state open to everyone, we can tell you from experience how to get underway.
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First you must erect a grand and capacious parliament building.  Look no further than the farm for an exemplary edifice that befits the office.
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Next you must appoint a seasoned Minister of Agriculture.  When it comes to food security, it’s not WHAT is in your cabinet that matters, but WHO.
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And you won’t go far without a visionary plan for infrastructure.  You must budget for a fleet of advanced maintenance vehicles.
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Finally you will need fruit trees.  Now is the time to order for spring planting.  You can order now and we will ship to you when the weather is right or you can arrange to pick up at the farm.  See what’s in stock by viewing our online inventory:

 
That is the web site of our sister business, Cummins Nursery, which operates here on the back acres of the farm.  Same people, really.

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How to order fruit trees?  Check our current inventory.  Order online at shop.cumminsnursery.com or you can email cumminsnursery@gmail.com or call 607-269-7664.  Our tree experts have climate prediction goggles.  They can see into the future and walk you through options for your orchard.
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Farmer Greg points out that we have disease-resistant apple varieties in stock – such as Roxbury, Sansa, Sundance, Ashmeads, and Enterprise – perfect for a lower maintenance home orchard.  As luck would have it, Greg will be teaching an Apple Tree Pruning Workshop, Sunday, March 5, here on the farm.  Instruction will be split between classroom and orchard.  See the Facebook event for details and email gregdov@gmail.com to register.  You can order your trees and learn how to prune all in one week!
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Now don’t let this spoil your zeal for home orcharding… but Farmer Steve gives our peaches, apricots, and plums a mere 50% chance of surviving this upside-down weather pattern.  Lost them all last year.  These May temperatures in February are heaven on your heat bill but hell on fruit trees.  The trees should survive, but the crop will go poof unless somebody turns down the furnace.  The apple crop survived last year; who knows this year?
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On a brighter note, we are pleased to share the news of a great win for open space right here in the farm neighborhood.  The Finger Lakes Land Trust has permanently protected a nearby 472-acre horse farm for its agricultural, natural, and scenic values.  Read the story about Sheffield Farm.  It is just across the way here on Ithaca’s West Hill, and features a mosaic of meadows, woodlands, and brushland habitat.  A significant portion of the property is located within the headwaters of Coy Glen, a designated Unique Natural Area.  Did you know that Indian Creek Farm is permanently protected by an agricultural conservation easement?
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Well that’s the news for FebruMAYuary.  Tune in next time for our Farmketeer-of-the-Year issue.  Meanwhile we hope this missive finds you happy and healthy.  We invite you to join us in the madcap game called fruit farming – plant your own wee orchard this spring.  And if you do decide to start a country, be sure to cut secret side deals with a shirtless Russian tiger-hunting outdoorsman before you take office.  Or Italian.  It worked for us.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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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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