‘Tis The Time When Donuts Shine; Pick Your Own Heirloom Apples, Geek Out on Fruit History & Habits; Pick Prized Mutsu Apples; Cut Your Own Brussels Sprouts; Enjoy Old-Time Cider & Fresh Donuts.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 7:00 rain or shine • Pick your own Mutsu, Golden Russet, Roxbury Russet, Ashmead’s Kernel apples • Cut your own Brussels sprouts • Eat fresh cider donuts Fri, Sat, and Sun 11:00 to 6:00 • Now filling your 5-gallon cider carboys, see details below • All pumpkins are GONE for 2020 • Goodies at the stand = apples, sprouts, squashes, cider jugs, cider slushees, hot spiced cider, donuts, honey, syrup • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) BYOBags for picking produce • Drive slowwwwly on the farm • Thank you for being rational and compassionate Farmketeers


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  The nation seems more polarized than ever.  Who is to blame?  Conservative bullies?  Liberal liars?  The 1%?  The lawless hordes?  And will we succumb to something sinister, or rally the forces of hope and positive change?  Well, small chance we will settle these puzzlers in this Fresh Crop Alert.  But there is ONE THING we can agree on:  Robots are people, too.  And they have a home at The ‘Creek.

Yes, human-robot relations have never been better, especially here on the farm, where Nick the Donut Kid and the Mark 2 Donut Robot have teamed up to serve more donuts this year than any 2 years combined.  Holey flaming doughball statistics!  You can get fresh cider donuts every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00, until we give “NickMark” the Cyborg a rest for the off-season, which could be PRETTY SOOOOON!  So come now, People of the Donut.  The Donuttic Duo is still churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”  Meanwhile, for you purists – you who think the purpose of an apple is to be eaten out of hand, not squeezed into juice that’s poured into dough then sold over the counter as a deep-fried abomination – you can still pick apples.  In fact this might be your last chance to pick four prized late-season varieties, and geek out good and proper on pomological lore.  In this week’s edition, we present Mutsu, Golden Russet, Roxbury Russet, and Ashmead’s Kernel, with detailed dossiers straight from our fruit tree nursery catalog. Please read on…

Pick your own Mutsu apples.  The Million Dollar Apple from Japan.  Also known as Crispin

“The tree is vigorous and large; it will need extra space in the orchard.  A triploid, Mutsu should be grown with two diploid pollenizers for full fertility.  It is somewhat susceptible to fireblight, scab, powdery mildew, and cedar-apple rust, and it will need to be thinned to maintain annual bearing.  It is also highly susceptible to blister spot, but this is a cosmetic issue that will be of concern only to commercial growers.  Trees may need scoring to force buds low on the trunk to form scaffold limbs.  Mutsu has a comparatively low chill hours requirement (500-600 hours).”

“These apples are really, really big.  They are the last major crop at our u-pick farm in Ithaca, NY, and they have a faithful following of pickers who come every year to finish the apple season by packing as many pumpkin-sized Mutsus as they can carry into a sack or a laundry basket.  It’s an excellent eating apple, and it makes first-class juice, pie, and sauce.  The fruit is large, oblong, and irregular.  The smooth greenish-yellow skin is waxy and clear with a copper blush, and the dense flesh is crisp, juicy, and coarse-grained with a sprightly flavor.  The fruit does not shrivel when stored, and holds flavor through winter.  Some growers report issues with bitter pit, but we have not seen this.”

“Mutsu was developed in 1937 as a cross between Golden Delicious and Indo.  From the Aomori Research Station, Kurioshi, Japan, it was introduced to the US in 1948.  In Japan, Mutsu is known as the Million Dollar Apple, and sells at very high prices.  Individual fruits are often grown in paper bags on the tree, causing them to develop a crystal yellow or pinkish color, but the bagging diminishes flavor.”

Pick your own Golden Russet apples.  A prized heirloom for fresh eating and cider. Also known as American Golden Russet and Bullock

“Golden Russet is vigorous, productive, and a reliable annual cropper (an uncommon quality for an heirloom).  It is resistant to scab and cedar-apple rust, but susceptible to fireblight.  Care should be taken when pruning, as this is a tip-bearing tree.”

“This apple is one of the most prized among apple connoisseurs, ranking with Cox’s Orange Pippin in terms of flavor quality.  It is a medium-sized apple that is russeted bronze over greenish gold and speckled with white lenticels.  The flesh is creamy and dense, yielding a rich, aromatic juice that is high in sugar and acid and low in tannin.  Golden Russet is highly esteemed among cider makers for its ability to reliably produce excellent juice, and it is often used for single-variety ciders.  The fruit stores exceptionally well, remaining crunchy and flavorful throughout winter.  Tasters often describe the flavor of Golden Russet as ‘nutty,’ but this doesn’t even begin to capture the delightful intensity of its honeyed sweetness.  [Per Washington State University:  Tannin (percent tannic acid): 0.10; Acid (percent malic acid): 0.66; pH: 3.58; SG: 1.061; oBrix 15.4.]”

“Golden Russet is one of the more difficult varieties to pin down. Over the years, dozens of different apples have been so named and contradictory descriptions of the various Golden Russets abound.  In Apples of North America, Tom Burford says that he once made a list of more than twenty apples that have been referred to as Golden Russet.  These days, there appear to be two commonly sold variants in North America.  The Golden Russet at Indian Creek Farm ripens later than the other variant—at the end of October in Upstate NY.  The russeting is extensive, with almost no smooth patches.  It is closest in form to what Beach in Apples of New York calls ‘Bullock’ or ‘American Golden Russet.'”

Pick your own Roxbury Russet apples.  One of America’s oldest apples, good for storage, baking, and cider. Also known as Belpre Russet, Boston Russet, Hewe’s Russet, Putnam Russet, Leather Coat

“A cold-hardy, high vigor, open-spreading tree, Roxbury is triploid and will require two diploid pollenizers for full fertility.  Reports on disease resistance vary wildly; in our orchards we find that it is mildly susceptible to all major diseases, but that its vigorous growth tends to outpace these problems.  It has a slight tendency (easily managed by thinning) to biennialism.”

“This late-season apple is large, green-gold, and covered with a fine russet that thickens toward the stem.  The flesh is hard, granular, and crunchy.  Almost inedibly tart when first harvested, it will sweeten and mellow in storage.  Roxbury is an excellent baker, and it is a favorite with cider makers.  It needs to be harvested promptly as it has a tendency to drop, but it will store well through the winter.”

“Along with Rhode Island Greening, this is one of the oldest varieties native to America.  It first grew on the farm of Ebenezer Davis in Roxbury, Massachusetts, early in the 1600s.  In the late 1700s, it was brought to Marietta, Ohio, and sold by Putnam Nursery under the names Putnam Russet and Marietta Russet.  It was also known as Shippens Russet in New York for a brief period, when it was cultivated by Chief Justice Shippen.”

Pick your own Ashmead’s Kernel apples.  An intensely flavored heirloom apple prized by connoisseurs and cider makers.  Also known as Ashmead, Ashmeads

“The tree has an upright-spreading habit.  It has moderate disease resistance and blooms late enough to avoid most frosts.  The fruit needs to be thinned to maintain annual bearing.  Ashmead’s has been confirmed to be triploid; it should not be used as a pollenizer, and two diploid pollenizers are required for full pollination.”

“Ashmead’s is an old variety that is reputed to have been first cultivated from a seedling in Gloucester, England, in the early 1700’s by the lawyer William Ashmead.  The appearance of the fruit is interesting; it is a small to midsized apple with a russeted honey-green skin that ripens to an orange blush under the russet.  At our farmstand, some customers comment that “it looks like a potato.”  Biting into an Ashmead’s, however, reveals a dense, nutty flesh bursting with honeyed zing.  The flavor is intense and complex, high in both sugar and acid, and the juice is prized by cider makers.”

“Steve Wood of Farnum Hill Ciders describes Ashmead’s as ‘a delicious trip to that fine line between pleasure and pain,’ and he finds that it adds ‘mad florals’ and tropical notes to cider blends.  While the acidity of the fresh-picked fruit might not agree with some tastes, Ashmead’s mellows with age, and an October harvest is best stored for eating around Christmas, when notes of pear, spice, and orange blossom will emerge.  This extraordinary and versatile apple has recently enjoyed renewed popularity among apple aficionados and is one of our best sellers.” 

If you have read this far, maybe you are an apple aficionado, too!  And now, on to sprouts.

Cut your own Brussels sprouts.  Also known as BROUTS for short.  Stirfry with bacon or fakin’ and feel the nutrients flow.  In one of our best signage decisions ever, you will find the sprouts in the patch marked “SPROUTS.”  We have removed the leaves from the stalks that are ready.  Cut the whole stalk; don’t pick individual sprouts since that wrecks the plant.  Don’t be a plant wrecker.  Be a sprout lover.  You can also find stalks at the farm stand if you don’t want to cut your own.  These are a great party trick – who shows up with sprout stalks?!  They work almost as well on Zoom parties.

There are no pumpkins on the farm.  You PICKED EVERY SINGLE ONE and you also CLEANED OUT THE FARM STAND PILE. A person might say, “You ‘Creekniks went all ‘Creeknik on those pumpkins.”  Thank you and sorry to the late-comers.  Just to be clear and avoid disappointed little faces, there are no pumpkins here for the rest of 2020 – no biggies, no tinies, no carvers or painters.  A few thousand found their forever homes.

Get CIDER every day.  This is the 8th week of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider.  You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs.  Freezes great.  It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.  It gets better every week as the apple blend complexifies. 

Homebrew cider fans, get your carboys filled NOW.  Bring your 5-gallon carboys to Indian Creek and we will fill them with 100% unpasteurized cider for $35 each (only $7/gallon) OR $6/gallon when you buy 10-45 gallons (2-9 carboys) OR $5/gallon when you get 50 gallons (10 carboys).  As of today the ever-changing blend includes Cortland, Gala, Spy, McIntosh, Liberty, Fortune, Honeycrisp, and more.  Leave your carboys inside the double doors at the farm stand with your name and number attached.  We will call you when filled.

Please BRING YOUR OWN BAGS for picking fruits and vegetables.  You can fill your bags as you wander the orchards, then set them on the scale at checkout, and we will ring you out without touching your bags.  You can also buy our totes which you might have seen around town.

Amidst the stress and strife of this year, we hope you all can find some fall feels.  Thank you @mellcasey.

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

This Will Probably Be the Last Weekend of Major Apple Picking; Come Pick Your Own Mutsu, Spy, Cortland, Rome Beauty; Cut Your Own Brussels Sprouts; Enjoy Old-Time Cider & Fresh Donuts.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 7:00 rain or shine • Pick your own Mutsu, Cortland, Red Spy, Rome Beauty apples • Cut your own Brussels sprouts • Find pumpkins around the farm and stand (u-pick patch is picked out) • Eat fresh cider DONUTS Fri, Sat, and Sun 11:00 to 6:00 • Now filling cider carboy orders, details below • Goodies at the stand = pumpkins, apples, pears, sprouts, squashes, ginger, turmeric, garlic, honey, syrup, slushees, hot spiced cider • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) BYOBags for picking produce • Drive slowly on the farm • Thank you for being first-class Farmketeers


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  This could be the last weekend of major apple picking.  If the weather is pleasant and the turnout is robust, your fellow ‘Creekniks will draw the u-pick apple crop down to a modest remainder – enough perhaps for a final week or ten days of quieter picking.  So the next few days might be your chance to have a vigorous October harvest experience.

Pick your own Mutsu apples.  It is a beautiful abundant crop this year, and these are prized dessert apples.  Head south to find the Mutsu Orchard beyond the Dwarf Orchard.  Also known as Crispin, Mutsu is perhaps the most versatile apple on the farm.  It is a dessert apple.  A pie apple.  A bake-it-right-in-the-oven apple.  It is the little black cocktail dress of apples.  Appropriate for any occasion – and irresistible with that fetching hint of Mutsu blush. 

Mutsus get as big as pumpkinsOr pumpkins get as small as Mustus.  Dad planted the Mutsu orchard back in ’84.  We could rhapsodize about the Mutsus for weeks.  The British call them “oven busters” since a couple of old orchard ladies could pick one giant Mutsu and bake it in the oven and split it as dessert for their afternoon stitch-n-bitch.  But – as we have opined before – boys can do that, too.  Ovens and stitching and b*tching aren’t just for girls.  Same with dessert.  And feelings.  And sharing.  And little black cocktail dresses.  All welcome at The ‘Creek.  Hooray.

The u-pick Pumpkin Patch got picked clean last weekend, but you can still find pumpkins at the farm.  We have set pumpkins around the farm, priced individually with labels, and also you can get them at the farm stand.   They will probably get cleaned out this weekend.

Pick your own Cortland apples.  Yes you can still find Cortlands in the Vintage Orchard, scattered around on big old trees with yellow ribbons.  These are the apples that don’t oxidize (turn brown) quickly after cutting, making them ideal for fruit salads, lunch boxes, and food art.

Time to pick Rome Beauty (pictured) and Red Spy apples.  These are our traditional harbingers of the late phase of apple harvest season.  Everything is early this year, so pick Rome (blue ribbons) and Red Spy (red ribbons) starting now!

Cut your own Brussels sprouts.  Also known as BROUTS for short.  Stirfry with bacon or fakin’ and feel the nutrients flow.  In one of our best signage decisions ever, you will find the sprouts in the patch marked “SPROUTS.”  We have removed the leaves from the stalks that are ready.  Cut the whole stalk; don’t pick individual sprouts since that wrecks the plant.  Don’t be a plant wrecker.  Be a sprout lover.

Get sprouts at the stand.  You will find stalks at the farm stand if you don’t want to cut your own.  These are a great party trick – who shows up with sprout stalks?!  But until parties are allowed again, these work almost as well on Zoom parties.

Get fresh cider donuts every weekend.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00.  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”

Get CIDER every day.  This is the 7th week of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider.  You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs.  Freezes great.  It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.  It gets better every week as the apple blend complexifies. 

Homebrew cider fans, get your carboys filled NOW.  Bring your 5-gallon carboys to Indian Creek and we will fill them with 100% unpasteurized cider for $35 each (only $7/gallon) OR $6/gallon when you buy 10-45 gallons (2-9 carboys) OR $5/gallon when you get 50 gallons (10 carboys).  As of today the ever-changing blend includes Cortland, Gala, Spy, McIntosh, Liberty, Fortune, Honeycrisp, and more.  Leave your carboys inside the double doors at the farm stand with your name and number attached.  We will call you when filled.

Get local GINGER and TURMERIC.  You only need to taste an itsy-bitsy slice of fresh ginger root to be a convert for life.  Good enough to eat out of hand, not to mention bringing life to your cooking creations.  Same with the fresh turmeric root.  Sharon and Dean from TreeGate Farm around the corner have been delighting farm fans with these tropical roots grown here in the Finger Lakes. 

Please BRING YOUR OWN BAGS for picking fruits and vegetables.  You can fill your bags as you wander the orchards, then set them on the scale at checkout, and we will ring you out without touching your bags.  You can also buy our totes which you might have seen around town.

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

U-Pick Pumpkin Patch Now Open – Pick Yours Fast, Won’t Last Long; Pick 10 Kinds of Apples Including Gorgeous Mutsu and Beloved Spies; Cut Your Own Brussels Sprouts; Enjoy Old-Time Cider & Donuts; Open Monday Holiday.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 7:00 rain or shine • Open Monday holiday 10/12/20 • Pick your pumpkins fast, the small 2020 patch will be picked clean in a couple days • Pick Mutsu, Cortland, Northern Spy, Prairie Spy, Spigold, Sir Prize, last Fuji, last Spartan, last Splendour, and more • Cut your own Brussels sprouts • Cut last flowers • Eat fresh cider donuts FRI, SAT, SUN, MON 11:00 to 6:00 • Now filling cider carboy orders, details below • Goodies at the stand = apples, pears, sprouts, squashes, ginger, turmeric, garlic, honey, syrup, slushees, hot spiced cider • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) BYOBags for picking produce • Drive slowly on the farm • Thank you for being the best Farmketeers since sliced bread


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  You probably think of pumpkins as the whales of the vegetable world.  Jumbo and blubbery and slow, undulating languidly through the depths of our collective agrarian unconscious.  Well, good thing you have come to Farm School this week, so we can dispel two faulty notions in one swoop:  Pumpkins are not vegetables, and they are not slow.  They move faster than you think, faster than some ‘Creekniks can blink.

The Pumpkin Patch is now open for u-pick, and the pumpkins will disappear very fast this year.  Our 2020 patch is much smaller than usual, and earlybirds snuck around the gate last week to grab their dream gourds before you could even dream your dream.  As it is in life, so it is in Pumpkinland.  Anyway these fruits are moving fast and the patch might not last the weekend.

If you don’t find pumpkins in the u-pick patch, you might find others scattered around.  We have piled hundreds of pumpkins around the farm for easy picking as you wander by.  They are priced individually with labels. 

It is high season for some of the very best apples on the farm:  Prairie Spy, Northern Spy, Spigold.  Time to pick your favorite members of the Spy family in Rows 16 and 17 of the Dwarf Orchard.  These October apples are prized by pie makers and lovers of old-fashioned American apples.  Great for fresh eating, baking, and putting up – beloved “winter” apples.  You might also find the last of several varieties in the Dwarf Orchard (Sir Prize, Fuji, Spartan, Splendour) and Vintage Orchard (Cortlands on big trees with yellow ribbons).

It is also the start of Mutsu season!  Some people wait all year for this moment.  You can pick your own Mutsu apples now in the Mutsu Orchard south of the Dwarf Orchard.  Also known as Crispin, Mutsu is perhaps the most versatile apple on the farm.  It is a dessert apple.  A pie apple.  A bake-it-right-in-the-oven apple.  It is the little black cocktail dress of apples.  Appropriate for any occasion – and irresistible with that fetching hint of Mutsu blush.  Plus they get as big as pumpkins, their fellow fruits.  Dad planted the Mutsu orchard back in ’84.  We could rhapsodize about the Mutsus for weeks.  The British call them “oven busters” since a couple of old orchard ladies could pick one giant Mutsu and bake it in the oven and split it as dessert for their afternoon stitch-n-bitch.  But – as we have opined before – boys can do that, too.  Ovens and stitching and b*tching aren’t just for girls.  Same with dessert.  And feelings.  And sharing.  And little black cocktail dresses.  All welcome at The ‘Creek.  Hooray.

Cut your own Brussels sprouts.  Also known as Brouts for short.  Stirfry with bacon or fakin’ and feel the nutrients flow.  In one of our best signage moves ever, you will find the sprouts in the patch marked “SPROUTS.”  We have removed the leaves from the stalks that are ready.  Cut the whole stalk; don’t pick individual sprouts since that wrecks the plant.  Don’t be a plant wrecker.  Be a sprout lover.

Get fresh cider donuts every weekend – including the holiday Monday 10/12/20.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot Friday, Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday 11:00 to 6:00.  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”

Get CIDER every day.  This is the 6th week of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider.  You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs.  Freezes great.  It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.  It gets better every week as the apple blend complexifies. 

Homebrew cider fans, get your carboys filled NOW.  Bring your 5-gallon carboys to Indian Creek and we will fill them with 100% unpasteurized cider for $35 each (only $7/gallon) OR $6/gallon when you buy 10-45 gallons (2-9 carboys) OR $5/gallon when you get 50 gallons (10 carboys).  As of today the ever-changing blend includes Cortland, Gala, Spy, McIntosh, Liberty, Fortune, Honeycrisp, and more.  Just leave your carboys inside the double doors at the farm stand with your name and number attached.  We will call you when filled.

Get local GINGER and TURMERIC.  You only need to taste an itsy-bitsy slice of fresh ginger root to be a convert for life.  Good enough to eat out of hand, not to mention bringing life to your cooking creations.  Same with the fresh turmeric root.  Sharon and Dean from TreeGate Farm around the corner have been delighting farm fans with these tropical roots grown here in the Finger Lakes. 

Please BRING YOUR OWN BAGS for picking fruits and vegetables.  You can fill your bags as you wander the orchards, then set them on the scale at checkout, and we will ring you out without touching your bags.  You can also buy our totes which you might have seen around town.

Did you pick any of the last peppers of the year?  Did you “put up” some in September?  See what Farmketeer @katnessharriet did with her jalapeños.  “Kitchen experiments in keto:  bacon wrapped, cheese stuffed, jalapenos 😋 Farm fresh peppers from @indiancreekfarmithaca were made for this kind of exaltation 🔥🧡”  Yummmmmm.

An apple thought:  “For nearly a thousand years a small orchard was a part of nearly every viable farm in northern Europe, and later in the northeastern United States.  Apples being the hardiest fruits, the apple orchard would hold at least a dozen trees of several varieties — some for fresh eating, some for cooking, some for making cider.  Most of those trees were grafted onto full-size rootstocks that could grow to a height of 30 to 40 feet,” (Frank Browning, Apples) which put much of the fruit out of reach without huge ladders and considerable strength.  Today at Indian Creek you will find some 1,500 apple trees on dwarfing rootstocks which keeps the trees short and plump for easy picking – allowing folks to pick a few fruits with kids and elders for a lazy afternoon of local fooding.  So we can pat ourselves on the back for that, but meanwhile…

Remember that there is more to the story of local food in America.  It is good to think about the nature of this holiday in all its complex dimensions.

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

“A Peaceful Transition of Produce and a Sprinkle of Sin, Sugar.”   Pick Your Own Apples & Brussels & Squashes; Grab First Pumpkins; Enjoy Old-Time Cider & Donuts; Final Big Tomato Canning Sale and Annual Seed Garlic Sale.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 7:00 rain or shine • Pick Fuji, Liberty, Fortune, Spartan, Snowsweet, Jonagold, Macoun, and more apples • Cut your own Brussels sprouts • Find first pumpkins • Pick winter squashes • Cut last flowers • Eat fresh cider donuts Fri-Sun 11:00 to 6:00 • Final tomato canning/saucing sale, see details below • Goodies at the stand = Honeycrisp apples, heirloom apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers, Brussels, squashes, ginger, turmeric, garlic, honey, maple syrup, cider slushees, hot spiced cider cups • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) BYOBags for picking produce and set them on the scale for checkout • Drive slowwwly on the farm • Thank you for being the best Farmketeers forever


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  Do not fear.  There will be a peaceful transition of produce in November.

The orange ones have promised it.  The red ones too.  Yes, the pumpkins and apples will yield the limelight to the sprouts and squashes when the hour has come.  Nobody cares about the poor pumpkins after October 31, and apples will be a sweet memory.  But sprouts and squashes really shine in late autumn.  So, lord willing, we can all look forward to a more or less orderly chronology in the forward slog of farmocracy.

Anyway, for now, you can enjoy them all together.  Starting with U-PICK APPLES.  It is high harvest season and apples still own the day.  You can pick Fuji, Liberty, Fortune, Spartan, and Snowsweet.  You might find the last few Jonagold and Macoun.  Get an orchard map at the farmstand and ask what’s ready when you get here.

Cut your own Brussels sprouts.  Also known as Sprussels brouts.  Stirfry with bacon or fakin’ and feel the vitamins flow.  In one of our best signage successes ever, you will find the sprouts in the patch marked “SPROUTS.”  We have removed the leaves from the stalks that are ready.  Cut the whole stalk; don’t pick individual sprouts since that wrecks the plant.  Don’t be a plant wrecker.  Be a sprout lover.

Grab the first PUMPKINS.  The U-pick patch is not officially open yet, but we have piled hundreds of pumpkins around the farm for you to find your dream gourds.  They are priced individually with labels.

Last blast final Roma TOMATO canning/saucing sale!  While supplies last, get Roma tomatoes in 25-pound boxes for $25 each, and peck boxes for $16 each.  This sale is for prepicked (not u-pick) tomatoes.  They come from Jackman Vineyards, our very next door neighbor.  A fantastic deal as it ends up being cheaper than u-pick!  Locavores, take action:  time to “put up” (or shut up?!) for the winter.

SEED GARLIC SALE – Saturday, October 3, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Our neighbor Paul will be selling his organically grown garlic bulbs at the farm stand.  You can find the likes of Georgia Fire, Italian Easy Peel, Tochliavri, Persian Star, Romanian Red, Chesnok Red, Georgia Crystal, and others.  Soft necks and hard necks.  Large bulbs and cold-hardy.  Paul has grown these lines of garlic for over 10 years in his home garden on Indian Creek Road.  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.  For questions or preorders, please call, text, or email Paul at 607-279-4866 or paulcooper360@gmail.com.

Get DONUTS every weekend.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00.  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”

Get CIDER every day.  This is the 5th week of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider.  You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs.  Freezes great.  It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.  It gets better every week as the apple blend complexifies.

Get local GINGER and TURMERIC.  Sharon and Dean of Tree Gate Farm, our friends around the corner next to Coy Glen, are trying to keep us supplied for a third year.  Last year, Farm Fans hoovered up the rhizomes as fast as the farmers could deliver.  It’s great for ginger tea and myriad culinary uses.  Sharon explains how they grow it:  “The seed comes from Hawaii, arrives in March, and using a greenhouse and a lot of compost, we spend 7 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 ginger 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.”

Please BRING YOUR OWN BAGS for picking fruits and vegetables.  In the B.C. era (Before Corona), we had gotten rid of single-use plastic bags and everyone was happily bringing their own bags or getting our reusable farm totes.  We had to make some adjustments for the early corona period, but let’s get back to that good practice:  Bring your bags for picking, set them on the scale at checkout, and we will ring you out without touching your bags.  You can also buy our totes which you might have seen around town.

A ‘Creeknik creation from @rebeccakimnyc:  “First apple, er, ‘pie’ ever — didn’t have as many apples as the recipe called for and ended up folding the edges down like a galette since they were so tall. Topped with a brown sugar crumble.  Unconventional, but delicious!  Perfect on a cloudy fall day 🍂🍎  We picked the apples at @indiancreekfarmithaca which is a lovely you-pick farm with the most amazing fresh cider donuts you’ll find anywhere!!!”

And how about this DOUBLE ‘Creeknik creation from @happiestdaydesigns:  “So the craziness of the world got to me today.  Coping mechanism — baking hand pies.  I got a little creative & swapped maple syrup for sugar & added vanilla. Yum!  I used Elstar & honey crisp apples from @indiancreekfarmithaca.  We went apple picking last week.  Another safe & happy way to connect with the good in my life ❤️  Have a great weekend!  Oh, and the serve board is our textured lace.”  The hand pies are pictured atop a hand-made ceramic platter.  Double nice!

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish & The Biebs at the ‘Creek?! Stampede! Pick Your Own Sweet 16, McIntosh, Cortland, Fuji Apples; Old-Time Cider & Donuts; U-Pick Tomatoes and Big Tomato Canning Sale.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 7:00 rain or shine • Pick McIntosh, Cortland, Sweet 16, Holiday, and Early Fuji apples • Pick tomatoes and peppers • Find first pumpkins • Eat fresh cider donuts Fri-Sun 11:00 to 6:00 • Roma canning/saucing sale now, see details below • Goodies at the farm stand = apples, pears, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, honey, maple syrup, lemon and cider slushees • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS • BYOBags for picking produce and set them on the scale for checkout • Drive slowwwly on the farm • Thank you for being the best Farmketeers in all of Farmdom forever and everywhere


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  These three apples were blushing on Monday morning.  Musta been a wild weekend.

And it was.  Y’all picked every last Honeycrisp on the farm – left the trees cleaner than a candidate’s tax returns.  Then you annihilated the Empires.  Demolished the pears.  Devoured the flowers.  Pummeled the peppers and thumped the Donut Robot.  Truly, quite the splendid bumrush.

A citizen driving by mighta thought Tay-Tay and Justin and Billie were here.  Crooning their tunes and shaking their booties.  Bringing out ‘Creekniks in record (widely spaced) numbers.  Turns out, it was just for the fruit.  Turns out, you only need a global pandemic to get people going on local food.  So that’s a squint of silver in the lining.

Anyway who needs pop idols when you got Cortland apples?  Pick them now.  Not sure about Cortlands?  See this email we got recently and we’re not making it up:  “I live in [town redacted], WA, and was talking to [a person] from [a Washington orchard] today about how much I miss Cortland apples.  I grew up in upstate NY and as far as I’m concerned there is no apple like a Cortland.  They aren’t grown out here in WA.  I was wondering if you would be willing to ship Cortlands to me.  There is no cost too high for me to be able to enjoy Cortlands this fall.”  THERE IS NO COST TOO HIGH.  And that’s from the apple capital of America.  Can’t say THAT about a pop star.  There’s definitely a cost too high to ship a box of them to your house.  (You get to decide how much.)

Fact:  Cortland apples don’t oxidize (brown) when you cut them.  They stay blindingly white.  Perfect for fruit salads and lunch boxes and just looking at.  Come pick your own Cortlands in the Vintage Orchard.

Also pick your own McIntosh, Early Fuji, Holiday, and Sweet 16 (pictured).  Look at that dimple.  And they taste like cherry Twizzlers.  This is high apple season and time to pick a bunch of varieties in a single visit.  These will be gone soon, followed by the October apple lineup.

Pick your own TOMATOES & PEPPERS.  You can still pick your own tomatoes – several varieties ready and ripening.  Hard to tell you which types you will find in abundance when you arrive.  You can also pick peppers.  Sweet and hot.  Same deal as tomatoes, you have to come explore.  What you find depends on how many pickers got here first.  But certainly these crops will wrap up soon.

Roma canning/saucing sale!  Starting today, and going while supplies last, get Roma tomatoes in 25-pound boxes for $25 each, and peck boxes for $16 each.  This sale is for prepicked (not u-pick) tomatoes.  WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!  Time to “put up” for the winter.

Get donuts every weekend.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00.  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”

Get cider jugs every day.  This is the 4th week of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider.  You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs.  Freezes great.  It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.  It gets better every week as the apple blend complexifies.  Last week you Orchard Ambrosians burned through 220 GALLONS by Saturday at 4:00 PM so Farmer Steve had to spend Saturday night in the barn pressing enough to get through Sunday.  Nothing will put an apple farmer in a proper panic like the threat of a No-Cider-Sunday.  Sacrilege.

Cut your own Brussels sprouts.  Yes it is that time of year.  Things ARE early this year but still it’s almost October and sprouts are ready to cut and stirfry with bacon or fakin’.  If you’ve never seen sprouts on a stalk, now’s your chance.

Local ginger continues.  Sharon and Dean of Tree Gate Farm, our friends around the corner next to Coy Glen, are trying to keep us supplied for a third year.  Last year, Farm Fans hoovered up the rhizomes as fast as the farmers could deliver.  It’s great for ginger tea and myriad culinary uses.  Sharon explains how they grow it:  “The seed comes from Hawaii, arrives in March, and using a greenhouse and a lot of compost, we spend 7 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 ginger 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.”  Ginger now, turmeric in October!

SEED GARLIC SALE – Next Saturday, October 3, 10 AM to 5 PM.  Our neighbor Paul will be selling his organically grown garlic bulbs at the farm stand.  You can find the likes of Georgia Fire, Italian Easy Peel, Tochliavri, Persian Star, Romanian Red, Chesnok Red, Georgia Crystal, and others.  Soft necks and hard necks.  Large bulbs and cold-hardy.  Paul has grown these lines of garlic for over 10 years in his home garden on Indian Creek Road.  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.  For questions or preorders, please call, text, or email Paul at 607-279-4866 or paulcooper360@gmail.com.

Please BRING YOUR OWN BAGS for picking fruits and vegetables.  In the B.C. era (Before Corona), we had gotten rid of single-use plastic bags and everyone was happily bringing their own bags or getting our reusable farm totes.  We had to make some adjustments for the early corona period, but let’s get back to that good practice:  Bring your bags for picking, set them on the scale at checkout, and we will ring you out without touching your bags.  You can also buy our totes which you might have seen around town.

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

Pick Your Own Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Elstar, First Empires; Fresh Donuts & Old-Time Cider; U-Pick Tomatoes, Peppers, Flowers; BYOBags for Picking or Get Our Reusable Red Farm Totes.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 7:00 rain or shine • Pick Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Elstar, and first Empire apples • Pick dozens of kinds of tomatoes and peppers and flowers • Enjoy fresh donuts Fri-Sun 11:00 to 6:00 • Goodies at the farm stand = apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers, ginger, corn, garlic, potatoes, honey, syrup, flowers, lemon and cider slushees • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS • BYOBags for picking produce and set them on the scale for checkout • Drive slowwwwwly on the farm • Thanks to @ginalskihollie for this week’s cover photo • Thank you for being the best farm fans in New York


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  We begin this week’s Fresh Crop Sermon by contemplating a donut stack.  Let us call it The Leaning Tower of Society and/or Civilization.

Just name something that COULD go wrong with our world, and it probably already has.  Yes, ‘Creekniks, here we go together a-leaning… a-tilting… a-wobbling… a-bobbling.  To see how this movie ends, just hop right to the bottom picture.  Or scroll your way down, slowly and prayerfully, if you have a taste for small-time agricultural suspense.  For it was the great poet Rilke who counseled:  “Be patient toward all that is unsolved… and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.  Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.  And the point is, to live everything.  Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”  But scroll fast if you must.  Poets are not to be trusted without scrutiny.

Pick your own McIntosh apples in the Vintage Orchard.  The trees are a century old, dating back to the days when Rilke wrote his Letters to a Young Poet.  September 15 is high season for McIntosh apples – the annual Mac Attack.  We need you in full force picking til they’re gone.

Pick your own Honeycrisp apples.  This is probably the last weekend for picking these orbs of lucre and pulchritude.  “Moneycrisp,” some people call them, as these apples helped many imperiled small orchards get on financial terra firma after breeders introduced them in the 1990s.  You can also pick Elstar, a high-quality dessert apple that does great work for eating fresh, saucing, juicing, and baking.  It will keep well in storage for two to three months.  This is one of the best modern apples.  Lastly, a few of you have written to ask about Empire – the very first Empire apples are ready, while next week is their real appointed hour.

Pick your own TOMATOES & PEPPERS.  You can pick your own tomatoes now – many varieties ready and ripening.  Hard to tell you which types you will find in abundance when you arrive, depends on who got here first.  We also planted some 23 kinds of peppers, sweet and hot.  Word on the street is the hot peppers may have been picked clean for the year except jalapeños, Serranos, and habaneros.  You just have to come explore.  Note:  no eggplants for picking right now.  The lovely photo comes from @nishachittal who wrote, “I might physically be in Brooklyn but my heart is still in the finger lakes: @indiancreekfarmithaca tomatoes we picked ourselves, basil I picked off @supernatural_lake‘s giant plants before the drive home, fresh mozzarella, maldon, olive oil + balsamic vinegar…”

Get DONUTS every weekend.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00.  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”   Pictured here with Honeycrisp.

Get CIDER jugs every day.  This is the thurd week of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider.  You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs.  Freezes great.  It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.  Squeezed by a water balloon gadget.  It gets better each week as the apple blend becomes more varied.

Local ginger is back!  Stock up – and spice up – on this recherché commodity.   “The most precious substance in the universe is the spice… The spice extends life… expands consciousness… gives one the ability to fold space… that is, travel to any part of the universe without moving.”  Of course Sci-Fi fans know that from Dune.  But few people know that fresh ginger has been growing right here in the Finger Lakes.  Sharon and Dean of Tree Gate Farm, our friends around the corner next to Coy Glen, will try to keep us supplied for a third year.  Last year, Farm Fans hoovered up the rhizomes as fast as the farmers could deliver.  It’s great for ginger tea and myriad culinary uses.  Sharon explains how they grow it:  “The seed comes from Hawaii, arrives in March, and using a greenhouse and a lot of compost, we spend 7 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 ginger 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.”  Ginger now, turmeric in October!

You can cut your own FLOWERS in the field by the stand and other spots around the farm.  It’s our best flower crop ever.  The flower list has included zinnia, snapdragon, celosia, ageratum, gomphrena, scabiosa / pincushion, cornflower / bachelor buttons, dianthus / carnations, strawflower, aster, marigold, verbena, and statice.  You can also get them at the stand in bouquets – nice jars included – assembled by fruit farmers.  Thank you kindly @sanemeteriojosue for the great photo from your visit.

Please BRING YOUR OWN BAGS for picking fruits and vegetables.  In the B.C. era (Before Corona), we had gotten rid of single-use plastic bags and everyone was happily bringing their own bags or getting our reusable farm totes.  We had to make some adjustments for the early corona period, but let’s get back to that good practice:  Bring your bags for picking, set them on the scale at checkout, and we will ring you out without touching your bags.  You can also buy our totes which you might have seen around town.

Whoa, check out this locavore’s creation.  Dutch apple pie a la mode with apples from The ‘Creek and ice cream from Purity.  Thank you to @fcb002 who simply wrote, “Eat local 💕”

And then this from @withleavesofsage.  When it’s month six of a pandemic, the first 60-something-degree day, and you’ve been binge watching British Bake Off (again), you whip together a replica of your wedding cake.  In my case, an apple spice cake with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  It’s three layers and made from scratch with the apples from @indiancreekfarmithaca which we picked last weekend 🍁🍎”  Thanks for the inspiration and happy cake-a-versary.

And finally, a sign of the times, a whiff of the zeitgeist.  We recently posted a gallery of 10 photos on Facebook – our weekly post telling folks what they can pick.  Among the photos was this very special peach.  Our ad got rejected by the social media giant’s artificial intelligence censors with a warning about promoting sex paraphernalia.  On a wild hunch we removed this peach – yep! – and the ad got approved.  Doesn’t THAT bode well for a fair election with no fake news?  Seems like time to WORRY.  But Farmketeers and ‘Creekniks are resilient, are we not?  We bend but we don’t break, right?  We can bend really far and strike a confident pose when we summon our yogic powers of cooperation and mutual support and… donuts?

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

New Apples to U-Pick This Week! And a New Wave of Honeycrisp Is Ready; Fresh Old-Fashioned Cider & Donuts; Pick Tomatoes, Peppers, Flowers; Please BYOBags for Picking or Get Farm Totes.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 7:00 rain or shine • Pick Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Autumn Crisp, and Jonamac apples • Pick Seckel pears • Pick Roma tomatoes and others • Pick 23 kinds of peppers • Pick a kaleidoscope of flowers • Enjoy fresh donuts Fri-Sun 11:00 to 6:00 • Goodies at the stand = apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers, corn, garlic, potatoes, honey, syrup, flowers, lemon and cider slushees • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS • New – Please BYOBags for picking produce and set on the scale for checkout • Drive slowwwwwly on the farm • Thank you for being the kindliest ‘Creekniks in the land


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  Legend tells us that when apple breeders first created Honeycrisp™, they wanted to call it MONEYCRISP.  They knew they’d created a champ that could challenge the Red Delicious™ racket – and they could just smell the grocery royalties that were going to puff up their R&D budgets on the hunt for an even more sensational next-generation juggernaut.

You can pick Honeycrisp apples now.   They will go fast, so now is your chance.  You can also pick McIntosh, Jonamac, Autumn Crisp and other “lesser” apples.  But come strip the Honeycrisp orchard as you do every year, and assure the breeders that they have won the Game of Pomes.  After all, what could be more popular than these sweet, crisp, freckle-faced, born-in-the-USA orbs of appletude?

Maybe kittens?  And donuts?  On apple trees?  What the Honeycrisp braintrust didn’t expect was that a rinky-dink farm in a podunk hippie town was conducting secret trials on this audacious idea:  Kittendonutapple trees.  Shhh.  It’s on the D.L. til after the election.  Got to let the market jitters settle before we make a daring move on the industry titans with disruptive technology of this magnitude.

You can also pick SECKEL pears now.  There might not be a more delightful and diminutive pear.  Seckel has rock-star status among ‘Creekniks; some have reputedly camped out waiting for the Seckels to ripen.  The pears are very small and very sweet; it’s easy to eat them by the bag.  The following is excerpted from Pears of New York by the venerable U.P. Hedrick:  “The flesh is melting, juicy, perfumed and most exquisitely and delicately flavored, with the curious character of having much of its spicy, aromatic flavor in the skin, which should never be discarded in eating.”  Commence Seckeling.

Pick your own TOMATOES & PEPPERS.  You can pick your own tomatoes now – many varieties ready and ripening.  Hard to tell you which types you will find in abundance when you arrive.  But Farmer Steve is bullish on the Romas today.  You can also pick some 23 kinds of peppers.  Sweet and hot.  Same deal as tomatoes, you have to come explore.  All depends on how many pickers got here first.  Note:  no eggplants for picking right now.  Might rebound eventually.

Get DONUTS every weekend.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00.  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Just whisper, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”   Pictured here with Honeycrisp.

Get CIDER jugs every day.  This is the second week of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider.  You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs.  Freezes great.  It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.  Squeezed by a water balloon gadget.

Commercial break for kittens.  Cue the music and read the script out loud in your best commercial voice:  “Everything has a purpose.  Even kittens – those mysterious creatures of the astral plane who plop out of the sky like donuts from an apple tree.  Yes, kittens, bewitching kittens, bonny and captivating kittens, teaching us to live wabi sabi, embracing our collective impurrfection… Merrrowwww.”

You can cut your own FLOWERS in the field by the stand and other spots around the farm.  It’s our best flower crop ever.  The flower list has included zinnia, snapdragon, celosia, ageratum, gomphrena, scabiosa / pincushion, cornflower / bachelor buttons, dianthus / carnations, strawflower, aster, marigold, verbena, and statice.  You can also get them at the stand in bouquets – nice jars included – assembled by fruit farmers.

Please BRING YOUR OWN BAGS for picking fruits and vegetables.  In the B.C. era (Before Corona), we had gotten rid of single-use plastic bags and everyone was happily bringing their own bags or getting our reusable farm totes.  We had to make some adjustments for the early corona period, but let’s get back to that good practice:  Bring your bags for picking, set them on the scale at checkout, and we will ring you out without touching your bags.  You can also buy our totes which you might have seen around town.  Recently saw a few in the hands of a nice Farmketeer, shopping for Honeycrisp at Wegman’s.

This just in from Northstar Public House in Ithaca:  “How do you #chooselocal?  This morning’s breakfast is brought to you by flowers, donuts, and raspberries from @indiancreekfarmithaca and coffee (cold brewed by us!) by @fortyweightcoffeeroasters.  I spy an @ithacasheepskin in the background…”  Thank you @northstarpublichouse for sourcing in the FLX region and providing open-air dining these days.

And this from Mama Said Hand Pies:  “Apple Cherry Streusel Pie.  Local apples, NYS cherries, mucho deliciousness!!”  You can find their pies at Press Bay Alley and mamasaidhandpies.com.  Thank you, @mamasaidhandpies.

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

New This Week – First Jugs of Fresh Cider! Also Pick 3+ Kinds of Apples Including First Honeycrisp; Pick Your Tomatoes & Peppers & Flowers; Donuts & Cider Slushees Now Through Monday Holiday.


FRESH CROP ALERT
SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 8:00 rain or shine (closing at 7:00 after Labor Day) • Pick St. Edmund’s, Jefferies, Honeycrisp apples • Pick a few pears possibly • Find the very last few peaches IF you’re especially lucky or uncommonly perseverant • Pick tomatoes of various kinds • Pick 23 kinds of peppers • Pick a kaleidoscope of flowers • Enjoy extended holiday donut hours Thursday thru Labor Day Monday 11:00 to 6:00 • Goodies at the stand = tomatoes, peppers, pears, corn, garlic, potatoes, honey, syrup, flowers, lemon and cider slushees • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) we provide picking CONTAINERS • Drive slowwwwwwly on the farm • Thank you for being kind ‘Creekniks and rational Farmketeers


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  This week we dispense with our usual mumbo-jumbo and cut to the chase.  Yes, as the calendar turns to September, the harvest turns up the pace into a race and a chase – to pick the last peaches before your frenemies, to grab the shapeliest pears before they go poof, to pick every apple before it plops.  So here’s the dope.

Peaches are basically toast.  Hosed, finito, kaput.  If this exquisite freaknik double peach was a glass of kombucha, it would be down to the dregs.  Farmer Steve said don’t even mention peaches in this Fresh Crop Alert.  But we knew you’d ask so we’re cutting to the chase – most of you will not find a peach on a tree this weekend, and no peaches at the stand.  But you MIGHT chase down a few peaches in the orchard if you are especially lucky or uncommonly perseverant.  Ready go.

Bartlett pears are picking now, right as you come up the drive way.  “But I couldn’t find the pear trees…!”  Good point, by the time this Fresh Crop Alert hits newsstands, the Bartlett pears might be scarcer than deviled eggs after a church picnic.  Thank you for being such radically fervent parishioners.  Pear-ishioners.  You might have to look behind the leaves to find any.  Steve says you also might find some assorted pears in Row 19 of the Dwarf Orchard.  Ask at the stand and we’ll give you a map.

WTH?  When the Honeycrisp?  You can pick them now.  They are just starting.  They are not really ready yet, if you ask an apple farmer.  But ‘Creekniks are INSANE for Honeycrisp, and you always start picking before we announce them anyway, so you can start if you like.  Pick for color, find ones with a nice rich honeyed hue on the shoulder and in the lenticels.  Kollman here on the farm, age 8, says, “I love picking Honeycrisp early.  They are sour and sweet.”  Honeycrisps on the trees will flavor up and sugar up in the coming week, but you may pick them now since the chase is on.  Ask for a map.

In case you don’t find pears, Jefferies apples are open for u-pick.  A fabulous early apple, with a rich pear-like flavor.  Juicy, crisp yet melting.  How to avoid heartbreaking waste in apple season:  Pick an apple with 2 hands, steadying the branch or nearby apples with your non-dominant hand, then twist off your target apple with your best paw.  Don’t let an apple fall, then knock another apple below, causing a chain reaction.  Multiply that effect by thousands… and you’ve got a disconsolate apple farmer.  Please read our Farm School tutorial, How to Pick an Apple.

Another beauty with pear-like flavor, St. Edmund’s Russet.  Pick your own now.  St. Edmunds is covered in a smooth, velvety, pale fawn russet.  The flavor is exceptional when fully ripe.  In Apples of Uncommon Character, Rowan Jacobsen writes:  “Like vanilla pudding infused with pear essence.  Early in the season, the richness can be masked by a blast of lemony acid, but this gives way to a yellow-cake flavor.”  The texture is finely grained, crisp, and meltingly delicate.  St Edmund’s Russet is not a storage apple; eat it quick!

Get the first jugs of “Orchard Ambrosia” – our 100% unpasteurized, old-fashioned, nothing-added cider.  You can get gallon and half-gallon jugs.  Freezes great.  It’s just apples and maybe a few pears, cold-pressed into juice.

Donuts were once called olykoeks.  From the Online Etymology Dictionary:  “Small, spongy cake made of dough and fried in lard, 1809, American English, from dough + nut (n.), probably on the notion of being a small round lump (the holes came later; they are first mentioned c. 1861).  First recorded by Washington Irving, who described them as ‘balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks.’  Earlier name for it was dough-boy (1680s).  Bartlett (1848) meanwhile lists doughnuts and crullers among the types of olycokes, a word he derives from Dutch olikoek, literally ‘oil-cake,’ to indicate a cake fried in lard.”  No hog’s fat here, but every weekend is donut time, and this weekend is extended.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, AND Labor Day Monday 11:00 to 6:00.  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  All you have to say is, “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”  Thanks to Farmketeer @carolinespalate for the pic.

“You have some, Da-Da.”  Some kids like sour Honeycrisp, some chomp into tomatoes.  You can pick your own tomatoes now.  Many varieties, some ready, some ripening.  Hard to tell you which types you will find in abundance when you arrive.  But Farmer Steve is bullish on the paste tomatoes right now.  Please enjoy exploring around.  Thanks for the visit from NYC, @chef_gregorymark72.

You can pick some 23 kinds of peppers now.  Sweet and hot.  Same deal as tomatoes, you have to come explore.  All depends on how many pickers got here first.  Note:  no eggplants for picking right now.  Might rebound in a week or so.

You can cut your own bouquets in the field by the stand and other spots around the farm.  It’s our best flower crop this year.  The flower list has included zinnia, snapdragon, celosia, ageratum, gomphrena, scabiosa / pincushion, cornflower / bachelor buttons, dianthus / carnations, strawflower, aster, marigold, verbena, and statice.  You can also get them at the stand in bouquets – nice jars included – assembled by fruit farmers.

If you do find peaches – or if you had “put up” peaches from your pickings in August – here are some delicacies submitted by ‘Creekniks.  First is peach matcha mille crepe cake by @jennysbreadbaby.  “Picked some fresh peaches from @indiancreekfarmithaca last weekend and had to use them!!  They were so delicious and worked well with matcha crepes and whipped peach cream! 😋  This cake also literally took like 5 hours to make because my crepe making skills aren’t that great, but glad that it worked out in the end!”

Next, peach custard pie.  Thank you @flourgrrl.  “I baked a thing.  #peachblueberrycustardpie #glutenfree Crust recipe from @bobsredmill Peaches picked at @indiancreekfarmithaca Blueberries picked at @glenhavenfarm #farmfresh.”

FInally, peach berry galette!  Thank you, @carinerfeist. “Peach Berry Galette kind of night!  We picked the peaches ourselves @indiancreekfarmithaca, and they were so juicy, sweet and flavorful!”

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

Peck Your Own Peaches & Pears & Apples & Tomatoes & Peppers; Eat Fresh Donuts Friday Thru Sunday; Cook ‘Creeknik Risotto; Cut August Flowers with Finger Lakes Bubbles.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 8:00 rain or shine • Pick peaches • Pick Ginger Gold apples • Pick Bartlett pears • Pick tomatoes • Pick peppers • Pick flowers • Get your fresh donuts Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 to 6:00 • No eggplant to pick for a while • Goodies at stand = peaches, tomatoes, peppers, apples (maybe), pears (maybe), garlic, potatoes, honey, syrup, flowers, slushees • COVID rules include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK when in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) this year we provide CONTAINERS • Drive slowwwwly on the farm • Thank you for being gentle on our minds


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DEAR FARMKETEERS & LOYAL ‘CREEKNIKS:  May we share a few cogent notions?  Bite-sized inklings that will rouse your spirit as the summer wind tickles your petticoats?

This is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel posing (suspiciously) as a Bergamasco Sheepdog, adapted from the work of the artist Sam Schonzeit.  To the left is a peach.  You can pick peaches now, and you ought to pick them now if that is on your pandemic bucket list.  The next 7 days will see the passing of peach season

Verily, in the fullness of time, sweater vests will again be seen on Main Street and Wall Street.  Til then, shower compassion on your fellow citizen, for the waiting is the hardest part.  Meanwhile, this public service announcement starring Farmer Steve of Yor and Sister Sarah of Yesteryear.  #badsweater #whatevenisit #1970s #crochet

Not everyone loves peach fuzz.  And that’s okay.  You don’t have to coax, badger, cajole – or legislate – people into liking peach fuzz.  Indeed the solution might be even closer at hand:  yourself.  You can let those people be.  You can witness that story and set it free.  Amen.  There are peaches at the stand.  If you don’t find any to pick, because you didn’t keep up with the Joneses (again, not the Joneses fault!), you will probably find peaches at the farm stand for another few days.

Ginger Gold is a vigorous, hardy apple tree with wide crotch angles.  Yes, in the orchard business, we talk about crotch angles unabashedly like mechanics talk about grease nipples.  The sooner you make peace with that, the faster you’ll advance your farming career.  You can pick Ginger Gold apples now.  These are greenish-yellow apples that bear a lovely, delicate blush on their sun-side. Crisp and sweet-tart, Ginger Gold is an irresistible herald of the coming harvest season.  It does not store well and is best eaten fresh – being an ideal salad apple, as the flesh does not oxidize after cutting.  How to avoid heartbreaking waste in apple season:  Pick an apple with 2 hands, steadying the branch or nearby apples with your non-dominant hand, then twist off your target apple with your best paw.  Don’t let an apple fall, then knock another apple below, causing a chain reaction.  Multiply that effect by thousands… and you’ve got a disconsolate apple farmer.  Please read our Farm School tutorial, How to Pick an Apple.

The Bartlett pear is the yardstick pear.  This heirloom was discovered as a wildling by English schoolmaster John Stair, who cultivated it in Berkshire, England.  By 1799 it had reached America, where it was grown in Roxbury, Massachussetts, under the name Williams’ bon Crétien, but in 1817 Enoch Bartlett of Dorchester was producing the pear under his own name, “Bartlett.”  In England and France, however, the pear is still known as the Williams Pear.  Under any name, the Bartlett has become the most popular pear in Europe and America, and it accounts for about 50% of all US pear production today.  You can pick Bartletts on the trees along the road at the first crest of the driveway just past the old peach orchard where the sign says “Tomatoes / Eggplant / Peppers.”  Just don’t look for a sign that says “Pears.”

Not all red octagonal traffic signs mean stop.  Some apparently mean yield.  A good yield of apple crop.

In a further perversion of national signaling standards, still other red octagonal signs don’t mean stop OR yield.  They mean, “Main road… GO here.”

Probably best to simply drive slowwwwly on the farm.  Red painted apples mean stop.  Green painted apples mean go.  A sign with 2 reds and 2 greens would mean stop, but there’s a just a little more green than red (see the leaves), so in the end it really means “Slow.”

Tomatoes have a last name, Nightshade.  Pretty great last name.  They are in the Nightshade family with peppers and eggplants.  You can pick your own tomatoes and peppers now.  Many varieties, some ready, some ripening.  Hard to tell you which types you will find in abundance when you arrive.  But Farmer Steve is bullish on the paste tomatoes right now.  Please enjoy exploring around.

More news from the Nightshade family:  no eggplants for u-picking right now, could be a couple weeks, or maybe next year.  A few obsessed folks picked hundreds of baby eggplants despite our pleas to let the babes fatten up.  But we’re not bitter at all.  No sirree, everything’s cool in the eggplant department.  Nothing to worry about on this TINY BABY EGGPLANT SPECIALTY FARM.  Breatheeee.

A word of encouragement from Farmketeer @flxbubbles who posted this on Instagram:  “If you’re looking to pick flowers in the local area, @indiancreekfarmithaca is the place to go!”  Yes, you can cut your own bouquets in the field by the stand and other spots around the farm.  The flower list has included zinnia, snapdragon, celosia, ageratum, gomphrena, scabiosa/pincushion, cornflower/bachelor buttons, dianthus/carnations, strawflower, aster, marigold, verbena, and statice.  You can also get them at the stand in bouquets (nice jars included) assembled by fruit farmers giving self-care as they heal from the eggplant pillage.

Donuts were once called olykoeks.  From the Online Etymology Dictionary:  “Small, spongy cake made of dough and fried in lard, 1809, American English, from dough + nut (n.), probably on the notion of being a small round lump (the holes came later; they are first mentioned c. 1861).  First recorded by Washington Irving, who described them as ‘balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks.’  Earlier name for it was dough-boy (1680s).  Bartlett (1848) meanwhile lists doughnuts and crullers among the types of olycokes, a word he derives from Dutch olikoek, literally ‘oil-cake,’ to indicate a cake fried in lard.”  Every weekend is donut time.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00.  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”  No hog’s fat here.

And now a special recipe submitted by our ‘Creeknik of the Weeknik, Carine R. Feist, MPH Nutritional Educator, @carinerfeist.  Anyone who cooks this dish and sends us a photo will get automatic ‘Creeknik of the Weeknik next week.  As long as the photo isn’t shot with a potato, as they say.

Barley Risotto with Grilled Fairytale Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, and Fresh Corn

Produce from Indian Creek Farm, Ithaca NY

This dish is a wonderful celebration of the August bounty in New York.  After visiting Indian Creek Farm, we were thrilled to prepare a dinner using the spectacular harvest available at this time of year with quarts of fragrant juicy tomatoes of several varieties, colors and sizes, and we even picked super sweet peaches that will be used in a peach, blueberry galette dessert later this week.  This is our favorite time of year as nothing beats fresh tomatoes, corn and other summer vegetables.  I’m sure that you’ll agree!

Risotto:

  • 2 cups of vegetable broth, bring to a boil
  • 1 cup water, bring to a boil
  • 11⁄2 cups barley, einkorn wheat or farro (your choice)
  • 1 to 2 cups of oat milk (or half and half if you prefer dairy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

Simmer barley or other grain of your choice in the broth/water mixture in a covered pot over medium heat for approximately 1⁄2 hour. Add the oat milk in 1⁄2 cup increments until creamy as desired. Remove from heat; it will thicken slightly off the heat. Add parmesan cheese, if desired.

Fresh seasonal summer vegetable topping:

  • 1 pint of mini fairytale eggplants. Trim off the stem and slice in half. (Our container had 16 small eggplants.)
  • Vinaigrette dressing – 2 T. reduced balsamic vinegar or fig vinegar, if available.
  • 2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pint Supersweet cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half. (The orange variety is our favorite!) 2 ears of corn, grilled with kernels sliced off the cobs
  • 10 basil leaves, washed, dried and sliced just before serving (chiffonade style)

Marinate the sliced fairytale eggplants for 1 minute in the vinaigrette, stirring periodically.

Remove the eggplants from the marinade (reserving the remaining marinade).  Grill the eggplant halves on both sides (about 20-30 minutes) until softened and grill marks develop.  Use a grill pan for this or use a grilling mat on your outdoor grill.  (They will lose most of their lovely purple color, but they will be so delicious and the other colors of the completed dish will make for a gorgeous dish!).

Meanwhile, grill two ears of corn and then slice the kernels off the cob.  Set aside.  Slice the tomatoes in half and set aside also.

After the eggplant is cooked thoroughly (but not so mushy that its falling apart!), add it back to the bowl with the remaining marinade.  Add in the tomato halves and fold gently with a spatula or large spoon, so as not to break up the eggplant.  Just before serving, add in the corn kernels with one stir of the spoon.  (Add the corn at this point to keep its lovely yellow-white color.)  Gently pour the vegetable mixture over the top of the risotto.  Place the shredded basil on top of the mixture and bit of salt and a grind of fresh pepper.

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz

New: U-Pick Corn-On-The-Cob! Also Pick Your Own Apples, Pears, Tomatoes, Peppers, and Flowers; Expanded Donut Hours; and, a Warning About Sweater Vests.


SUMMARY


Farm is open 7 days a week 8:00 to 8:00 rain or shine • Pick corn • Pick Zestar apples • Pick pears (maybe?) • Pick tomatoes • Pick peppers • Pick flowers • Fresh donuts Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 to 6:00 • No eggplant to pick for a while • No peaches to pick this weekend • Goodies at stand = peaches, apples, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, potatoes, honey, syrup, pottery, flowers, slushees • COVID protocols include (1) Keep SAFE distance, (2) wear MASK in closer quarters, (3) monitor your KIDS, (4) we provide CONTAINERS • Drive slowwwwly on the farm • Thank you for being kind and gentle locavores


FULL STORY


DEAR FARMKETEERS:  Everyone is looking for new tools right now, improvising in this extraordinary crisis.  Scratching and scrabbling, trial-and-erroring, ad lib-ing and ad hoc-ing.  Farmers are pretty good at that.  Professional contrivers and devisers and MacGyvers.

New this year:  pick your own corn-on-the-cob.  Everyone needs a few cobs in their pandemic toolkit.  Serve it at homeschool to sweeten up algebra “class” on the back porch.  Slather if you must, but even better without butter.  No salt required.  Fresh off the stalk.  50¢ an ear.

Pick Zestar apples! Most of you won’t feel the apple-picking spirit til September, but these are worthy early apples.  Very pretty, round, rosy red apples.  The flesh is juicy and crisp, with a sprightly zest (hence the name) that sweetens with caramel sugars.  They store well for six to eight weeks, and are firm enough to please most bakers.  Advanced apple data:  Zestar comes from the breeding program at the University of Minnesota.  It is a cross of State Fair and MN 1691 (Conell Red x Goodland), and it was released in 1999.  “Zestar!” is the trademark name; the cultivar itself is called Minnewashta.  How to avoid heartbreaking waste in apple season:  Pick with 2 hands, steadying the branch and/or nearby apples with your non-dominant hand, then twist off your target apple with your best paw.  Don’t let an apple fall, then knock another apple below, causing a chain reaction.  Multiply that effect by thousands of pickers… and you got a defeated apple farmer.  Please read our Farm School tutorial, How to Pick an Apple.

Pick your own pears – maybe.  There were some Flemish Beauty and others around when we looked.  They all could be picked by the time you get here!  Just ask at the stand and we will try to direct you to what’s ripe and ready.

Peaches are NOT picking!  You all performed an exemplary orchard bumrush last week – totally wiping out the first wave.  Stay tuned for possible future waves.  We will announce if we spy another round of ripening.

But just to get schooled up for a possible next round… a public service announcement starring Farmer Steve (way back when) and Sister Sarah.  #badsweater #whatevenisit #1970s #crochet

There are peaches at the stand :-)  You’ve been tearing through them and we will try to stay stocked for another week.

Pick your own tomatoes and peppers.  Many varieties, some ready, some ripening.  Hard to tell you which types you will find in abundance when you arrive.  Please enjoy exploring around.  Generally the hot peppers won’t be red yet.

No eggplants for u-picking right now, could be a few weeks!  They are tied up in traffic with all the students flowing into town.  (Actually, a few folks picked hundreds of baby eggplants despite our pleas.  Let’s hope mask-wearing pleas are met with better compliance as town fills up again!)  You should be able to find eggplant at the farm stand.

Look what our roving customer-columnist posted this week.  Thank you @samanthanfountain for sourcing from so many local growers.

Something to do with tomatoes:  Stuff them.  Not nearly as Instagrammatic as Samantha’s creations.  But tasty.

Flowers:  Cut your own bouquets in the field by the stand, and other spots around the farm.  Flowers include zinnia, snapdragon, celosia, ageratum, gomphrena, scabiosa/pincushion, cornflower/bachelor buttons, dianthus/carnations, strawflower, aster, marigold, verbena, and statice.  You can also get them at the stand in bouquets (nice jars included) assembled by fruit farmers.

Every weekend is donut time.  Donuts are rolling off the Mark 2 Donut Robot every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00 – expanded from 5:00!  Nick the Donut Kid is churning out these freshly fried toroids of fructotic splendor – optionally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  “A sprinkle of SIN, SUGAR.”

Thank you to whoever left us a full box of apple juice in the orchard grass.  Just what we needed!  Good news is Steve thinks we will have the first jugs of Orchard Ambrosia – naturally sweet, cold-pressed, and unpasteurized – on Labor Day weekend.  Fingers crossed

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

Posted in Crop Alerts & Farm Buzz