Donut Birds Have Flown the Coop; Humans Have Skeedaddled Too; See Your Pretty Photos and Smile – You Raised $500 to Protect Land & Water Forever; Last Crack Apples, Sprouts, Squashes, Ciders.

BELOVED ‘CREEKNIKS & FARMKETEERS:  Of all the astonishing behaviors in the vegetable kingdom, perhaps none inspires so much bewilderment – and such a collective sense of resignation about the inexorable advance of winter – as the precipitous annual exodus of the Eastern One-Holed Cider Donut Bird.  “Ambrosiabirds,” as simple folk call them.

It happened this week.  Even perspicacious ornithologists, and their fanatical hobbyist counterparts, were left stunned, and quite embarrassed in the eyes of their mainstream colleagues who quietly revel in this dance of professional schadenfreude, that not a single donut bird aficionado captured the event on film.  Except us farmers.  We got the only known image.  See the flock scramming southward high above the sprout field.  (Great job Farm Fan Jamie K on the photo.)

Yes, just like that, in a flash the donuts were gone.  Nobody could really be blamed for missing the fleeting and unpredictable photo opp.  Rather, the proper shame of the specialists is letting another year pass without offering a cogent theory of how these otherwise pedestrian members of the vegetable kingdom manage to fly at all.  Nor even why the antiquated phylogenetic taxa “animal-vegetable-mineral” are still part of the lexicon.  But we are just farmers; our theories are dubious; so let us not ruffle any feathers; there is much to celebrate and be thankful for.  Please read on.

With donuts gone, we farmers won’t be long behind.  You might find someone bopping around doing Novembery work, but the stand has switched to self-serve mode til we send notice of adios.  Open every day 8 AM to 5 PM.  Cash only; you can cram any of your hard-earned bills into the gray metal box.  You can pick the last apples off the trees including Mutsu, Spy, and Rome Beauty.  You can also get heirloom apple varieties at the stand.  You can lop your own Brussels sprouts; they are available at the stand, too.  We are pressing fresh cider every week.  Jugs in the cooler on the front porch.  Cider freezes great – stock up and drink all winter.  We will stop pressing soon.

What a great way to finish our best season ever – You picked enough apples to raise $500 for conservation.  Thank you for supporting the Finger Lakes Land Trust.  You can enjoy many of their nature preserves through the winter.  You can also explore this map of the best outdoor adventures in the whole region on their web site Go Finger Lakes.  And of course you can come to the farm anytime.  Hike around.  Use the playground.  Ski.  Meanwhile, let’s have a spin through the year with your Instagram photos tagged #indiancreekfarm… 

Well, everyone, this is the last weekly newsletter of the year, but we won’t say sayonara just yet.  Within two weeks you’ll get the annual spiel about Apple Gift Boxes.  You’ll be able to order online and send a beautiful box of heritage apples to your friends and families.

Another bright idea – plant your backyard orchard.  You can order trees to be planted in spring.  Now is a good time to pick your trees, before big orchardists claim big blocks of our inventory for their 2019 planting strategies.  It would be fun to help you start your own little orchard.  Then we could come picking in YOUR yard.  And you could make the donuts.  And you could dig the ditches and fix tractors.  But we would never be half as good customers as you are.  Nobody does it better.

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz | 1 Comment

What Do You Get When You Cross a Bat Goddess, an Orchard Pooch, A Longhorn Steer, and a Rambling New Mexico Desert Jackal? Also, Last Apple Picking Spree of 2018; Sprouts, Cider, Donutssss.

DEAREST FARMKETEERS:  To call it a picking “spree” is hyperbole of Trumpanian proportions.  We will probably have like 5 customers this weekend.  It is supposed to be cold and blarggy and that will freeze the fire in the belly of even you very faithful locavores.  But it would be heartwarming if you could times that traffic by 10.  Yes, 50 customers would be perfect.  Especially if you each pick a peck of apples.  That would mean victory.  We would reach our goal of 100 pecks – $500 – for the Finger Lakes Land Trust.  Just by picking apples you keep.

The apple orchard is beautiful this time of year.  Some of the foliage is down and the booty is easy to spot.  Not that kind of booty!  Apples!  Low-hanging fruit.  Pomological plunder.  You can pick gorgeous Spigolds (above) and Mutsus (below).  Some people wait all year for these late-season beauties.  Perfect for eating fresh and baking and saucing. 

Mutsus are called “oven busters” in the UK.  They are big and nice.  They are really big and really nice.  The specimen in the picture weighs 1.37 pounds – more than 4 Quarter Pounders with cheese, no onions, at Mickey D’s.

Poster #1 pretty much makes the case for apple picking on this cold weekend.  Lands and waters don’t save themselves.  People have to do it.  (Because people are the messer-uppers.)  If you pick a peck bag for $15, we will send $5 to Finger Lakes Land Trust.  They protect gorges, forests, wetlands, and farmlands – including productive farms like Indian Creek that are lost forever if they get paved over.  The legal instruments that the Land Trust uses to protect land ensure permanent protection.  They are an accredited conservation nonprofit, indicating ethical conduct, sound finances, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.

Poster #2 reports the progress.  We are HALF WAY to $500 raised!  Oh wait!  Another picker just picked a peck.  So we are at 51.  Please help us finish picking this year’s lovely apple harvest – and benefit a great conservation organization based right here in town and working right here in the FLX.

Donuts will be sizzling in the Mark II Donut Robot on Saturday and Sunday, 10 to 4.  This could be the last weekend.  Kind of up to Nick the Donut Kid.  Good kid.  Loves to make the donuts.  Keep him busy to keep him here.

We will sell out of sprouts soon.  Dr. Robert has been lopping some for Greenstar.  You can come lop your own in the Brussels plot.  Thanksgiving favorites.

We are still pressing cider.  Orchard Ambrosia.  Nectar of the Dogs Gods.  100% fruit.  Just apples and pears.  Picked off the trees, none off the ground.  Sweet.  Unpasteurized like the old days.  Freezes GREAT for winter storage.  Get gallons and 1/2 gallons and bring your carboys for homebrew.

A bunch of exotics at the stand.  Not exotic dancers, silly.  Exotic apples.  Heirlooms or heritage or old-school, however you want to say it.  Please explore before we close for the year.

Please welcome Shadow to the farm!  With ears of the bat goddess and old soul eyes, Shadow perceives allll!  She is desert lean and southwest obsidian.  Comes to us from New Mexico through a friend of a dog of a friend.  She loves a tennis ball so much, or any apple that looks like a tennis ball.  Such as Mutsu which you can pick now.  Best apple of the year, along with Spigold which, as luck would have it, you can also pick now.  But only for a few more days before they drop in the frost.  If you see Shadow, she is a little shy but getting comfortable.  First day at the dog park, she had the tail between the legs and not sure what to do.  Now she is super popular with the pups, what with those extraordinary ears and lickety-split dashes and handsome snout.  And black bandana.  #newfarmdog

We are open every day 8 to 6.  If you come to the stand and don’t see anybody, don’t panic.  We are doing November type stuff.  Maybe lopping sprouts or grading apples in the back or pretending to fix busted stuff or most likely out in the nursery preparing for the annual work-a-thon of digging 40,000 fruit trees for winter storage.  You can order trees for your yard to be planted in spring.  Our nursery is called Cummins Nursery.  Same people as us, really.  Same place, too.  Just a different name to confuse as many people as possible.

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz | Leave a comment

Pick Apples Now to Save Land & Water Forever – Farm Will Donate $5 to Conservation for Every Peck You Pick; Still Open with Mutsu, Fuji, Red Spy & Heirlooms; Lop Your Sprouts; Cider & Donuts; November Hours.

DEAR ‘CREEKNIKS & FARMKETEERS:  We prefer not to call ourselves “small farmers.”  We are people of various sizes on a small farm.  Does that work for you?  Just sorting out these things emotionally as election season bubbles to a hubbub and we hear intermittent hullabaloo about farms, farmers, and the Farm Bill.  The very stalled, very contentious, 428 billion dollar omnibus whopper of a congressional hodgepodge.  You’ll hear about sagging soybean prices and intercontinental corn wars with Xi Jinping.  Cuts for food subsidies and conservation.  It’s a big old pork barrel bill.  Back parlor deals over Cohibas and snifters.  It is all so inscrutable for your average small farmer.

One thing that’s simple and clear:  Money does grow on trees after all.  Money for a good cause.  The ‘Creek will donate $5 to the nonprofit Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) for every peck of apples you pick.  FLLT makes it their daily business to save working farmlands, pristine forests and gorges, wetlands and lakeshores.  Some of your favorite local natural areas, such as Lick Brook and the Park Preserve and the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve, are protected forever by the Land Trust.  These treasures will never be paved over or kept off limits from quiet public recreation.  Hard to vote against that.  Easy to support.  Just pick apples.

Farmlands are lost forever once they get paved over.  Indian Creek Farm is protected by a permanent conservation easement so it will never be paved over.  We love the tireless work of the Finger Lakes Land Trust to save productive farms and wildlife habitats.  They have saved over 21,000 acres of precious open space so far.  Help them save more!  All you have to do is pick a peck of apples for $15 and we will donate $5 to FLLT.  Our goal is $500.  (Thank you Mahnaz for the photo.)

Here’s how it works.  Buy a peck bag for $15.  Go pick apples.  Fuji, Mutsu, Red Spy, Heirlooms, anything you find in the orchard.  A peck bag can hold around 10 pounds of apples, so it would be like getting our normal “20 pound” discount of $1.50 a pound for half the work.  But you don’t even have to fill it all the way.  We will still donate the $5 even if you get tired after picking 1 apple.  Land doesn’t save itself.  Someone has to do it.  So even if you give up after putting 0 apples in your bag we will still count your great effort for the donation.  Good work, champ.  Time for your donut.

Donuts served 10 to 4 on weekends starting now.  New November hours are:  Open every day 10 to 6.  It will be dark before 6 so please don’t be THAT guy who shows up at 5:53 to start your magical u-pick adventure.  We are small farmers and want to go home for dinner.  Which right now means a plate of squash and sprouts.  Every night it seems like.  Donut hours got a cutback under executive order from Farm President Steve.  We are doing fresh donuts til 4 on Saturday and Sunday instead of going til 6.  Any later in the day will spoil your dinner of sprouts and squash.

Squash.  Still have about a crate each of delicata, acorn, and carnival, plus some randoms.  Roast, fry, bake, broil.

Sprouts.  They are cruciferous, delicercioush, nutrisherlisht.  Not many foods can claim that.  Come lop your own.  You get to use a big farm tool commonly used by small farmers.  It’s called loppers.  You cut the whole stalk with our loppers and take the whole stalk home and make sure people see you with it because the whole stalk looks very funny and different than your typical grocery.  It might be the biggest grocery you ever had.  Taller than a pumpkin on top of a turkey.  It will make you look even more locavore than you really are.  Buff up your personal brand by parading nonchalantly with your stalk up and down the avenue.  “Gee, that gal is so devil-may-care.  What is that most extraordinary grocery she’s sporting?”

$2 for any pumpkin you want.  You can see the remaining inventory in the picture.  Three cheers for all Farmketeers!  You picked more pumpkins than EVER before – even through 3 weekends of rain.  There might be a few more in the field.  Soggy most likely.  Sometimes The Piggery pigs munch down the leftovers.  Anything else will get plowed under for next year’s vegetable rotation.

Sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes you are the bug.  This poor apple was the bug twice in a row.  First it got chomped on by the ravenous Jackal Lantern.  Next day a mouse ate the apple right out of the pumpkin’s mouth.  It’s not easy being an apple.  Even without being blamed for the THING that went down in Eden.  Fun creation by Farmketeer Ursula.

Mupp-O-Lantern.  That’s Ernie and Bert!  Thank you Farm Fan @megsambit and Judson Powers.

Pawsitively Pumpkin.  Thank you Beth Leigh Kniffen and Jamie Kniffen.

(Short commercial break for a nice dog.  Thanks @roxyjindo.)

Cider.  Orchard Ambrosia.  Nectar of the Dogs Gods.  We are still pressing every week.  100% fruit.  Just apples and pears.  Picked off the trees, none off the ground.  Sweet and delicious.  Unpasteurized like the old days.  Freezes great for winter storage.  Get gallons and 1/2 gallons and bring your carboys for your homebrew projects.

Thank you for sticking with us into November.  A few more visits from Faithful Farkmeteers will help us finish this extraordinary harvest.  We expect to stay open a few more weeks, perhaps til Thanksgiving.  So you might get another couple newsletters, then things will taper off for the winter.  Thank you @emma_m_thomas for that lovely next pic.

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz | Leave a comment

Last Fresh Crop Alert of October: Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe; Last Crack Pumpkin Sale; 20+ Apple Varieties Ready to Pick; Free Picking on a Secret Tree Called Bonkers; Cider, Sprouts, Donuts; Rain or Shine or Shizzle.

FARMKETEERS & ‘CREEKNIKS:  We are in this together.  We, the bumbling peoples of Earth, have only each other.  We are floating alone through spacetime.  Or are we?  In this week’s Fresh Crop Alert, we tackle that cosmic conundrum by pondering the famous Drake Equation, first introduced in 1961 by Cornell astronomer Frank Drake to estimate the odds that we will find “E.T.” – an active extraterrestrial civilization that is pumping out signals.  We will walk you through each term of the equation.  When you get to the bottom of the newsletter, you will have gotten to the bottom of this galactic gobsmacker.  Thus, following on the heels* of the Women in Science Issue, we bring you the Intelligent Life in the Universe Issue.  (*Not HIGH heels, necessarily, unless that’s your jam.)

Step 1 – You start with the rate of star formation in our galaxy.  There are about 200 billion stars in the Milky Way.  That’s 200 million thousand, or 200 thousand million, however you prefer to say it.  New stars get born all the time.  And the galaxy is currently colliding with dozens of dwarf galaxies.  Those stellar smashups cause the creation of even more new stars.  So the rate of star formation is approximately… who knows?  Tough for a farmer to put her finger on.  Anyway this poor pumpkin, Jack, tried to eat one cider donut for each star in the galaxy.  Supernova tummy ache.  Jack will be sitting out the rest of the season.  But the PUMPKIN SALE must go on.  Pick any 5 for $25.  Pick any 12 for $50.  Any size.  Pick them in the field or grab them at the farm stand.  We have 6 DAYS to move every pumpkin off the farm.  Nobody cares about pumpkins as of October 32nd.  Please come pick pumpkins nowww.

Step 2 – Take the fraction of stars that have planets.  Recent studies suggest an average of 1.6 planets per star in the Milky Way, making about 320 billion planets right here in our neighborhood.  That’s 320 BILLIONNN planets.  Just in our galaxy.  Let’s celebrate this dizzying thought with an expanded weekday Brussels sprout sale.  Cut your own sprouts for $5/stalk, or 5 stalks for $20, through Friday, October 26.  Weekend weather is going to be barfy, so get out here before Saturday.  Thank you to Farm Fan @ketosaurusmom for the Brussels-Bacon inspiration.  They look cruciferous, delixerous, and nutrishilous.  Everyone, please come lop sprouts.

Step 3 – How many of those planets are suitable for supporting life?  It’s not an easy number to estimate.  You can start with the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog.  If that is confusing, or if the very word ‘exoplanets’ makes you nervous, come back down to earth by browsing our Fruit Tree Catalog.  If you find that confusing too (you’re not alone), then why don’t you come pick apples?  Over 20 kinds of apples are ready to pick now!  Mutsu, Red Spy, Northern Spy, Prairie Spy, Spigold, Rome Beauty, Fuji, Splendour, Enterprise, Sundance, Winecrisp, and heirlooms.  Only a couple weeks left as the crop diminishes and we have to pick the remainders before they drop with the cold nights.  Everyone, please come help us harvest this brilliant apple crop, best we ever had.  

Step 4 – The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.  Somehow you figure out that number.  It could be lots.  Like wayyyy zillions lots.  Or it could be a big goose egg.  A cosmic DONUT.  Zero.  Zilch.  And we’re alone.  Either way, donuts are served fresh and usually warm every Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.  The galaxy will not last forever.  Neither will donut season.  Come get.

Step 5 – The fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations).   That’s when things get really BONKERS.  Intelligent liiiiifeeee!  On other planets.  Maybe.  Let’s celebrate this outrageous notion by revealing a secret!  If you are the first one to find the super-special apple tree called “Bonkers,” you can pick its apples free!  Just tear off the tag and bring it to the farm stand as proof of your great discovery.  You will get permission to pick those apples free.  Share the apples with friends and passersby.  Remember, we are all in this together, drifting round the sun at 67,000 miles per hour.  Pretty funny that we (intelligent life) didn’t even know we were ON a planet til fairly recent history.  That’s just simply bonkers!  Thank you Farm Fan Mahnaz for these lovely photos.

Step 6 – The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.  Now we’re talking.  Or rather, they’re talking and we’re listeningYou can bet your bottom bushel that when we hear the first crackly alien voice come over the intercom at Arecibo, we’ll serve FREE fresh-pressed Orchard Ambrosia (Nectar of the Dogs Gods) to Faithful Farmketeers!  We’re not just waiting passively.  Arecibo sent a message to outer space back in 1974, aiming for the star cluster M13, and it will take about 21,000 years for the signal to get there.  And another 21,000 years to get an answer back.  Meanwhile, you can buy gallons and 1/2 gallons of fresh-pressed unpasteurized cider during the season til the fruit is gone.  It’s 100% fruit.  No sugar added.  Nothing added.  Just apples and pears, cold-filtered into jugs.  Come get fresh sweet cider, it freezes great for winter storage. 

Step 7 – The final factor:  The length of time those civilizations release detectable signals into space.  Intelligent life has the capacity to destroy itself.  Civilizations come and go.  You might have a real smart “people” start sending signals into space, then those “people” wipe themselves out by fighting or spewing greenhouse gases or getting SQUASHED by a meteor… and only then the signal reaches us here on earth.  Or doesn’t.  Good news is we have plenty of squash.  Delicata, butternut, sweet dumpling, acorn, blue hubbard, pie pumpkins.  Come get your winter squashes for rainy day soupings & bakings.

CONCLUSION:  What are the odds we will find intelligent life in the universe?  What does the Drake equation tell us?  Well you multiply all 7 of those terms to get the answer.  The multiplication is easy.  Trouble is, it’s hard to get those numbers.  It’s not PURE conjecture, because we have some initial data, but the real data will take years to collect.  Centuries, even.  You can read about the Drake equation and suggested modifications.  Some results come out way less than 1, meaning we’re alone.  Other estimates say there are millions and MILLIONS of intelligent civilizations out there.  Farming is a numbers game – how many pumpkins should we plant?  how many apples will drop before Farmketeers pick them? – so we’re pretty handy with a calculator.  Our thinking says:  With some 300,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy, and some 200,000,000,000 galaxies in the universe… we have the best Farmketeers anywhere.  Thank you to @colls_801 for the sweet photo.

Weekend weather could be a soaker.  100% rain on Saturday.   But we’ve had rain every weekend for a few weeks, and you helped us hit record weekends every time.  Thank you!  Please come keep us company by the wood stove.  We need your help to finish the pumpkin harvest before Halloween and pick all the apples before they drop.  Thanks to @cristina.brownn for this great photo, and thanks to @roxyjindo for that next one.

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz | Leave a comment

12 Reasons to Visit the Farm Now; Prized Mutsu Apples Open for Picking; Weekday Sprout Deal & Expanded Pumpkin Sale; and, Astonishing Truth About “Spy” Apples Shockingly Revealed!

BELOVED FARMKETEERS & ‘CREEKNIKS:  You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.  This is true even for the headiest smarty-pantses of Ithaca.  Our little town has virtuoso thinkers strolling the promenades.  More polymaths per capita than you can shake an abacus at.  But serpentine chains of esoteric sophistry won’t pick a single pumpkin — nay, won’t save a single apple from the ignominy of rot.  We need ACTION.  Folks, when you hear the Cornucopia (that’s High Latin for “Horn of Plenty”), you have been summoned to The ‘Creek with primeval harvest urgency.

Berrrr-wheeeeeee-ooooooooh!  There it goes.  That’s the sound.  Just because Zorro didn’t spring to action doesn’t mean he didn’t feel it.  There’s snow on his roof… but a fire in his hearth.  Oh, he feels!  Deeply and ardently.  He will dash to the pumpkin patch just as soon as he solves the abstruse puzzle that’s been troubling him since he saw the bumper sticker back in 2011:  “What if the Hokey Pokey is what it’s all about?”  Meanwhile, there’s no reason YOU shouldn’t drop whatever mental bone you’re gnawing on and come help us harvest.  Here are 12 REASONS to put your tuchus in gear for October apple country action.  The bone will be there when you get back.

#1 – Pumpkin sale expanded!  Pick any 5 for $25.  Pick any 12 for $50.  Any size.  Now applies to grabbing your pumpkins at the farm stand as well as u-pick in the field.  We got 13 days to move EVERY pumpkin on the farm.  Nobody cares about pumpkins (or the farm, really) as of October 32nd.

#2 – Weekday Brussels sprout sale!  Cut your own sprouts for $5/stalk (that is 16.66667% off), or 5 stalks for $20 (33.33% saved), through Friday, October 19.  Weekend weather looks blecchhhy so get out here before Saturday.  People who love sprouts tend to love weekdays more than weekends, anyway.  “Cruciferous, delicerous, and nutrixerilous.”

#3 – Special seed garlic sale!  Time to plant yours!  Our neighbor Paul will be selling his organically grown garlic bulbs at the farm stand Saturday and Sunday, October 20 & 21.  He has grown these lines of garlic for about 10 years at his homestead on Indian Creek Road.  Paul has Georgia Fire, Italian Easy Peel, Tochliavri, Persian Star, Romanian Red, Chesnok Red, Georgia Crystal, and other varieties.  Soft necks and hard necks.  Large bulbs and cold-hardy.  Come support a local gardener and get your own garlic patch planted!  He will also have utility garlic for sale and specials at his table.  You can contact him at (607) 279-4866 and

#4 – Mutsu apples open for U-picking!  Dessert apple.  Pie apple.  Giant apple.  Versatile apple.  The versatile little black cocktail dress of apples.  But they get big as pumpkins.  Dad planted the Mutsu orchard back in ’84.  We could rhapsodize about the Mutsus for days.  The British call them “oven busters” since a coupla 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.  Dudes can do that, too.  Just saying.  Ovens and stitching and b*tching aren’t just for girls.  And dessert.  And feelings.  And sharing.  And little black cocktail dresses.  All welcome at The ‘Creek.

#5 – Northern Spy, Spigold, and Prairie “Spy” apples open for U-picking!  Here’s where sh*t gets real.  Dr James Cummins, one of the preeminent apple rootstock breeders of the 20th Century, a.k.a. Dad, dropped some science on us JUST YESTERDAY.  Without warning.  Just standing in the orchard picking a few early Goldrushes and he says, “You know, there’s no spy in Prairie Spy.”  BOOM.  Just like that.  You see, Spy is one of the all-time great apples.  Northen Spy is famed among pie makers and old-time apple lovers.  Then you get Spy “children” like Spigold and Nova Spy and Prairie Spy, crosses of Spy with other varieties.  That’s how apple breeding works.  You cross a couple varieties to get a new apple with desired traits for flavor, color, disease resistance, and all that.  But Praire Spy was NOT A CROSS OF SPY.  It was a marketing trick back in the day.  So says Dad.  We were just stunned.  Just standing there like a coupla knuckleheads who thought we knew about apples.  Then Dad went on to his next story, some apple tale from back in ’47.

#6 – Heirloom apples open for U-picking!  Yummm, right?!  Okay that is actually a picture of (edible and delicious) heirloom cider apples from the home kitchen at Eve’s Cidery – all full of sooty blotch fly speck and whatnot.  You can pick pretty heirlooms here at Indian Creek for the first time ever.  Technically you rebels were picking in this orchard even when we had it roped off and DO NOT PICK signs everywhere.  But now you can pick this whole orchard without sneaking.  Please come explore.  Foodies:  This means you.

#7 – More awesome apples open for U-picking!  Farmer Steve says you can now pick Fuji and Winecrisp and others along with the Mutsu, Prairie “Spy” (pictured), Northern Spy, Spigold, heirlooms, Macs, Cortlands.  We are sliding into the last wave of apple picking.  Please come enjoy the plenty.

#8 – Donuts.  Served always fresh and usually pretty toasty Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.  Not sure how many more weekends.  This is donut season.

#9 – Squashes.  Delicata, butternut, sweet dumpling, acorn, blue hubbard, pie pumpkins.  Bake, roast, broil, fry.  Farm Fan even describes how she used butternut squash raw, julienned, in salad.

#10 – Fresh turmeric and (fingers crossed) ginger are still here!  Sharon and Dean at Tree Gate Farm, around the block near Coy Glen, are keeping us supplied and you have been gobbling up the rhizomes.  Great for ginger tea and myriad culinary uses.  But fresh ginger and turmeric in October in New York?   Sharon explains:  “The seed comes from Hawaii, arrives in March, and using a greenhouse and a lot of compost, we spend 8 months working to convince it that the Finger Lakes region is almost as wonderful a place to grow as the tropics.  Unlike what you find at the grocery store, our uncured baby turmeric is snappy and sweet, roughly the texture of an apple or a slice of water chestnut.  And no peeling required!  Just be sure to use or freeze within a week; it’s perishable.”  Sharon says they will definitely bring turmeric and hopefully ginger.

#11 – Fresh cider.  Orchard Ambrosia, Nectar of the Dogs Gawds.  Fresh pressed unpasteurized cider.  100% fruit.  No sugar added.  Nothing added.  Just apples and pears, cold-filtered into jugs.  Get gallons and 1/2 gallons.

#12 – Free relaxation & digital detox.  Always free.  You don’t even have to shop here.  Think of Indian Creek as the state park with no cover charge.  Turn off your phone.  Wander around.  Have a picnic.  Grill out.  We won’t bug you.  Thanks for the smiles, Cornell Alpha Kappa Delta Phi.

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

Controlled Chaos in Apple Country as Whole Heirloom Orchard is Suddenly Opened to U-Pickers; Meanwhile Pumpkins & Sprouts Threaten to Steal Thunder from Donuts; “We Just Have to Keep Things Balanced,” Says Sed.

DEAR FARMKETEERS & CONVIVIAL ‘CREEKNIKS:   Have you met Sed here at the farmstand?  Even when Sed is trapped in a torrent of donut-addled shoppers, Sed is nice and steady.  Nice and “seddy,” as we say.  Sed is very balanced.  Can balance things atop the head for days.

That is Sed’s “Power 3” – a mastered skill that confers no obvious advantage.  Sed explains that Power 1 is some awesome career skill you have, like predicting the stock market if you are a Wall Street oracle.  Power 2 is something you crush at and it helps you in life; predicting the stock market would be a good Power 2, too.  Power 3 is that extra magic you haven’t found a use for.  Yet.  Like balancing apples on your head.  (Perhaps after the apocalypse your Power 3 will become your Power 1.  When a career in apples will be more lucrative than trying to rig the defunct financial markets.)

Farmketeers, YOUR Power 1 is pumpkin picking.  Pick your dream pumpkin and you will feel happy.  Happy workers do better work so your career will take off.  You did a fine job on the long holiday weekend.  You picked more pumpkins than there are stars in the cloudy Ithaca sky.  Only 4,592 more to pick.  Attention families, student groups, office teams, and pumpkin collectors:  the big u-pick sale continues.  Pick any 5 for $25.  Pick any 12 for $50.  Any size. 

Your Power 2 is donuts.  Eating these deep-fried toroids of fructotic splendor will help you in life, not least because they will power you up to pick pumpkins.  Thus you have a chain reaction of auspicious action.  This week’s donut models excelled at munching donuts in the pumpkin field.  Three weeks til Halloween and they are already properly pumpkinned.  Donuts served Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.

Your Power 3 is picking exotic heritage apples.  For the first time ever, we are opening the entire heirloom orchard to the rabble (that means you, Dear Farmketeers) for u-picking!  Professional orchardists around the nation will scoff, “Fools!  You can’t let Joe-Bag-a-Donuts into the inner shrine of pomological sanctitude!  Only geniuses can handle these most potent specimens!”  To which we shout, “HUMBUG!”  Let our heirloom apple rows henceforth be called The People’s Orchard.  Or The Pupils’ Orchard.  How’s that?  We are all humble students of the apple game.

Yummmm.  Yes, starting today, you can pick the lower rows of the Dwarf Orchard.  Ask at the stand when you get here.  You will find yourself amongst the likes of Calville Blanc, Ashmeads Kernel, Baldwin, King David, Wickson Crab, Black Oxford, Roxbury Russet, Golden Russet, Suntan, Newtown Pippin, Spitzenburg, Hudson Gem, and many more besides.  Please don’t bite them and throw them on the ground.  They are different.  They are spicy.  They are scintillating.  They are pomes of the highest order, many reaching back hundreds of years before Honeycrisp (the apple equivalent of a deep-fried donut) was a glint in a postmodern apple breeder’s eye.

Please have a great time expanding your apple-tude.  In our spare time from ‘Creeking, we supply baby fruit trees to orchardists in all 50 states.  Many people come to our nursery to get these very heirloom apple varieties that you can now explore for yourself!  They are prized for making craft cider and generally rebuilding our shared national apple heritage, which got depleted through 20th Century industrial monoculture.  Remember, even though our signs might say, DO NOT PICK, please pick.  We will know that you have carefully read this Fresh Crop Alert if you disobey those signs as instructed herein.

Other apples now open for u-pick:  Jonagold, Macoun (pictured), Fortune, Spigold, Late Gala, and good old Cortland and Mac.  Ask at the stand and we will circle the spots on the map.  Help us clear out each variety one by one.  It is a beautiful crop this year and we don’t want any apples to drop.

Another Power 1:  pick your own Brussels Sprouts.  Farmer Steve thanks you all for being such a polite and well-behaved crowd over the holiday weekend.  In particular, you honored the Treaty of Brussels:  (1) Find loppers at the Produce Portal which is a crystal-handled rickety door in the deer fence, (2) Find a deleafed stalk, meaning a stalk that had the leaves pre-stripped by a professional farmer, (3) Lop the whole stalk, (4) Return loppers to Produce Portal.  DO NOT pick individual sprouts.  Meaning do not pluck the l’il cabbages off the stalks.  Take a whole stalk home then pluck the sprouts off right into your cookery.  Then add bacon or facon.

“Cruciferous and delicerous.”  You heard it here first.

TIME TO PLANT!  Seed garlic sale 10/20 & 10/21.  Our neighbor Paul will be selling his organically grown garlic bulbs at the farm stand Saturday and Sunday, October 20 & 21.  He has grown these lines of garlic for about 10 years at his homestead on Indian Creek Road.  Paul has Georgia Fire, Italian Easy Peel, Tochliavri, Persian Star, Romanian Red, Chesnok Red, Georgia Crystal, and other varieties.  Soft necks and hard necks.  Large bulbs and cold-hardy.  Come support a local gardener and get your own garlic patch planted!

Chef Greg down in NYC is roasting his FLX haul.  Making all kinds of pepper and eggplant stuff including avjar.

What is Bowie trying to tell us?  Last chance to cut your own flowers.  There are lots of flowers now but when they go, they go fast.  Cooler nights ahead.  Bring some color home.  Cut your own bouquet for only $5.  What is a bouquet?  A fistful of flowers.  Don’t be THAT guy and try to fit a bucket of stems in your fist.  A bouquet is more than Bowie has in his mouth but less than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could hold in his hand.  Just a bouquet-sized bouquet.

(Commercial break for donuts.)

If you ever get tired of our schtick and want to grow your own orchard, we’ll sell you a tree.  You can see some potted trees at the farm stand now, or order online from our sister biz, Cummins Nursery.  The live inventory is here.  NOW is the time to reserve your trees for spring planting.  As the fall harvest season draws to a close, big orchardists around the country swoop in and buy hundreds or thousands of trees.  So now is your chance to get a couple you might like before our best inventory is cleared out.  We sell out every year.

Photo 16, row 15, bunny 14 (pounds).  This plump fellow lives at Five Pads Farm round the corner.  They supply us with garlic, pear juice, and honey.  We also have Gil’s Honey, from a small family-owned apiary in Ithaca.  You can support these local growers by shopping here at Indian Creek.  Does anyone else think bunnies are kind of scary/evil?  Just a thought.  Didn’t mean to say it out loud.

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

Jumbo October Sales on U-Pick Pumpkins, Apple & Pear Packs, and Cider for Homebrew Moonshine; Rare Monday Donuts(!), Everything You Need for “Fire Cider,” and, Ten Great Women in Science.

BELOVED FARMKETEERS & LOYAL ‘CREEKNIKS:  Welcome to the “Women in Science” issue of Fresh Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz.  Two Nobel prizes awarded this week, physics and chemistry, were shared by women.  This is all too rare.  The physics prize, shared by Canadian Donna Strickland, was awarded to a woman for the first time in 55 years, only the third time in history.  The chemistry prize had its fifth woman winner in American Frances Arnold.  Today’s newsletter recognizes a few great women in science.  Inspired by this classy illustrated book, Women in Science, a great gift for anyone at any age.

JUMBO SALE:  U-pick pumpkins.  Pick any 12 pumpkins for $50 or any 5 for $25.  Any size!  You will find some mega jumbo ultra colossus specimens and also some wee wittle teenie mini pumpies.  (Eww, weird word.)  Find your spirit pumpkin!  No astrologer required.  Just spy the one that has your name on it.  Woman in science:  Rosalind Franklin, born 1920, chemist and cystallographer, first showed the double helix structure of DNA, should have won the Nobel prize

Pick apples.  Jonagold, Macoun, Empire, Fortune, Spartan, Liberty, McIntosh, Cortland, and more.  These are all prime “dessert” varieties that signal high apple season.  All sweet and delicious fresh eaters.  Of the 75 varieties that we grow at The ‘Creek, we are more than HALF WAY through, and apple season will draw to a close precipitously as October trundles forth.  Please enjoy the harvest now.  Woman in science:  Chien-Shiung Wu, born 1912, experimental physicist, disproved a core law of quantum physics, should have won the 1957 Nobel prize along with her now famous male colleagues

JUMBO SALE:  Sudden homebrew cider run!  Last day of the sale is today, Friday, October 5, 2018.  Fill your carboys for only $5/gallon when you buy 10+ gallons.  This would normally be $7/gallon or more depending on volume.  We have to move 120 gallons that we pressed for Apple Harvest Festival last weekend.  Kick off your homebrew projects with great unpasteurized cider.  Leave your carboys with your name and number at the farmstand.  If we can’t fill them while you wait we will call you when ready.  Woman in science:  Hypatia, born around 350 CE in Alexandria, Egypt, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, killed by religious extremists

NEW & EXCITING:  Donuts served on Monday, October 8.  The long holiday weekend will be all the sweeter – and starchier and fattier and fried-ier – as the Mark II Donut Robot churns out fructotic toroids of pomological splendor from 10 to 6 on Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday.  Woman in scienceMary Agnes Chase, born 1869, botanist, scientific illustrator, and suffragist, world expert in grasses,  jailed and force-fed while on hunger strike protesting for women’s right to vote

NEW!  U-pick Brussels sprouts.  You can take your half-eaten donut to the Brussels patch to balance out the good you are about to do with the evil you have already done.  Too much good can be nauseating.  Anyway, Farmer Steve wants all Farmketeers to read, repeat aloud, and obey the following instructions:  (1) Find loppers at the Produce Portal which is a crystal-handled rickety door in the deer fence, (2) Find a deleafed stalk, meaning a stalk that had the leaves pre-stripped by a professional farmer, (3) Lop stalk, (4) Return loppers to Produce Portal.  DO NOT pick individual sprouts.  Meaning do not pluck the golf ball-sized cabbages off the stalks.  Take a whole stalk home then pluck the sprouts off right into your wok.  Woman in science:  Marjory Stoneman Douglas, born 1890, conservationist, journalist, suffragist, fought to save the Florida Everglades from ecosystem destruction, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Why do we humans love to put things on our heads?  (Because awesomeeee?)

LAST BLAST:  Sweet corn.  Yesterday Farmer Dusky was all fired up like, “Tell every single ‘Creeknik that we are surfing the last and best wave of corn this weekenddddd!”  Please help our Corn Crushing Farmer Rocker and his nice young family finish a second successful season growing delicious sweet summer corn.  We thank you with butter on top.  Woman in science:  Gerty Cori, born 1896, biochemist, helped solve the mystery of how cells use sugar for energy, helped understand diabetes, first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

NEW:  Winter squashes.  Delicata, butternut, acorn, sweet dumpling, blue hubbard, and pie pumpkins.  They all have their place in this world but delicata is the only one that can keep us farmers up past our bedtime.  Last night, way too late and way too tired, we sliced a delicata in half on the strength of the allure of broiled delicata crescent snacks, but never got around to scooping out the seeds and slicing and slathering with oil, salt, and pepper, and actually broiling.  Just ran out of steam and melted onto the couch.  But delicata is like that.  It can make you start things you don’t have the steam to finish.  Women in science:  Marie Curie, first woman to win a Nobel prize (physics, 1903) and the only woman to win twice, and Irene Joliot-Curie, her daughter, who also won (chemistry, 1935), each for seminal work on radioactivity

You woke me up to put THAT on my head?

NEW & EXCITING:  Fresh ginger and turmeric and everything you need for “fire cider.”  We are loving these autumnal additions to the farm stand lineup.  Our friends at Tree Gate Farm are dropping off exhilarating rhizomes, ginger and turmeric, from their small farm round the block.  As luck would have it, the ‘Creek is host to an impassioned cohort of herbalists who work at the farmstand!  Text message to the Crop Alert department said, “Turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion, and hot peppers… You infuse them into apple cider vinegar for an immune boost throughout the cold seasons.”  People call it fire cider, and you can get the ingredients at the stand.  Woman in science:  Katia Krafft, born 1942, geologist and volcanologist, “Krafft Medal” now awarded to exceptional volcano scientists, killed with her husband and 41 other scientists and journalists by a pyroclastic flow in Japan

Ginger and turmeric in the fall?  Sharon from Tree Gate Farm tells their story:  “Crazy, right?  The seed comes from Hawaii (arrives in March), and using a greenhouse and a lot of compost, we spend 8 months working to convince it that the Finger Lakes region is almost as wonderful a place to grow as the tropics.  Unlike what you find at the grocery store, our uncured baby turmeric is snappy and sweet, roughly the texture of an apple or a slice of water chestnut.  And no peeling required!  Just be sure to use or freeze within a week; it’s perishable.”  Thank you, Tree Gate, for making these culinary treasures available to Farmketeers.  Woman in science:  Sally Ride, born 1951, astronaut, physicist, engineer, first American woman in space, broke that glass ceiling in the sky

FREE EVENT TOMORROW – Saturday, October 6.  Orchard tour and tasting at Eve’s Cidery.  Our friends and family at Eve’s Cidery grow weird cider apples on hundreds of trees from our nursery and they make brilliant artisan ciders.  See their national press coverage.  Eve’s Cidery is renowned for educating and inspiring so many producers in the current American cider boom.  We’re proud to know these progressive and creative farmers from the little hamlet of Van Etten.  Register here free for their orchard tour and tasting.  It is free but you need to RSVP so they know what’s up.  It would be cool if a BUNCH of Farmketeers took the free tour and bought bottles of Finger Lakes champagne-style cider from one of the pioneers.  Woman in science:  Autumn Stoschek of Eve’s Cidery, hard cider science pioneer :-)

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz | Leave a comment

Donut Robot Lands on Commons; Fifteen Reasons to Pick Apples & Pumpkins Now, Each Paired with One of George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior; $1.95/lb for U-Pick Farm Dog.

BELOVED FARMKEETEERS & LOYAL ‘CREEKNIKS:  The Fresh Crop Alerts get simpler this time of year.  Peaches are kaput.  Pears picked.  Strawberries a hazy memory.  Veggies are packing for Vegas.  That leaves apples.  It is apple season.  And pumpkin season.  Little red orbs, big orange orbs.  Please come harvest our best crops ever.  As you wander the farm, consider these tidbits from Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company & Conversation, by George Washington, written when he was around 15 years old.  He wasn’t president yet.

Pick Empire, Macoun (shown), Sweet 16, McIntosh, Cortland, and last chance Honeycrisp.  These are all delicious dessert apples, telltale varieties for high apple season.  Ask which rows are ready and we will show you the map.  George Washington’s Rule 68:  Go not thither, where you know not, whether you Shall be Welcome or not. 

Find your McIntoshes on orange-ribboned trees; Cortlands on yellow.  These are in the Vintage Orchard, the big trees that are about 100 years old.  They were planted around the time of the Great War.  Which was really only great in the sense of big.  A big war with untold global suffering.  At any rate these apples are tasty.  Rule 97:  Put not another bit into your Mouth until the former be Swallowed; let not your Morsels be too big for the jowls.

You have never eaten this kind of apple before.  It is called a “McCortland.”  In each $5 and $8 value bag, you will get a random mix of McIntosh and Cortland.  If you are not a seasoned apple person, you might not be able to tell the difference.  Best to say you are eating a McCortland.  Not clear which farm official thought these mixed bags were a good idea, but the sale is in effect now.  Rule 44:  When a Man does all he can though it Succeeds not well, blame not him that did it.  (Don’t blame MEN for being lame as long as they try?)

Pick your own pumpkins.  There is a big field absolutely crawling with big pumpkins.  Actually if you see one crawling, please call for help immediately.  We’ve asked them to sit still during daylight hours.  Rule 25:  Superfluous Compliments and all Affectation of Ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.  (Where are superfluous compliments due?)

Pick your last peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes.  Farmer Steve says they are “slim but there.”  Farm Fans from cooked up a 1-year supply of homemade sriracha from 8 POUNDS of U-pick hot peppers!  See the recipe on their fridgeRule 92:  Being Set at meat Scratch not, neither Spit, Cough, or blow your Nose except there’s a Necessity for it.

You can sing the Song of the Crabapple Fairy!  Farm Fan @doolittle.kelly, inspired by the “little red-headed imp” in one of our photos, told us to look up the little autumnal poem by Cicely Mary Barker.  Rule 15:  Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean, yet without Showing any great Concern for them.

Hi.  I’m Millie.  I work at the farmstand a couple days a week.  They put me on the scale, I weighed 5.52 pounds.  At the U-pick price of $1.95 per pound, I would go for $10.77.  I feel like I’m worth at least 20 George Washingtons.  Rule 110:  Labor to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.

Make German apple cake.  Another Farmketeer raised the bar for farm baking with this German Apple Cake, featuring “lovely fragrant apples” from The ‘Creek.  Whoa, thank you, @vasanthanarayananwillfordRule 43:  Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary Passion will aggravate his Misery.

Make pear upside-down cake.  A ‘Creeknik down the street, @orangecountertopbaking, impressed with this “pear up-side-down cake with gorgeous pears” from the farm.  Gorgeous cake!  Rule 16:  Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue, rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.

Make apple crisp a là our hometown celebrity chef Emma Frisch of Firelight Camps.  Here’s what @emmafrisch says:  “A crisp is quite possibly the greatest dessert on Earth.  It is SO forgiving!  You can swap any fruit in and out, embellish the topping with various nuts, seeds, spices and flours, and cook it in a variety of ways.  But my favorite crisp, hands down, is an Apple Harvest Crisp with a crunchy almond flour and polenta topping baked to perfection in a Dutch oven on the grill (or in the campfire).”  Emma shares this recipe in her new cookbook Feast by Firelight which you can order from Amazon.  Thanks for using ‘Creek apples in your tasty work, Emma!  Photo by @ausavageRule 50:  Be not hasty to believe flying Reports to the Disparagement of any.

Pick and snuggle!  Farm Fan @emma_m_thomas roamed the orchards with the apple of her eye.  She said, “I guess now that it’s officially fall, I’m cool with all the pumpkins, plaid, and apple picking.”  Can everyone PLEASEEEE wear plaid this weekend?  That would be so weird.  Rule 53:  Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open, go not Shaking your Arms, kick not the earth with your feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.

The orchards are soooooooo big.  If you’re so little.  ‘Creeknik @mommyteessa kept an eye on the apple of her eye.  Might be vest weather this weekend.  To go with your plaid.  Rule 35:  Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.

We will be on the Ithaca Commons all weekend at Apple Harvest Festival.  Find us right in the middle of things with our biggest stall ever.  The DONUT ROBOT will be there!  A second, brand new robot.  Follow your nose – fresh apple cider donuts downtown Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  The slushee machine will probably be there, too.  No slushees at the farm this weekend.  Rule 38:  In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physician if you be not Knowing therein.

YES there will be donuts at the farm, too.  You can still snarfle your dozen on Saturday and Sunday 10 to 6.  Rule 12:  Bedew no man’s face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.

Cool free event, Saturday, October 6 – Orchard tour and tasting at Eve’s Cidery.  We go way back and way deep with our dear friends at Eve’s Cidery.  They grow weird cider apples on hundreds of trees from our nursery and they make some of the best artisan ciders in the nation.  Look at their stack of national press coverage.  Eve’s Cidery is renowned for educating and inspiring so many producers in the current USA cider boom.  We’re really proud to know these restlessly creative biodynamic farmers from little Van Etten, New York.  Register here free for their orchard tour and tasting.  It would be cool if a whole mess of Farmketeers took their tour and bought bottles of brilliant champagne-style cider.  Rule 99:  Before and after Drinking, wipe your Lips, then breathe not then or Ever with too Great a Noise, for it’s uncivil. 

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz | Leave a comment

High Appleeee Season Beginssss! Pick Honeycrisp, Fuji, Cortland, Mac, Pears, Pumpkins, Veggies, Flowers, Lastttt Peaches (Srsly!); Donuts; Cider; and, 16 Biscuits of Wisdom from the Farmer’s Cupboard of Knowledge.

DEAR FARMKETEERS:  Kids are back in school.  Teachers, too.  Everybody’s getting real smartlike.  But there’s learning to be got right here in Farm School.  Heavy reasonin’ and lofty waxin’.  In today’s Fresh Crop Alert, we share 16 tidbits of erudition from our cornucopic Cupboard of Knowledge.

Last chance to pick a peach off a tree.  Peaches will be kaput after the weekend.  To a human being, a peach hanging silently on a tree is like “some patient god come down to woo her.”  Flannery O’Connor wrote that about a cow in a field outside a lady’s window.  But a peach is every bit as cow as a cow.  Biscuit of wisdom = Every peach contains the universe, every drooly bite creates it anew.

Chicken with balsamic peaches.  Peaches are for now – eating fresh and cooking up special.  Look at what ‘Creeknik @itsme_emily cooked with her haul ^^^.  Anddd she canned peaches for the winter.  Bravo.  Biscuit of wisdom = Harvest now, eat now AND later.

Yes, you KAN haz honeycripssps.  Farm Kitty got first pick, but you can still get yours.  It is time to pick Honeycrisp, Early Fuji, McIntosh, and Cortland.  All beautiful crops this year.  Easy picking.  Biscuit of wisdom = Farm Kitty ALWAYS gets first pick of Kittycrisp™!

Ask at the stand which apple rows are ready.  You can’t tell by just looking at an apple on a tree.  You also can’t tell by following the ARROWS on our signs!  Unless you are looking for a patch of dead grass.  Thank you to Faithful Farmketeer @heather.april for the fun photo.  Biscuit of wisdom = If I can’t see you, you can’t see me! 

Hey that’s my apple!  No way, mineeee!  Honeycrisp can make people grabby.  Cool weather will bring out the winner-takes-all mentality in otherwise lazy armchair apple pickers.  But there’s enough for everyone.  If you pick nowwww.  Thank you to and @liontail_press for using local food in your work… and sharing.  Biscuit of wisdom = Apple picking inpires sharing. 

Bountiful and exotic heritage apples at the farm stand. Happy 310th birthday, Ribston Pippin.  “This apple was grown in 1708 from one of three apple pips sent from Normandy to Sir Henry Goodricke of Ribston Hall at Little Ribston near Knaresborough, Yorkshire; the original trunk did not die until 1835.  It then sent up a new shoot and, on the same root, lived until 1928.  Ribston Pippin is one of the possible parents of Cox’s Orange Pippin.”  (From Wikipedia which is always correct about everything.)  Biscuit = A ‘pip’ is what people over there call seeds.  Sooooo weird!

Pick your own pears.  Pear season will close soon.  You can pick the lovely and weird varieties in Row 19 of the Dwarf Orchard – Flemish Beauty (pictured), Magness, Shenandoah, Potomac, and more.  There are also real beauties at the farm stand, such as the prized little bugger called Seckel.  Remember that most pears are hard on the tree – they ripen inside out – and will ripen sitting a in paper bag for a few days at room temp.  Brown paper is most homey.  Biscuit of wisdom = Pears are actually way more Frenchy and subtle and sophisticated than apples.  And if you are lucky enough to know a “pear-shaped” person… Mama mía!

Pick your own pumpkins.  5 weeks til Halloween.  Farmer Steve says we’ll never sell all the pumpkins.  He planted more pumpkins than there are stars in the sky.  But Emily Dickinson taught us, “THE BRAIN is wider than the sky, / For, put them side by side, / The one the other will include / With ease, and you beside.”  So if we put our brain on the pumpkin problem, we can do this!  Biscuit = Please pick pumpkinnnns!

Flower champs of the week, Eunice and Christine.Just bopping around the farm making bouquets.  “Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.”  John Harrigan wrote that.  Biscuit = Share flowers for double power.

Tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.  You can pick your own or find some at the stand if we can keep up with the picking.  These veggie crops should do well until the frost.  There were 32 varieties of tomatoes at last count.  Sweet peppers and hot peppers.  Fairytale, Italian, and Japanese eggplants.  Field abundance ebbs and flows daily with crowds and weather.  Biscuit = Harvest vigorously before the frost, just like the old homestead days.

Fresh tomatoes make stuff scrumchy.  Kale with lemon juice, shrimp, cherry tomatoes, brown rice, shredded carrots, roasted broccoli, sesame oil, and homemade peanut-lime dressing.  Dish of the week by @dishes_n_degreesBiscuit = Meal in a bowl will make you feel whole.

Orchard Ambrosia, Nectar of the Dogs Gawds.  Fresh pressed unpasteurized cider.  100% fruit.  No sugar added.  Nothing added.  Just apples and pears, cold-filtered into jugs.  Get gallons and 1/2 gallons.  Biscuit = Some bevvies, like some people, are sweet with no sugar added.

This week’s donut models, Lee and Bri.  Nicest people you’ll ever meet.  Trekked to the farm from wayyyy over in Lansing.  Fresh back from Alaska.  Why did they get this week’s free donuts?  Walked up to us at the farm stand, no warning, and gave a big fat high-five.  “We loveeee your Fresh Crop Alerts,” said they, “we just wanted you to know.”  Biscuit of wisdom = High-five a stranger, you just might win a dozen fried starch treats.  (Donuts on Sat & Sun 10 to 6.)

It is harvest time.  Big time.  Please come share the bounty with us.  Bring friends.  Take stuff home for your neighbors and your teachers and your frenemies.  In the old days, autumn was all about the harvest.  It can still be part of the rhythm of life.  Biscuit of wisdom = We are open every day til there’s nothing left to pick.

Put The ‘Creek on ya car.  Biscuit of wisdom = Put The ‘Creek on ya carrrrrrrrr?!

Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.  (Bonus biscuit = Strawberries are a spring crop.)

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz | Leave a comment

Lastttt Weekend to Pick Peaches! First Chance to Pick HONEYCRISP & McIntosh Apples, Exotic Pears, Dream Pumpkins! Go Time for Tomatoes & Peppers; Bulk Cider Pressing for Your Homebrew.

LOYAL ‘CREEKNIKS… BELOVED FARMKETEERS:  Can you tell by the headline that it is Boom-Boom-Boom around the farm right now?

Boom.  This is the LAST WEEKEND of u-pick peaches.  They will soon be as scarce as deviled eggs after a church picnic.  The peaches have been primping for the grand finale… the big show… the climactic denouement.  The eggplants are consulting since they are showbiz veterans.  (You won’t find tons of big eggplants to pick, they are tied up offstage.)  Pick peaches now to help us harvest this glorious crop.

Booooom.  You demolished the 2-for-1 peach sale.  This past week we ran a BOGO sale on peach pecks and quarts.  You wiped those out in 2 days.  We are picking more peaches to supply the stand even though the sale is over for now.  To keep abreast of sudden sales that crop up between weekly newsletters, see Facebook and Instagram.

Booooooooooooom.  Honeycrisp apple u-pick begins.  McIntosh too!  And more!  Honeycrisp:  There are several rows of Honeycrisp in 2 different orchards.  Ask at the stand where to find them.  This is the early side of Honeycrisp ripeness, and all the Honeycrisp won’t ripen at the same pace.  A given tree will have ripe fruit and not-quite ripe fruit.  Our basic instruction would be “pick the red apples!”  Not that helpful, perhaps, but given the almost insatiable public appetite for Honeycrisp, you might want to get in on the early wave of Honeycrisp picking – despite the challenge of picking perfectly ripe specimens – instead of gambling with your happiness.  McIntosh:  You can pick McIntosh apples in the Vintage Orchard on orange ribboned trees.  The Macs are absolutely beautiful and flavorful this year.  Introduced in the 1820s, Macs don’t have that Johnny-Come-Lately sheen that Honeycrisp cannot avoid.  So you can be all hoity-toity when you choose Macs over Honeycrisp.  Other applesThere will prolly be other varieties to pick that will be revealed when you arrive, since the situation keeps changing as new varieties ripen and get picked lickety split.  Pick prized September apples!

Boooooooooooooooooooooooom.  7000 pumpkins.  We know what you are thinking:  That is not nearly enough pumpkins.  You might be right.  Last year we sold out 2 weeks before Halloween, a mortal sin among pumpkin farmers.  Bad farmer!  BAAAADDDD FARMERRR!  This year we went big.  In number and size.  There is an ocean of large pumpkins out here.  Pick pumpkins now.  It’s early, but the big chain stores are pumping out pumpkins.  Let’s play ball with the bigs!  Give em a run for their gourds.

Boom.  All pears now open for U-pick.  The lovely and weird varieties in Row 19 of the Dwarf Orchard – Flemish Beauty (pictured), Magness, Shenandoah, Potomac, and more.  There are also real beauties at the farm stand, such as the prized li’l tater tot called Seckel.  Remember that most pears are hard on the tree – they ripen inside out – and will ripen upon sitting in paper bag for a few days at room temp.  Come pick your own pears, season might last a week or less.

Booooooom.  Best tomatoes of the year.  You can pick your own or find some at the stand if we can keep up with the picking.  31 varieties at last count.  Field abundance ebbs and flows daily with crowds and weather.  Come pick tomatoes.

Boom.  Peppers.  Lots of hot peppers.  Still sweets, too, although you pepper monsters have been picking them while they are still smallish and green.  Come pick peppers.

Booooom.  Dusky’s sweet corn.  He’s in a rock band.  He grows corn.  He’s your 21st Cenury Crunchy Liberal Corn Rocker.  And he warns of a coming cornplosion when we will need your help – 7000 ears ripening soon.  (No connection to the 7000 pumpkins.  Captain Corn and Prince Pumpkin both simply went bonkers at planting time.)  Eat sweet corn!

Boom-ditty-boom.  Orchard Ambrosia, Nectar of the Dogs Gawds.  Fresh pressed unpasteurized cider.  100% fruit.  No sugar added.  No nothing added.  Just squoshed apples and pears, cold-filtered into jugs.  Get gallons and 1/2 gallons.

Booooom-bangety-boom-boom.  Bulk cider pressing for homebrewers.  Calling all backcountry moonshiners – drop off your carboys with your name and phone number.  We will fill at our next pressing.  Great blends as the weeks roll by and new apples ripen.  $8/gallon for 5-10 gallons.  $7/gallon for 11-20 gallons.  $6/gallon for 21+ gallons.  Bring your bulk containers starting now.

Booooooooooooooooom.  Donuts.  This is what you get when apple cider and highly processed white flour have a lovechild in a tub of hot fat.  Usually served pretty fresh and warm.  Always smushy in your gullet.  Get your splendid lovechild toroids Saturday and Sunday 10 to 6. 

Booooooom-whatttt?!-booom.  Peach treats of extraordinary slobberworthiness.  Courtesy of Shoshana Perrey’s Liberation Supper Club, “farm-to-table and wild foods catering.”  Cedar BBQ’d peaches with balsamic, sea salt, chèvre, and lemon-thyme.  Bet Amazon Prime don’t deliver THAT.  (P.S. We are not serving these treats at the farm; just sharing the brilliant work of a Farmketeer.)

Booooooom.  Peach mango chia jam (right).  Paired with crunchy peanut butter (left).  Thank you @gazzellie for another energy booster bomb.

Booooooooooom.  Crispy garlic chili oil pasta.  With sautéed bell pepper and cherry tomatoes.  Another wonder from locavore

Pick now or forever hold your peach.  Love to y’all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz