DEAR ‘CREEKNIKS: Times like these call for brilliant new ideas. Fearless innovation. Fresh thinking. Bold moves.
So maybe this will be the year you do it: You will secede from the Union and start your own little country. Where every day is a picnic at the pond. If so, you will need a few things to get started in Boblandia or Cindyindia or whatever you christen it. And since The ‘Creek is something of an island nation, an orchard-state open to everyone, we can tell you from experience how to get underway.
First you must erect a grand and capacious parliament building. Look no further than the farm for an exemplary edifice that befits the office.
Next you must appoint a seasoned Minister of Agriculture. When it comes to food security, it’s not WHAT is in your cabinet that matters, but WHO.
And you won’t go far without a visionary plan for infrastructure. You must budget for a fleet of advanced maintenance vehicles.
Finally you will need fruit trees. Now is the time to order for spring planting. You can order now and we will ship to you when the weather is right or you can arrange to pick up at the farm. See what’s in stock by viewing our online inventory:
How to order fruit trees? Check our current inventory. Order online at shop.cumminsnursery.com or you can email email@example.com or call 607-269-7664. Our tree experts have climate prediction goggles. They can see into the future and walk you through options for your orchard.
Farmer Greg points out that we have disease-resistant apple varieties in stock – such as Roxbury, Sansa, Sundance, Ashmeads, and Enterprise – perfect for a lower maintenance home orchard. As luck would have it, Greg will be teaching an Apple Tree Pruning Workshop, Sunday, March 5, here on the farm. Instruction will be split between classroom and orchard. See the Facebook event for details and email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. You can order your trees and learn how to prune all in one week!
Now don’t let this spoil your zeal for home orcharding… but Farmer Steve gives our peaches, apricots, and plums a mere 50% chance of surviving this upside-down weather pattern. Lost them all last year. These May temperatures in February are heaven on your heat bill but hell on fruit trees. The trees should survive, but the crop will go poof unless somebody turns down the furnace. The apple crop survived last year; who knows this year?
On a brighter note, we are pleased to share the news of a great win for open space right here in the farm neighborhood. The Finger Lakes Land Trust has permanently protected a nearby 472-acre horse farm for its agricultural, natural, and scenic values. Read the story about Sheffield Farm. It is just across the way here on Ithaca’s West Hill, and features a mosaic of meadows, woodlands, and brushland habitat. A significant portion of the property is located within the headwaters of Coy Glen, a designated Unique Natural Area. Did you know that Indian Creek Farm is permanently protected by an agricultural conservation easement?
Well that’s the news for FebruMAYuary. Tune in next time for our Farmketeer-of-the-Year issue. Meanwhile we hope this missive finds you happy and healthy. We invite you to join us in the madcap game called fruit farming – plant your own wee orchard this spring. And if you do decide to start a country, be sure to cut secret side deals with a shirtless Russian tiger-hunting outdoorsman before you take office. Or Italian. It worked for us. Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.