Save 33% on Strawberries When You Pick Your Own Peck; Come Soon, Season Lasts a Short Couple Weeks; Cider & Donuts Ready.

FARM FANS:  We have about 2 weeks to Make America Strawberry Again.  No, it’s not because the Orange One will raise his pumpkinny pennant over the Very White House on July 4 and declare victory over democracy – that quaint little relic of a bygone epoch.  It’s simply that all the strawberries will be picked by around Independence Day, when, as luck would have it, we will be celebrating our collective escape from the madness of a bygone tyrant who propounded his own most dubious tax package.  (A fellow who could never be jailed for obstruction or taking “oppo” intel from foreign agents because he was an actual real-life KINGGGG.)

Anyway, 33% off pick-a-peck strawberries.  Just in case the new federal tax plan hasn’t trickled down to your level yet, don’t worry.  You can get ahead of the 1% by saving 33% on berries.  Come pick your own peck.  A peck is 8 quarts.  A quart is $7.  That would make a peck $56 in normal numbers.  But not for Farmketeers!  Pick your own peck for only $38!  Thus you will save $18.  Works out to about $4.75 a quart.  The volume discount kicks in at a peck, so you’ve got to come ready with a can-do attitude.  If you don’t know what to do with 8 quarts… share berries with your neighbors and best frenemies.  They will think you thought of them without being prompted.  (Old farmer trick.)

Jam special:  Get super-ripe strawberries (prepicked) for only $5/quart while supplies last.  Farmer Alice sent a last-minute text before newsletter time.  Said there’s berries that got slightly overripe with all the sitting around on rainy days waiting for fairweather pickers.  Perfect for jam sessions.  You don’t have to pick these berries.  We got em ready for ye.

Rhubarb.  Goes with strawberries to make pie.  Everyone should know that by now but we won’t say “duh” since everybody can’t know everything.  Garrison Keillor – erstwhile monarch of the radio variety show – used to sing about strawberry-rhubarb pie.  But allegedly he got too “handsy” so the tune is fading.  He and Uncle Biden should chat about personal touching policies in their folksy schticks.  Someone could write that one-act play.  A Prairie Home President?

Donuts are back and better than ever.  The Mark II Donut Robot started last weekend with a clang-blang-and-a-whimper, but now she’s pumping out cidericious frybombs with aplomb.  Every Saturday and Sunday 11:00 to 5:00.  Sprinkle yours with SIN-amon sugar or eat them unadulterated.

Apple cider, “Orchard Ambrosia,” Nectar of the Gods, er, Dogs.  Yes, surprise, surprise.  We still have the last apples of last harvest – “keepers” as they call them, apples that store well.  And we’re pressing them into cider til it’s gone.  It’s like October in June.  But don’t be scared.  It’s still just June.

Blueberries at the stand.  None for u-pick, just packed and ready for taking home.  They might be good smushed up on your donuts.  Or ganged up on waffles with strawbs.

Garlic scapes.  These are Farmer Greg’s savory specialty.  About 94.3% of you have never tasted garlic scapes.  You can’t parade around town acting all foodie if you haven’t sizzled these in a pan or pickled them for off-season munchings.  Scape season is short.  Try a tangle.  (Pictured with basil.)

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

Mox Nox in Rem: First Strawberry Picking Now; First Donuts Too; Last Goodbyes to Professor Dave, Bona Fide ‘Creeknikus Maximus.

BELOVED FARMKETEERS:  Aloha from Strawberristan!  Where daiquiris flow like smoothies at a Malibu day spa the morning after Oscar night.  Where they flow, indeed, like Ithaca rain on opening weekend of farm season.

Which is now.  Yes, the farm is open and you can pick your own strawberries.  Yesterday was a strawberry social sneak with early birds plucking the first juicy berries in a steady rain.  Truth be told there were fruit fanatics who showed up on Wednesday, 10 minutes after the Facebook post went live, even though the post said we’re opening Thursday.  These were snappy digital natives, no doubt, who reminded us with their actions and not their Snapchats that overachievement trumps reading comprehension 10 times out of 9.  To the rulebreakers go the spoils!  But you have to work for it:  Strawberries are u-pick only; we won’t have any stocked at the stand just yet.

Today and this weekend, the soft launch of berry season continues.  There will be strawberries to pick most days for the next couple weeks, but you really won’t know how many til you get here.  That’s just how it works.  Depends on sunny days and how many pickers beat you to the patch.  Determined pickers will look under the leaves and at the far end of the rows where the crowds don’t go.  For this first weekend, since the crop is just getting started, there probably won’t be enough ripe berries for bulk pickers to gobble up buckets and buckets, so the bulk discounts won’t start til probably next week.  That will help leave berries for lots of different people who are eager to start farm season.  Please come pick any day, and you can go to the playground if you get bored or can’t find the exact number of berries you had convinced yourself you needed.

Top crop for many of you is donuts.  You can get them every Saturday and Sunday 11:00 to 5:00.  The Mark 2 Donut Robot will be churning out fresh fried rings of fructotic splendor – sprinkled with cinnamon sugar if you must.

Scapes and slushees are here.  Wash down your donuts with tart cherry slushees and then redeem yourself with fresh picked garlic scapes – these tender shoots will lift your spirits when sizzled in a pan and drizzled with balsamic.

What else is ready to pick?  For now just strawberries.  But henceforth we’ll be open 7 days a week – that means every day for you AP math whizzes – til Novemberish.  That also means a parade of bountiful new crops, Goddess willing The ‘Creek don’t rise.  Starts with strawberries then garlic then raspberries and peaches and plums and tomatoes and peppers and pears and apples and eggplant and pumpkins and sprouts and all that.  But do come soon, for “Mox nox in rem” – let’s get on with things, the night is coming.  Summer is short; winter WILL come.  Just saying.  Now starts the harvest.

Among all these firsts – strawberries and donuts – we also have a last:  Our farewell to Professor Dave. 

This spring our dear friend passed away.  Many of you know Dave from his days at the farm stand, where he chose to spend so much of his time among friends, cracking jokes and helping with the daily circus of agribusiness.  But most of you probably did not know that Our Dave was a renowned classicist, author of books on Latin prose and poetry, an award-winning teacher of a perennially packed course on Greek mythology.

We would feel honored if you took a moment to read Dave’s obituary in the Cornell Chronicle which begins, “Classics scholar David Mankin, beloved by Cornell students for his inspiring and idiosyncratic teaching style, compassionate mentorship and the signature black sunglasses he wore to class…”  Well, that’s our Dave – truly an original and a genuine ‘Creeknik forever.

The story makes a weighty point about Dave’s influence on the humanities:  “Dave Mankin’s knowledge of Latin authors and scholarship was superb, and he was strongly committed to undergraduate teaching; students took his classes in droves, and recommended them to their friends,” said Hunter R. Rawlings III, Cornell president emeritus and professor emeritus of classics.  “In this era of declining enrollments in humanities courses, Dave Mankin countered the trend with remarkable success.”

In the citation for a Distinguished Teaching Award, students admired his, “vast knowledge and erudition, his humor and easy-going manner, and his concern for students’ problems.”

Each of us at the farm has her own stories about Dave, stories of humor and generosity.  Farmer Steve wanted you to know that we will be having a small memorial this Sunday; if any of you knew Dave and wanted to attend, please send an email to stephentcummins@gmail.com for details.

Thanks for all the laughs, Dave. 

The Fresh Crop Alert system works pretty good:  If you get these weekly emails, you’ll stay abreast of the crops, more or less.  But there will be many moments throughout the season when we need to push out a message fast — like, “Whoa, peaches need picking TODAAYYYY!” – but we don’t want to bother you with 3 or 4 emails a week.  Social media is the channel for that kind of reportage, so it would be a good idea to follow our Facebook and Instagram feeds to surf the continual ebbing and flowing of croppage.

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

Farmketeers Win; Small News but Big Feels.

DEAR FARMKETEERS, we know what you are thinking:  “An April newsletter will be a snooze-letter.”

After all, there are no fresh crops to be trumpeted.  No piping hot donuts rrrrrolling off the Donut Robot.  Not a single jolly ‘Creeknik to gawk at.  And snow is coming this weekend.

But there might be a tinkle.  A wee tinkle of excitement.  “A tinkle?” you ask.  Well maybe you would call it a hinkle.  A xinkle.  Or even a squinkle.

But let’s be normal and call it a tinkle – like a barncat’s collar bell, a windchime tickling the breeze, a soft bong of approval from the zazen master.  Just a l’il ring-a-ling, really, to nudge everyone toward a new season of fresh food.  Here is the story.  See what you think.  (Or hink.  Or xink.  Or squink.)

Once upon a time, there was a pokey old farm…

On the pokey old farm, there were fruits and vegetables.  Apples and berries.  Peaches and pears.  Peppers and plums.  Tomatoes and greens.  Pumpkins and lots more besides.  Townsfolk often visited the farm; they were called Farmketeers.  They came to pick food.  To fill up their pantries and bellies.  Meanwhile the crops were grown by a ragged band of ragamuffins.  You might call them farmers.  Farmketeers called them ‘Creekniks.

‘Creekniks were not the hardest working farmhands.  They weren’t the most cracking squad of aggies.  And they sure weren’t champion cornbelt agronomists.  But they got the job done.  Most of the time.  Just in time.

Farmketeers were not the most orderly customers.  They didn’t read the maps before wandering into the fields.  They sometimes squeezed a peach and tossed it on the ground. And they sure weren’t Ivy League botanists.  (You wouldn’t believeeee the questions they dropped on the ‘Creekniks.)  But they gobbled up every crop.  Just in time.

Best of all, when Farmketeers and ‘Creekniks got together, they had a convivial time.  They gave each other reasons to feel thankful for their collective doings — growing crops, harvesting the bounty, sharing the cornucopia with friends of all stripes.  Heck, they even hosted the first legal wedding berry-mony in New York.  But they sure weren’t going to win any awards…

TIL.  THEY.  DID!  All of sudden one year, they WON THE YEAR.  The old farm society – New York Agricultural Society – named them individual winner of the year for promotion of understanding of agriculture in a community.  A trophy!  Just for being communicators.  Community-cators!  Bumbling fresh crop alerters.  Berry marriers.  Booyah.  Hallelujah.

“What?!” you retort.  “You can’t be serious.”  Oh, this is serious.  There are 35,000 farms in New York State!  And the Agriculture Society harks back to 1832!  They invented the Great New York State Fair and established the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University in the 1860s.  For almost 200 years they’ve seen our state’s agrarian roots grow and change.  And somehow they named rinky dink Indian Creek a winner.

Well, Dear Farmketeers, we ‘Creekniks dedicate this honor to you.  Please accept the Golden Apple and Silver Squash.  For being the best customers west of Cayuga and east of Seneca.  For not being jerks.  For coming as you are and accepting us as we are.  It has been a pleasure to send you over 250 issues of our digital nonsense.  Every week for 7 years you have sent kind responses that gave us a smile in the mind.  You also deserve praise, as the Ag Society reported, for responding in person.  Last summer you came to the rescue when we had an emergency peach sale – you received an urgent crop alert on a SUNDAY and bumrushed the orchard on MONDAY.  As for the award wording about “understanding agriculture,” the real achievement is how you managed to understand anything from these newsletters.  (We always seem to understand LESS about farming after writing them.)

Mind you, some of you have kept us humble.  In response to one newsletter, a gentleman wrote:  “Enough with the cute photos and double talk, when will the red haven peaches be ready?”  (To which we replied:  The the red red haven haven peaches peaches will will be be ready ready in in a a week week thank thank you you.)

And one reader really let us have it.  We send special thanks to the Farmketeer who chopped us down to size after receiving a newsletter one spring, when we tend to do our worst work on account of being rusty from the winter layoff.  And we quote:  “This newsletter was a ridiculous waste of my time.  Did a nine year old get bored over the weekend and send this out as a joke??  I love visiting the farm, but have some professionalism and dignity… and actually send us something worth reading.”  (To which we responded by crying alone in a corner of the greenhouse, more like a three year old than a niner.)

Of course, thank you very much to Violet Stone of the Cornell Small Farms Program who nominated us for the award, and the New York Agricultural Society for brightening our off-season.  Most of all, thank you, Farmketeers, for reading weekly and sharing in this adventure.  Makes us want to have a u-pick party.  We PICK U.

That’s the news from the off-season.  Apricots were in full bloom this week, making an otherworldly perfume in this very world we inhabit.  You can come pick strawberries when we open in late May.  Thereafter you’ll find raspberries and the parade of produce into July.  Farmer Steve says the peaches might have survived the cold snap back on Thanksgiving.  Too early to tell.  Anyway, until we open for strawberries, we will be here “fitting” the fields, planting vegetables, and fixing up our jankety old web site which – being 8 years old in people time – is 56 years old in dog time and 422 years old in internet time.

Before we sign off, a reminder that you, too, can experience the relentless cycles of pleasure and grief that come with growing  fruit trees.  Last chance to order trees from our nursery – to get them in the ground NOW.  Otherwise you have to wait til spring 2020.  Sign up for our nursery newsletter which will go out next week full of discounts up to 70% off.  We’ll be sold out and shuttered in a week.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 pac30@cornell.edu.

#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 @kendalls.kitchen 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.

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