News

Welcome to Leslie's Blog.
Posted 12/6/2018 8:33pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

I love snow. I love new snow, big fat snowflake snow, snow falling so furiously it blurs the horizon.  I admire the way fresh snow cleanses the landscape.  I love the way it muffles sound, like the mute on a Dixieland jazz band trumpet. I love the way it inconveniences people, forcing them to slow down, to pay attention, to change their plans.

I love the way snow accumulates on the backs of cattle toughing it out in the pasture. The pile of white stuff on their backs belies their secret to staying warm; their life warming blood retreats to their bodies’ core.  I love the imprints of new foot tracks that expose the traffic of illusive wildlife.

I like breaking new ground in the virgin blanket of whiteness, being the first to leave a human print.  I appreciate the well-stacked woodpile from which I haul a few logs at a time, keeping the wood stove fire well stoked. 

The Farm Store is Open for the Holidays

Beat the holiday shopping crowds—come shop at our farm store! Remember: We won’t be back to the Urbana Market in the Square until Saturday, December 22nd (we might make a secret appearance at the 12/15 market, but we’re not sure yet). 

Come out to the Farm and shop. We have lots of cheese for you. If you think our farm is far from town, in fact, we are REALLY close to Champaign-Urbana—literally 5 miles from each downtown. We are also within two miles of both I-74 and I-57.  Follow directions on our website if you’re not familiar.

Holiday Pop-Up Café

If you missed the debut of our winter holiday pop-up café last Saturday, come on out this Saturday.  We’re open December 8th, 12 noon to 3 PM for heart-warming old-world inspired holiday foods and drinks: 

--Moonglo Fondue en Baguette

--Seasonal Soup using local veggies

--Grilled Piemonte Sausage with house-made mustard on toasted baguette

--Beet Hummus with house-made chips or Cashew "Queso" with carrot sticks

--Chevre cheese cake, pecan buns and other baked goods

--Mexican style goat-milk hot chocolate

--Warm Glugg (Scandinavian-style mulled wine)

--Special espresso coffee drinks

--Roasted chestnuts, pecan turtles and more....

Price range for most food items is $6-10/item.  No reservations required.

Stay for the “Holiday Goat Photo Booth” 12 to 4 pm

(NOTE: The farm store and café will close at 3PM on Saturday, 12/8 so we can get the dining room ready for our farm dinner that evening. We will accommodate folks who want to take pictures with the holiday goats until 4 pm).

Bring your friends, your family or just yourselves and have your pictures taken with our festive holiday goats. This year, we are taking high quality digital photos (using digital cameras, not phones) for visitors and charging $5/photo. We’ll get your email address before we take the picture and then email you the pictures to craft your holiday cards or digital holiday photo greetings.

Please note it takes us several days to download and organize the pictures. We try to send pictures no later than the Wednesday following picture taking.

While at the Farm, try some cheese!

We have the last of our bloomies—little bloom and black goat AND the green peppercorn Moonglo in our cheese cooler this weekend. Once they’re gone, that is IT until next spring.

Here’s the current cheese line up:

  • Fresh chevreplain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late lactation milk is making some super-rich chevre-stock up now and throw some in your freezer for winter
  • Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chili.  Try it on a home-made pizza too.
  • Spiced Feta in Extra Virgin Olive Oil-just in time for the holidays, this ready-made appetizer is perfect with some crusty bread and a jar of fancy pickles. It’s all dressed up and ready to go home with you.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie:  LAST CHANCE! This batch is has achieved that perfectly gooey ripe stage. It’s perfect for a “brie en croute” or baked with your favorite cheese accompaniments—sliced apples or pears, one of our savory sauces (pear chutney, salsa verde), chopped nuts, local honey—the possibilities are endless.
  • Black Goat: LAST CHANCE-very limited availability--an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  It is ripening nicely. Try serving it with one of our house-made jams (red currant or rhubarb are my favorites). 
  • Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a more mild, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: LAST CHANCE--another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower or beets.  

Gelato: If you’re looking for a perfect accompaniment to your decadent holiday desserts, try our gelato. We only have pints of vanilla and red currant sorbetto left. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours.

Other Treats and Cheese Accompaniments: 

  • Jarred Goat Milk Cajeta (a Mexican style caramel sauce with cinnamon)
  • Fudgy Cajeta (caramel sauce with chocolate ganache!!)-may not be available until Dec.15/16
  • House-made jams-seckel pear, red currant, rhubarb, aronia berry
  • House made savory sauces—caponata, pear chutney, salsa verde

Other Farm Products

  • Meats, Poultry and Eggs from Bane Family Meats, Sidney IL
  • Artisan Sausages by Piemonte Sausage Co, Urbana, IL (Bernies Classic Sweet, Cantaloupo, Apple-Pecan-Cranberry and bulk Chorizo)
  • Locally milled wheat flour from the Mill at Janie’s Farm, Ashkum, IL
  • Honey from Two Million Blooms, Champaign-Urbana, IL
  • Artisan Dry-Cured Salamis from Underground Meats, Madison, WI
  • Tulsi Tea from Delight Flower Farm-tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.
  • Fire Cider a special brew to keep those winter colds at bay
  • PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 
  • Holiday Wreaths made to order by Delight Flower Farm- http://delightflowerfarm.com/product-category/products/
  • NEW in the store: Folkmanis mountain goat hand puppet. This award-winning design is the perfect gift for the aspiring goat herder in your life. $36 each.

Weeknight Classes  Last chance to sign up for our final class of the season “Cheese, wine and spirits for holiday entertaining,” Wednesday, December 12th, 6-8 pm. Bring some friends and enjoy an evening of cheese, accompaniments and wine & spirits. We’ll show you how to craft an eye-popping holiday cheese board and pair with wines and spirits. You’ll learn some things AND have a lot of fun. Registration is required and seating is limited to 30 people per class. Sign up NOW!  

Happy Holidays, Thank you and The Farm in winter

After this weekend, the farm store will be open Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm through December 23rd.  Then, we will take a break over winter, letting the goats rest as their babies grow inside them.  We’ll be in touch from time to time, if we decide to bring some cheese to the Urbana Market in the Square or if we host a winter farm-to-table meal or winter farm event.  
We wish all of our patrons the happiest and healthiest of the holiday season.  We thank you all for supporting us all these years, and we look forward to serving you again in spring 2019. 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 11/29/2018 9:28pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

It’s been a roller coaster ride out of and into winter this week.  From balmy mud and pasture-grazing goats one day to snow-covered frozen tundra the next day, it’s a challenge for the body to adapt. It felt like I boarded a plane in autumnal Georgia and landed in mid-winter Alaska.  The goats’ response to the brusque drop in temperature—stay very still.  Mostly pregnant, they protest ever louder over their twice daily milking duties.  Their dwindling milk, ever richer, ferments into curd so dense and massive, it hurts my forearms to ladle it out of the vat. 

The farm is getting ready for the rest that winter will provide. Four wagon-loads of grass hay arrived this week, some bales stacked so precariously, they teetered on the brink of falling over.  One by one, they were hoisted onto the bale elevator to ascend to their temporary resting place inside our hay loft.  Soon, the milkers’ diet will shift from rich alfalfa bailage to dry grass hay; the leaner forage will fuel their rumens and keep their bodies warm as their babies grow inside them.

The Farm Store is Open for the Holidays

Beat the holiday shopping crowds—come shop at our farm store! Remember: We won’t be back to the Urbana Market in the Square until Saturday, December 22nd. SO, come out to the Farm and shop. If you think our farm is far from town, in fact, we are REALLY close to Champaign-Urbana—literally 5 miles from each downtown. We are also within two miles of both I-74 and I-57.  Follow direction on our website if you’re not familiar.

Holiday Pop-Up Café

Chef Raquel and her trusty kitchen assistant Sarah are rolling up their sleeves for two Saturdays in December.  Join us December 1st and December 8th, 11 AM to 2 PM for heart-warming old-world inspired holiday foods and drinks: 

making mustard--Moonglo Fondue en Baguette

--Seasonal Soups using local veggies

--Grilled Piemonte Sausage with house-made mustard on toasted baguette

--Baked brie with apples and candied pecans

--Beet Hummus with house-made chips (12/1) or Cashew "Queso" with carrot sticks (12/8)

--Chevre cheese cake, cinnamon buns and other baked goods

--Mexican style goat-milk hot chocolate

--Warm Glugg (Scandinavian-style mulled wine)

--Special espresso coffee drinks

--Roasted chestnuts, pecan turtles and more....

Price range for most food items is $6-10/item.  No reservations required.

Stay for the Holiday Goat Photo Booth 1 to 4 pm each date (Dec. 1st and 8th)

Bring your friends, your family or just yourselves and have your pictures taken with our festive holiday goats. This year, we are taking high quality digital photos (using digital cameras, not phones) for visitors and charging $5/photo. We’ll get your email address before we take the picture and then email you the pictures to craft your holiday cards or digital holiday photo greetings. Please note it takes us several days to download and organize the pictures. We try to send pictures no later than the Wednesday following picture taking.

While at the Farm, try some cheese! Here’s the current cheese line up:

  • Fresh chevreplain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late fall milk is making some super-rich chevre-stock up now and throw some in your freezer for winter
  • Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in a whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chili.  Try it on a home-made pizza too.
  • Spiced Feta in Extra Virgin Olive Oil-just in time for the holidays, this ready-made appetizer is perfect with some crusty bread and a jar of fancy pickles. It’s all dressed up and ready to go home with you.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch is has achieved that perfectly gooey ripe stage. It’s perfect for a “brie en croute” or baked with your favorite cheese accompaniments—sliced apples or pears, one of our savory sauces (pear chutney, salsa verde), chopped nuts, local honey—the possibilities are endless. These rounds are the last ones in the house, so get them while you can.
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  It is ripening nicely. Try serving it with one of our house-made jams (red currant or rhubarb are my favorites). 
  • Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a more mild, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower or beets. These are the last wedges of the season, so come out if you really love this version of Moonglo

Gelato: If you’re looking for a perfect accompaniment to your decadent holiday desserts, try our gelato. We only have pints of vanilla and red currant sorbetto left. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours.

Other Treats and Cheese Accompaniments: 

  • Spiced Candied Pecans
  • Jarred Goat Milk Cajeta (a Mexican style caramel sauce with cinnamon)
  • Fudgy Cajeta (caramel sauce with chocolate ganache!!)
  • House-made jams-seckel pear, red currant, rhubarb
  • House made savory sauces—caponata, pear chutney, salsa verde

Other Farm Products

  • Meats, Poultry and Eggs from Bane Family Meats, Sidney IL
  • Artisan Sausages by Piemonte Sausage Co, Urbana, IL (Bernies Classic Sweet, Cantaloupo, Apple-Pecan-Cranberry and bulk Chorizo)
  • Locally milled wheat flour from the Mill at Janie’s Farm, Ashkum, IL
  • Honey from Two Million Blooms, Champaign-Urbana, IL
  • Artisan Cured Salamis from Underground Meats, Madison, WI
  • Tulsi Tea from Delight Flower Farm-tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.
  • Fire Cider a special brew to keep those winter colds at bay
  • PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 
  • Apples from Red Crib Acres (formerly Wolfe Orchard, Monticello, IL) Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 
  • Holiday Wreaths made to order by Delight Flower Farm- http://delightflowerfarm.com/product-category/products/
  • NEW in the store: Folkmanis mountain goat hand puppet. This award-winning design is the perfect gift for the aspiring goat herder in your life. $36 each.

Weeknight Classes It’s not too late to sign up for our final cheese-centric class of the season-Wednesday, December 12th, 6-8 pm. Bring some friends and enjoy an evening of cheese, accompaniments and wine & spirits. We’ll show you how to craft an eye-popping holiday cheese board and pair with wines and spirits. You’ll learn something AND have a lot of fun. Registration is required and seating is limited to 30 people per class. Sign up NOW!  


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 11/23/2018 11:07am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

We spent our thanksgiving like we have done for over a decade: milking the goats in the morning, making chevre and preparing our thanksgiving feast on the farm. The sun was shining and the weather was warm enough to coax the goats outside to nibble on the scant green vegetation in the pasture.

Wes cooking the birdWes and the bird

blue eyeing the turkey

Blue begging for some turkey

The turkey, from Bane Family Meats, was prepped and bathed in an herby-olive oil rub and then set inside our wood-fired grill for a few hours. The cornbread stuffing was made with Severson Farm cornmeal, Flyway Farm mushrooms and Blue Moon Farm fennel.  The guests arrived with an overwhelming amount of sides and several bottles of wine—some innovative dishes prepared from locally-sourced ingredients; others derived from long-standing family traditions.  The bounty of food far exceeded the number of people at the dinner table. 

Market Offerings-at the Farm

Remember: We won’t be back to the Market in the Square until Saturday, December 22nd. That said, our farm store is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm through December 23rd. For those of you who haven’t yet venture out to our farm, we are REALLY close to Champaign-Urbana—literally 5 miles from each downtown. Follow directions on our website if you’re not familiar.

Here’s the current cheese line up:

  • Fresh chevreplain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter
  • Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in a whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chili.  
  • Spiced Feta in Extra Virgin Olive Oil-just in time for the holidays, this ready-made appetizer is perfect with some crusty bread and a jar of fancy pickles.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch is has achieved that perfectly gooey ripe stage. It’s perfect for a “brie en croute” or baked with your favorite cheese accompaniments—sliced apples or pears, one of our savory sauces (caponata, salsa verde), chopped nuts, local honey—the possibilities are endless..
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  It is ripening nicely. Try serving it with one of our house-made jams (red currant or rhubarb are my favorites). 
  • Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a more mild, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower or beets.

Gelato: If you’re looking for a perfect accompaniment to pie, try our gelato. We only have pints of vanilla and red currant sorbetto left. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours.

Other Treats and Cheese Accompaniments:

  • Spiced Candied Pecans 
  • Jarred Goat Milk Cajeta (a Mexican style caramel sauce with cinnamon)
  • House-made jams-seckel pear, red currant, rhubarb
  • House made savory sauces—cajeta, pear chutney, salsa verde

Other Farm Products

  • Meats, Poultry and Eggs from Bane Family Meats, Sidney IL
  • Artisan Sausages by Piemonte Sausage Co, Urbana, IL (Bernies Classic Sweet, Cantaloupo, Apple-Pecan-Cranberry and bulk Chorizo)
  • Locally milled wheat flour from the Mill at Janie’s Farm, Ashkum, IL
  • Honey from Two Million Blooms, Champaign-Urbana, IL
  • Artisan Cured Salamis from Underground Meats, Madison, WI
  • Tulsi Tea from Delight Flower Farm-tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.
  • PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 
  • Apples from Red Crib Acres (formerly Wolfe Orchard, Monticello, IL) Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 

Holiday Time on the Farm

Once again, we are transforming our farm store for the holidays. We’ll have locally-made gifts and delicious foods fresh from the farm.

In addition to our regular repertoire of offerings, we will be making some holiday cookies, offering the baked brie special (little bloom warmed with apples, candied pecans and served with a demi-baguette from Central IL Bakehouse)

Baked little bloom with apples and pecans

Starting Saturday, November 24th, we’re offering  ROASTING CHESTNUTS FROM CARY’S GARDEN OF EATIN’—the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit.

Step up to the GOAT MILK BAR FOR SOME WARM DRINKS:

Goat Milk Bar

  • Goat Cajeta Latte
  • Goat Cajeta Affogato
  • Goat Cajeta Steamer
  • Goat Milk Mocha
  • Goat Milk Hot Chocolate

Delight Flower Farm is now taking orders for holiday wreaths. Made with locally-sourced greenery, grapevines and dried flowers, they are show-stoppers! 

The “Holiday Goat Photo Booth” returns on the following dates, 1 to 4 pm each date:

November 24th
December 1st
December 8th

Bring your friends, your family or just yourselves and have your pictures taken with our festive holiday goats. This year, we will be taking high quality digital photos (using digital cameras, not phones) for visitors and charging $5/photo. We’ll get your email address before we take the picture and then email you the pictures to craft your holiday cards or digital holiday photo greetings.

If the weather permits, we’ll be offering Sunday holiday hayrides around the farm.

Saturday December 1st and 8th we will also be offering a special holiday pop-up café. Stay tuned for hours, menu items and other details. 

Fall Weeknight Classes It’s not too late to sign up for our cheese-centric classes. Bring some friends and enjoy an evening of cheese, accompaniments and either beer or wine & spirits. You’ll learn something AND have a lot of fun. Registration is required and seating is limited to 30 people per class (Wednesday evenings, 6-8 pm): November 28th and December 12th. Sign up NOW!

Farm Dinners I encourage you to book your tickets now for the remaining date (December 8th). There are only six seats left. It will be an early winter holiday celebration themed meal.  The chef’s inspiration for the menu is the classic foreign (Danish) film “Babette’s Feast.” We’ll be showing the film (silently) during the dinner.


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 11/15/2018 7:17pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

I awoke to three inches of snow on the ground this morning; another sign of seasons short-changed.  Blue, the dog, can’t hide his glee with the white stuff; he lies in the middle of the driveway, ears erect, immune to the cold. The does, on the other hand, huddle in the barn doorway, reluctant to trot the short distance to the milking parlor. 

As we approach the thanksgiving holiday, I reflect on what has given me cause for thanks this year. I am thankful for the beautiful goats who give us luscious milk day in-day out. I am thankful for their rich manure that we turn into compost that fertilizes our prairie soils.  I am thankful for the creative and hard-working people who have called Prairie Fruits Farm their place of employment this year (and in years past).  Their dedication to a job well done makes the farm hum.  I am thankful for the seasonality of work, especially this time of year as the pace slows down.  I am thankful for the community that sustains us, in more ways than one. 

A Note about the Newsletter: Since next week is a holiday, I will not be sending out my weekly newsletter. I will be sending out a brief email reminder next Friday with updates about farm open hours and offerings.

Market Offerings

Our Urbana Market in the Square attendance is as follows:

  • November 17th 
  • December 22nd

Our booth is located in the south hall of Lincoln Square Mall, between Blue Moon Farm and Illinois Willows. The market hours are 8 am to 1 pm (we will be there until 12:30 so we can get back to the farm to open the store at 1 pm.).  

If you would like to get our cheeses and other farm products from November 24th through December 15th, please come to our farm store during our open hours (see details below).

Here’s the cheese line up for this Saturday:

Fresh chevreplain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter

Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in a whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chili.  

Spiced Feta in Extra Virgin Olive Oil-just in time for the holidays, this ready-made appetizer is perfect with some crusty bread and a jar of fancy pickles.

Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch is has achieved that perfectly gooey ripe stage. Pick up one of our “baked brie kits” featuring little bloom and impress your holiday guests.

Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  It is ripening nicely. This cheese pairs well with sliced pears and a drizzle of local honey or try with reduced balsamic vinegar syrup. 

Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a lighter, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.

Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower.

Gelato: If you’re looking for a perfect accompaniment to pie, try our gelato. We only have pints of vanilla and red currant sorbetto left. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops of several other flavors at the farm during open hours.

Other Market Treats: 

  • Spiced Candied Pecans
  • Jarred Goat Milk Cajeta (a Mexican style caramel sauce with cinnamon)

Farm Store Fall Hours

Currently, we are open: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm.  

During Farm Open Hours you can visit with the goats and shop in our farm store “The Real Stand.” In addition to our cheese and gelato, we’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. (Bernie’s Classic Sweet, Cantalupo and Chicken Apple are back in stock as well as bulk chorizo sausage), jams and pickled veggies by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more.

Stay awhile and "build your own” cheese boards—pick out your cheeses, add a stick of salami (Underground Meats) or a jar of jam from Autumn Berry Inspired, our own house-made jams or pickled veggies, grab some Central IL Bake-house or Bread Co. baguette bread and we’ll provide the board. Enjoy with a glass of wine or local micro-brew.

In addition to the regular offerings, we now feature warm cafe drinks.

Goat Cajeta Latte
Goat Cajeta Affogato
Goat Cajeta Steamer
Goat Milk Mocha
Goat Milk Hot Chocolate

OTHER FEATURED ITEMS IN THE STORE

Delight Flower Farm Tulsi Tea-Tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.

PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 

Eggs from Pastured Hens (Bane Family Meats)

Apples from Red Crib Acres: Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 

Two Million Blooms Honey: we have 1 lb. squeeze bottles and 4 oz. and 1 lb. fancy bottles for sale.  Their honey is beautiful and sweet.

Farm Dinners

I encourage you to book your tickets now for the remaining date (December 8th). There are only six seats left. It will be an early winter holiday celebration themed meal.  The chef’s inspiration for the menu is the classic foreign (Danish) film “Babette’s Feast.” We’ll be showing the film (silently) during the dinner.

Fall Weeknight Classes

We’ll be offering a series of evening classes in November and December: wine, spirits & cheese, beer & cheese, cheese basics and cheese board building. Registration is now open and seating is limited to 30 people per class (Wednesday evenings, 6-8 pm): November 28th and December 12th. Sign up NOW! We need at least 10 participants to hold a class.

Holiday Time on the Farm

Once again, we will be transforming our farm store for the holidays. We’ll have locally-made gifts and delicious foods fresh from the farms. We will try to create a tranquil environment for those of you seeking a place to get some reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

The “Holiday Goat Photo Booth” returns on the following dates, 1 to 4 pm each date:

November 24th

December 1st

December 8th

Bring your friends, your family or just yourselves and have your pictures taken with our festive holiday goats. This year, we will be taking high quality digital photos (using digital cameras, not phones) for visitors and charging $5/photo. We’ll get your email address before we take the picture and then email you the pictures to craft your holiday cards or digital holiday photo greetings.

Saturday December 1st and 8th we will also be offering a special holiday pop-up café. Stay tuned for hours, menu items and other details.   


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 11/9/2018 7:42am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News  

There is a strange quiet that has descended on the farm this week. Early November is typically a time of elimination, paring down—goats, surely bred, start to dry themselves off, the line measuring the volume of milk in the bulk tank after each milking creeps downward, the workload becomes lighter.  When the seasonal adrenaline starts to dissipate, there’s a gradual realization that you have time to think again.  There’s also a period of adjusting to the slower pace, to appreciate that you are not in a constant state of hurry. 

The wet white blanket of snow covering the fallen leaves this morning punctuates the deceleration.  The geese in the pond take flight, perhaps in search of uncovered ground. The sparrows nestle inside the tangled branches of our now naked quince bush, hoping the warmth of the still living limbs will shed the snow from their feathers. The dogs go outside, only to want back into the warmth of wood stove within minutes.  It all seems so early, yet somehow appropriate to the mood of the farm.   

Text Message Customer Loyalty Program:  If you want to get in on weekly market specials,it's not too late to sign up for our text message loyalty program. To get the message with the special info, you’ll need to sign up: text either “GOAT” or “URBANA” or “FARMSTORE” to 30500 to sign up. 

Farmers’ Market Offerings

Thankfully, we will be indoors at the  farmers' market this Saturday. For those of you who aren't familiar, our booth is located in the south hall of Lincoln Square Mall, between Blue Moon Farm and Illinois Willows. The market hours are 8 am to 1 pm (we will be there until 12:30 so we can get back to the farm to open the store at 1 pm.) 

Here’s the cheese line up for Saturday:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter
  • Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in a whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chile.  Check out our new recipe for whole roasted cauliflower with a creamy chevre-feta sauce!
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch is approaching that perfectly gooey ripe stage. Try warming some with toasted nuts and dried fruits. 
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season is young, but headed in a great direction. It has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  This cheese pairs well with sliced pears or try with a reduced balsamic vinegar. 
  • Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a lighter, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower.
  • Lunar Eclipse: Earlier this spring, when milk was plentiful, we experimented with a cheese make that attempted to hybridize our “Magia Negra” (a Manchego-style cheese with a black currant rub on the rind) with our Moonglo.  Lunar Eclipse is the same size as our Moonglo wheels, but has a very different paste texture and flavor profile. The paste is slightly dry and crumbly, making it suited to both slicing and grating. The flavor has hints of tannins from the black currant rub. LIMITED AVAILABILITY--come early if you want some.

Gelato: We have a very modest selection of both gelato and sorbetto flavors this week. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours. Market pint flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate (very limited)
  • Red Currant Sorbetto (made with red currants from the Univ. IL Student Sustainable Farm)

Farm Store Fall Hours

We have new hours for the first two weekends in November: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm.  

During Farm Open Hours you can visit with the goats and shop in our farm store “The Real Stand.” In addition to our cheese and gelato, we’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. (Bernie’s Classic Sweet, Cantalupo and Chicken Apple are back in stock as well as bulk chorizo sausage), jams and pickled veggies by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more.

Stay awhile and "build your own” cheese boards—pick out your cheeses, add a stick of salami (Underground Meats) or a jar of jam from Autumn Berry Inspired, our own house-made jams or pickled veggies, grab some Central IL Bake-house or Bread Co. baguette bread and we’ll provide the board. Enjoy with a glass of wine or local micro-brew.

Starting this weekend, The Real Stand will be featuring a soft opening of the cafe portion of our Holiday Shop & Cafe in conjunction with the return of our favorite goat-milk cajeta (Mexican caramel)! We will be offering goat milk specialty drinks and farm snacks! 

Here are this week’s featured drinks: 
Goat Cajeta Latte
Goat Cajeta Affogato
Goat Cajeta Steamer
Goat Milk Mocha
Goat Milk Hot Chocolate

Hope to see you this Saturday and Sunday from 1p-4p for goat pets, farm feels, and soothing hot beverages picture perfect for a chilly late fall afternoon.

ALSO FEATURED IN THE STORE: 

Delight Flower Farm Tulsi Tea-Tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.

PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 

Eggs from Pastured Hens (Bane Family Meats)

Pumpkins and Squash: We still have some delicious winter squash from Nengengard Farm in Sidney, IL.

Apple Cider pressed from Red Crib Acres and Meyer Produce apples—we hand pressed apples into delicious, refreshing cider.

Fresh apples from Red Crib Acres: Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 

Two Million Blooms Honey: we have 1 lb. squeeze bottles and 4 oz. and 1 lb. fancy bottles for sale.  Their honey is beautiful and sweet.

Farm Dinners

I encourage you to book your tickets now for the remaining date (December 8th). It will be an early winter holiday celebration themed meal.  The chef’s inspiration for the menu is the classic foreign (danish) film “Babette’s Feast.”

Babettes Feast

Wednesday, November 14th, 4:00-6:00 pm: Pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Market at the Farm. David Bane, Bane Family Meats, will have frozen heritage breed turkeys for sale at our farm. These birds were raised on pasture, fed a non-GMO grain ration and are hormone & antibiotic free. Price is $4/lb. and weights range from 12-25 lbs. David requests that you pre-order your turkey: email at davidpbane@aol.com, or call/text 217-722-2188.

We will also have cheese, gelato and other farm products for sale, in case you’re not able to make it to the farmers’ market on November 17th. 

Fall Weeknight Classes

We’ll be offering a series of evening classes in November and December: wine & cheese, beer & cheese, cheese basics and cheese board building to name a few. Registration is now open and seating is limited to 30 people per class (all Wednesday evenings, 6-8 pm): November 14th, November 28th and December 12th. Sign up NOW!

Holiday Time on the Farm

Once again, we will be transforming our farm store for the holidays.  Starting November 24th (Saturday after Thanksgiving) and through December 22nd, the farm will have extended weekend hours. Goats dressed up in holiday attire for picture taking, hay rides, warm spiced drinks and even a seasonal Pop-Up Café are in the works. Stay Tuned for Details! 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 11/1/2018 10:17pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News  

The vibrant ochre-orange leaves that enveloped the Norway maple at the end of our driveway barely had time to show themselves off this week.  Sunny and ‘70’s gave way to cold and gusty rains.  The sheer force of the droplets hit the desiccating leaves, the force just enough to pry the leaves from their anchoring branches.  The tree is now partially disrobed; the curled and fading leaves littered on the ground like carelessly discarded dirty laundry. 

The wet cold is the kind that penetrates the flesh, encouraging you to walk briskly from house to barn and back again.  In fact, you start to find reasons to not leave the house—make some soup, organize those files, sweep the dog hairs accumulating around the baseboards. The goats have no intentions to leave the comforts of their freshly bedded barn either; they are content to fatten up on alfalfa haylage. They are starting to protest their twice daily obligation to give up what little milk they have left. 

As I lingered in the house today looking for excuses not to go outside, I listened to our local public radio broadcast “Here and Now” interview of a rural poet from Illinois, Austin Smith. I was so taken with his poem about daily contrasts on his farm, I felt compelled to share it in my newsletter:

Country Things (poem from Flyover Country)
by Austin Smith
 
Some days even nature seems sinister.
Walking around the farm with a beer,
Seeking some solace after the evening news,
You meet the cat you love coming back
From the windbreak, a rare songbird In his mouth.
In the mulberry branches
The silkworms writhe in nests that, backlit
By twilight, look like X-rays of lungs.
In the pasture the cow kicks at her calf
And won’t let her nurse, while in a seam
Of gleaming honey in the oak that lightning
Cleaved the queen daintily eats her offspring.
In the rafters of the barn the starlings are
Pushing the owls’ eggs out of the nest,
While the owl herself is out hunting.
Going in, you nearly step on a swarm
Of ants ravishing a butterfly like pirates
Tearing a capsized ship down, its wings
Like torn sails, and the first thing you hear
When you enter the kitchen is the snap
Of the mousetrap you set this morning,
Tired of being kept awake all night
By their scratching in the walls. And so
You are met with your own small act
Of cruelty, your contribution to the whole.
With a pair of pliers that are themselves
Always biting something, you take
The broke-necked mouse by the tail
And throw it into the darkening yard,
Never knowing that in favor of it the cat
Let go of the bird, who was only stunned,
And whose song you woke to this morning. 

Text Message Customer Loyalty Program:  If you want to get in on weekly market specials, sign up for our text message loyalty program.To get the message with the special info, you’ll need to sign up: text either “GOAT” or “URBANA” or “FARMSTORE” to 30500 to sign up. 

Farmers’ Market Offerings

November 3rd marks the start of the indoor farmers' market.  Most of the farmers (including us) will be set up in the south hall of Lincoln Square Mall.The hours are 8 am to 1 pm (we will be there until 12:30 so we can get back to the farm to open the store at 1 pm.  

Please come and patronize the market. There are still so many great products available.  We continue to have a great line-up of cheeses, especially chevre and fall bloomy rind cheeses, so come out and support your local farmers this fall and holiday season.

If you can’t make it to the market, our farm store is open Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 pm.

Here’s the cheese line up for Saturday:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter
  • Poblano chevre: we have a limited number of these spicy beauties. Come early if want some!
  • Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in a whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chile.  
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch continues to age nicely--gooey on the edges, buttery, milky and slightly mushroomy. Enjoy a wedge with local honey or jam.
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season is young, but headed in a great direction. It has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  This cheese pairs well with sliced pears or try with a reduced balsamic vinegar. 
  • Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a lighter, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower.
  • Lunar Eclipse: Earlier this spring, when milk was plentiful, we experimented with a cheese make that attempted to hybridize our “Magia Negra” (a Manchego-style cheese with a black currant rub on the rind) with our Moonglo.  Lunar Eclipse is the same size as our Moonglo wheels, but has a very different paste texture and flavor profile. The paste is slightly dry and crumbly, making it suited to both slicing and grating. The flavor has hints of tannins from the black currant rub. LIMITED AVAILABILITY--come early if you want some.

Gelato: We have a modest selection of both gelato and sorbetto flavors this week. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours. Market pint flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Caramel Apple (apples from Red Crib Acres, Monticello)
  • Buttered Pecan (pecans from Voss Orchard, Carlyle, IL)
  • Red Currant Sorbetto (made with red currants from the Univ. IL Student Sustainable Farm)

Farm Store Fall Hours

We have new hours for the first two weekends in November: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm.  

During Farm Open Hours you can visit with the goats and shop in our farm store “The Real Stand.” In addition to our cheese and gelato, we’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. (Bernie’s Classic Sweet, Cantalupo and Chicken Apple are back in stock as well as bulk chorizo sausage), jams and pickled veggies by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more.

Stay awhile and "build your own” cheese boards—pick out your cheeses, add a stick of salami (Underground Meats) or a jar of jam from Autumn Berry Inspired, our own house-made jams or pickled veggies, grab some Central IL Bake-house or Bread Co. baguette bread and we’ll provide the board. Enjoy with a glass of wine or local micro-brew.

FEATURED IN THE STORE: 

Delight Flower Farm Tulsi Tea-Tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.

Tusli Tea

PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.) and leg shanks (2 to a package, $16/lb.). We also have shoulder roasts (approx. 4-5 lb. packages, $16/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 

Eggs from Pastured Hens (Bane Family Meats)

Pumpkins and Squash: We still have some delicious winter squash from Nengengard Farm in Sidney, IL.

Apple Cider pressed from Red Crib Acres and Meyer Produce apples—we hand pressed apples into delicious, refreshing cider.

Fresh apples from Red Crib Acres: Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 

Two Million Blooms Honey: we have 1 lb. squeeze bottles and 4 oz. and 1 lb. fancy bottles for sale.  Their honey is beautiful and sweet.

Farm Dinners

I encourage you to book your tickets now for the remaining date (December 8th). It will be an early winter holiday celebration themed meal.  The chef’s inspiration for the menu is the classic foreign (danish) film “Babette’s Feast.”

Babettes Feast

Saturday, November 3rd Meet the Cheese Maker at Eataly Chicago, 12:30-1:30 pm. We’ll be headed up to Chicago to do a special cheese tasting and wine pairing.  Chicagoans, if you’re missing PFFC cheeses, come to this event. LAST CHANCE! Sign up here: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/chicago/cheese-tasting-with-local-producer-prairie-fruits-farm-creamery-2018-11-03-5033

Wednesday, November 14th, 4:00-6:00 pm: Pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Market at the Farm. David Bane, Bane Family Meats, will have frozen heritage breed turkeys for sale at our farm. These birds were raised on pasture, fed a non-GMO grain ration and are hormone & antibiotic free. Price is $4/lb. and weights range from 12-25 lbs. David requests that you pre-order your turkey: email at davidpbane@aol.com, or call/text 217-722-2188.

We will also have cheese, gelato and other farm products for sale, in case you’re not able to make it to the farmers’ market on November 17th. 

Fall Weeknight Classes

We’ll be offering a series of evening classes in November and December: wine & cheese, beer & cheese, cheese basics and cheese board building to name a few. Registration is now open and seating is limited to 30 people per class (all Wednesday evenings, 6-8 pm): November 14th, November 28th and December 12th.

Holiday Time on the Farm

Once again, we will be transforming our farm store for the holidays.  Starting November 24th (Saturday after Thanksgiving) and through December 22nd, the farm will have extended weekend hours. Goats dressed up in holiday attire for picture taking, hay rides, warm spiced drinks and even a seasonal Pop-Up Café are in the works. Stay Tuned for Details! 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 10/25/2018 8:59pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News  

The small and the wondrous signal the slow transformation from vibrant life to seasonal senescence on the farm.  The rise of the giant full moon filled the dusky eastern sky of our pasture earlier this week; its radiance akin to the glow of an expectant mother. They call this the “hunters’ moon.” I imagine the light of its reflection so bright that the hunters need no artificial torches to spot their prey.  Indeed, there are no hunters here, but the resident deer take advantage of the light for an evening snack in the soybean fields.

I have noticed the flittering of tiny drab birds in the trees outside our house. They must be warblers or wrens on their way to warmer climes.  There’s been a changing of the guard of our resident avian friends as well.  The robins and gold finches have been replaced by blue jays, nuthatches and red-bellied wood peckers.  The majestic maple at the end of our driveway has started its slow transformation from green to red to flaming yellow-orange. It always starts at the top of the tree and spreads downward like a painter redoing the color of a wall. 

The goat breeding continues. As we enter into a second heat cycle (yes, it’s been three weeks already), the bucks have a new color of crayon attached to their chests. The backsides of the milking does are gradually turning colors-reds, greens, blues and yellows, just like the dying leaves of the maple tree.

Text Message Customer Loyalty Program:  This week’s text club special relates to chevre again. To get the message with the special info, you’ll need to sign up: text either “GOAT” or “URBANA” or “FARMSTORE” to 30500 to sign up. 

A bit of humble bragging: It was brought to our attention that our beloved burb of Champaign made the Top 10 College Towns to Live In list; among the things that they mentioned about our little hamlet in the cornfields is that being a farmer at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is their “dream job.” Who knew! Check it out (we're number 7): https://livability.com/top-10/college/10-best-college-towns/2018

Farmers’ Market Offerings

The last outdoor market of the season is this Saturday, October 27th.  Starting November 3rd the market moves inside the Lincoln Square Mall (8 am to 1 pm), and we will be set up in the south hall.  

Please come and patronize the market; even as it transitions from outdoors to inside; there are still so many great products to be had.  We continue to have a great line-up of cheeses, especially chevre, as well as gelato flavors for you, so come out and support your local farmers this Saturday.

If you can’t make it to the market, our farm store is open Friday evening, 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 pm.

Here’s the cheese line up for Saturday:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter (if you missed the poblano chevre, we will have one more batch of it for the first indoor market on November 3rd)
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch aging nicely; slightly gooey on the edges, buttery, milky and slightly mushroomy. Enjoy a wedge with local honey or jam.
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This batch is starting to get gooey and ripe but not overly ripe.  It still has a wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  This cheese pairs well with sliced pears or try with a reduced balsamic vinegar. 
  • Moonglo:  Our first spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) are making their debut at the market and in the farm store. The spring milk produces a lighter, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns and a touch of a local barley wine.  The cheese wheels have been aging for nearly five months, and the verdict is complex deliciousness.  The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. 
  • Lunar Eclipse: Earlier this spring, when milk was plentiful, we experimented with a cheese make that attempted to hybridize our “Magia Negra” (a Manchego-style cheese with a black currant rub on the rind) with our Moonglo.  Lunar Eclipse is the same size as our Moonglo wheels, but has a very different paste texture and flavor profile. The paste is slightly dry and crumbly, making it suited to both slicing and grating. The flavor has hints of tannins from the black currant rub. We only have a couple of wheels left, so get it while it lasts.

Gelato: We still have a good selection of both gelato and sorbetto flavors this week. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours. Market pint flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Stracciatella (chocolate ganache ribbon “chips”)
  • Caramel Apple (apples from Red Crib Acres, Monticello)
  • Buttered Pecan (pecans from Voss Orchard, Carlyle, IL)
  • Pumpkin (pumpkins from Sola Gratia, Urbana)
  • Nectarine Sorbetto (a little taste of summer-LIMITED)
  • Red Currant Sorbetto (made with red currants from the Univ. IL Student Sustainable Farm)

Farm Store Fall Hours

We have new hours through the end of October (that's this weekend folks):  Fridays, 4-7 pm and Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm.  Early November Hours (Nov.3rd and 4th and Nov. 10th and 11th) will be Saturday/Sunday, 1-4 pm and then they will expand for the holidays.

Now that the weather is cooler, the farm is a great place to visit and to shop.  On Fridays, come out after work to unwind. During our open hours, you can savor a scoop of gelato or “build your own” cheese boards—pick out your cheeses, add a stick of salami (Underground Meats) or a jar of jam from Autumn Berry Inspired, our own house-made jams or pickled veggies, grab some Central IL Bake-house or Bread Co. baguette bread and we’ll provide the board.

Friday Fall Happy Hours at the Farm

Tomorrow, Friday, October 26th, 4-7 pm is the last fall farm happy hour of the season. Michael Darin, our “wine guy” and I have decide to make a special cocktail for the occasion: a bubbly cider “sangria” with cava, apple cider and fresh apple slices. Michael will also offer tastings of other wines in our portfolio and suggestions for cheese and wine pairings.  We’ll have baguettes from Central IL Bakehouse and all the fixin’s for a build-your-own cheese board. 

During Farm Open Hours you can visit with the goats and shop in our farm store “The Real Stand.” In addition to our cheese and gelato, we’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. (Bernie’s Classic Sweet, Cantalupo and Chicken Apple are back in stock as well as bulk chorizo sausage), jams and pickled veggies by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more.

FEATURED IN THE STORE: 

PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.) and leg shanks (2 to a package, $16/lb.). We also have shoulder roasts (approx. 4-5 lb. packages, $16/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 

Eggs from Pastured Hens (Bane Family Meats)

Pumpkins and Squash: If you’re looking for a last minute carving pumpkin or just want to roast some delicious winter squash, we’ve got some orange beauties from Nengengard Farm in Sidney, IL.

Apple Cider pressed from Red Crib Acres and Meyer Produce apples—we hand pressed apples into delicious, refreshing cider.

Fresh apples from Red Crib Acres: Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 

Two Million Blooms Honey: we have 1 lb. squeeze bottles and 4 oz. and 1 lb. fancy bottles for sale.  Their honey is beautiful and sweet.

Farm Dinners

We only have a few dinners left this season, and all but one are sold out. I encourage you to book your tickets now for the remaining date (December 8th). It will be an early winter holiday celebration themed meal.  The chef’s inspiration for the menu is the classic foreign film “Babette’s Feast.”

Saturday, November 3rd Meet the Cheese Maker at Eataly Chicago, 12:30-1:30 pm. We’ll be headed up to Chicago to do a special cheese tasting and wine pairing.  Chicagoans, if you’re missing PFFC cheeses, come to this event. DON’T DELAY! Sign up here: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/chicago/cheese-tasting-with-local-producer-prairie-fruits-farm-creamery-2018-11-03-5033

Wednesday, November 14th, 4:00-6:00 pm: Pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Market at the Farm. David Bane, Bane Family Meats, will have frozen heritage breed turkeys for sale at our farm. These birds were raised on pasture, fed a non-GMO grain ration and are hormone & antibiotic free. Price is $4/lb. and weights range from 12-25 lbs. David requests that you pre-order your turkey: email at davidpbane@aol.com, or call/text 217-722-2188.

We will also have cheese, gelato and other farm products for sale, in case you’re not able to make it to the farmers’ market on November 17th. 

Fall Weeknight Classes

We’ll be offering a series of evening classes in November and December: wine & cheese, beer & cheese, cheese basics and cheese board building to name a few. Stay tuned for dates and registration information. Save the dates for now (all Wednesday evenings, 6-8 pm): November 14th, November 28th and December 12th.

Holiday Time on the Farm

Once again, we will be transforming our farm store for the holidays.  Starting November 24th (Saturday after Thanksgiving) and through December 22nd, the farm will have extended weekend hours. Goats dressed up in holiday attire for picture taking, hay rides, warm spiced drinks and even a seasonal Pop-Up Café are in the works. Stay Tuned for Details! 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 10/18/2018 2:02pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

The underlying physiological response to shorter days is slumber.  The farmer’s cognitive need to keep going fights against the brain’s automatic emission of chemical rivulets to slow down, to let go.  Despite the slow-down in milk production that normally accompanies breeding, there are still so many things to do before the season truly ends.  The early morning temperatures left a light frost this week, just enough to blacken the tips of the summer crops, but not enough to do them in all together. The still green tomato vines need to be cut down and hauled to the compost pile. The now rotting green and red tomatoes that have fallen to the ground need to be raked and carted away, so they don’t release their seeds into the soil to create a volunteer tomato weed patch next spring. 

The kid barn needs to be cleaned in anticipation of November breeding. The compost windrows need to be turned and, eventually, the finished compost needs to be spread on the pastures to begin the slow re-nourishment of the soil (and make room for more compost).  The desiccated tree fruit mummies (fruits that were diseased or insect damaged that rotted on the limbs or fell to the ground) need to collected and burned. Time spent on fall hygiene supposedly helps lessen the insect and disease pressure for next year. The orchard ground cover needs to be mowed to create an inhospitable environment for the voles who might think about winter “camping” and tree root “pruning” under snow and frozen ground. 

When the wind is just right, and the tinder not too wet or dry, we’ll need to light our giant burn piles on fire.  We’ll need to get rid of this year’s organic debris to make room for next year’s.  The ebb and flow of abundance and scarcity of products and by-products are normal. Mustering the energy and enthusiasm to bring order to the natural entropy can be challenging.

Text Message Customer Loyalty Program: This week’s text club special relates to green peppercorn moonglo. To get the message with the special info, you’ll need to sign up: text either “GOAT” or “URBANA” or “FARMSTORE” to 30500 to sign up. 

Farmers’ Market Offerings

The forecast is calling for seasonal temperatures—this means cool—and a bit breezy. This is the time of year that folks forget how much great local food is still available at the farmers’ markets. Take an hour out of your Saturday morning to patronize the farmers who provide you with beautiful, locally-grown produce. Our cheeses compliment so many of the fresh produce available now—fennel, carrots, radishes, apples and pears.   

We continue to have a great line-up of cheeses, especially chevre, as well as gelato flavors for you, so come out and support your local farmers this Saturday. If you can’t make it to the market, our farm store is open Friday evening, 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 pm.

Here’s the cheese line up for Saturday:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter.
  • Roasted poblano chevre: poblano peppers grown on our farm, gently roasted to remove the skins, chopped and blended into our fresh chevre. Slight heat from the peppers, cooled by the creamy chevre; need I say more? Try it on a crostini with pan-roasted mushrooms. This may be the last weekend it is available.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch aging nicely; slightly gooey on the edges, buttery, milky and slightly mushroomy. Enjoy a wedge with local honey or jam.
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This batch is starting to get gooey and ripe but not overly ripe.  It still has a wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  This cheese pairs well with sliced pears or try with a reduced balsamic vinegar. 
  • Moonglo:  Our first spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) are making their debut at the market and in the farm store. The spring milk produces a lighter, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns and a touch of a local barley wine.  The cheese wheels have been aging for nearly five months, and the verdict is complex deliciousness.  The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight.  THIS IS MY ‘PERFECT PAIRING CHEESE’ THIS WEEK, PAIRED WITH FRESH APPLE SLICES.
  • Lunar Eclipse: Earlier this spring, when milk was plentiful, we experimented with a cheese make that attempted to hybridize our “Magia Negra” (a Manchego-style cheese with a black currant rub on the rind) with our Moonglo.  Lunar Eclipse is the same size as our Moonglo wheels, but has a very different paste texture and flavor profile. The paste is slightly dry and crumbly, making it suited to both slicing and grating. The flavor has hints of tannins from the black currant rub.  It looks like the dark side of the moon, but the flavor will put you over the moon.

Gelato: We still have a good selection of both gelato and sorbetto flavors this week. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours. Market pint flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Stracciatella (chocolate ganache ribbon “chips”)
  • Caramel Apple (apples from Red Crib Acres, Monticello)
  • Buttered Pecan (pecans from Voss Orchard, Carlyle, IL)
  • Pumpkin (pumpkins from Sola Gratia, Urbana)
  • Nectarine Sorbetto (a little taste of summer)
  • Red Currant Sorbetto (made with red currants from the Univ. IL Student Sustainable Farm)

If haven’t figured out yet where we are at the market this year: Urbana Market at the Square. We are in spot #20 on the south-west (along Illinois Street) end of the market. We are right next to Moore Family Farm.

The outdoor market goes until the end of October this year, then, we will be moving inside Lincoln Square Mall starting November 3rd. The market DOES NOT end once it moves inside; it’s just a change of venue.

Farm Store Fall Hours

We have new hours through the end of October:  Fridays, 4-7 pm and Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm. Now that the weather is cooler (hopefully), the farm is a great place to visit and to shop.  On Fridays, come out after work to unwind.

During our open hours, you can savor a scoop of gelato or “build your own” cheese boards—pick out your cheeses, add a stick of salami (Underground Meats) or a jar of jam from Autumn Berry Inspired, our own house-made jams or pickled veggies, grab some Central IL Bake-house or Bread Co. baguette bread and we’ll provide the board.

Friday Fall Happy Hours at the Farm

Now, through the end of October, Michael Darin, our “wine guy” returns to farm for Friday low-key happy hours, 4-7 pm. He’ll offer tastings and suggestions for special cheese and wine pairings each Friday evening. It’s a fun way to try some new wines and/or local micro-brews alongside our cheeses. Check out the details.

Shop in our farm store “The Real Stand.” In addition to our cheese and gelato, we’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. (Bernie’s Classic Sweet, Cantalupo and Chicken Apple are back in stock as well as bulk chorizo sausage), jams and pickled veggies by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more.

FEATURED IN THE STORE

PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.) and leg shanks (2 to a package, $16/lb.). We also have shoulder roasts (approx. 4-5 lb. packages, $16/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 

Apple Cider pressed from Red Crib Acres apples—we hand pressed apples into delicious, refreshing cider.

Fresh apples from Red Crib Acres: Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 

Two Million Blooms Honey: we’ll have 1 lb. squeeze bottles and 4 oz. and 1 lb. fancy bottles for sale this weekend.  Their honey is beautiful and sweet.

Farm Dinners

We only have a few dinners left this season, and all but one are sold out. I encourage you to book your tickets now for the remaining date (December 8th). It will be an early winter holiday celebration themed meal.  The chef’s inspiration for the menu is the classic foreign film “Babette’s Feast.”

Sunday, October 21st Cider Dayz at the Farm--mark your calendars for our second annual fall apple cider festival. From 1-4 pm, you’ll be able to press your own cider, enjoy a cider-gelato float, grab some fresh apples and savor some cider-inspired pastries by Lucky Pierre Bakers.  We’ll be offering hay rides around the farm too: $5/adult, $2.50/child under 8 yrs. old. RSVP on our Facebook page.

Delight Flower Farm will be offering a fall wreath making workshop in our pavilion from 3:00-4:30 that same afternoon.  Reservations required for the workshop.

Saturday, November 3rd Meet the Cheese Maker at Eataly Chicago, 12:30-1:30 pm. We’ll be headed up to Chicago to do a special cheese tasting and wine pairing.  Chicagoans, if you’re missing PFFC cheeses, come to this event. Sign up here: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/chicago/cheese-tasting-with-local-producer-prairie-fruits-farm-creamery-2018-11-03-5033

Fall Weeknight Classes: We’ll be offering a series of evening classes in November and December: wine & cheese, beer & cheese, cheese basics and cheese board building to name a few. Stay tuned for dates and registration information.

Holiday Time on the Farm: Once again, we will be transforming our farm store for the holidays.  Starting November 24th (Saturday after Thanksgiving) and through December 22nd, the farm will have extended weekend hours. Goats dressed up in holiday attire for picture taking, hay rides, warm spiced drinks and even a seasonal Pop-Up Café are in the works. Stay Tuned for Details! 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 10/12/2018 9:06am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

In the cyclical life of a farmer, sometimes waiting permeates the week’s activities, while other times, you are thrust into radical change. This week, the clouds and winds left a 40-degree temperature drop in their wake, setting into motion a flurry of activity more appropriate to the season. After weeks of distant pinning and unmet amorous frustrations, the breeding bucks finally were brought up to the doe barn to begin breeding. When we went over to the north pasture to retrieve them, we brought a bucket of grain, thinking we would need to coax them out of their summer pasture. This gesture proved totally unnecessary. Like missiles programmed to strike their targets with laser-like precision, they jaunted up through the orchard (Nate was actually galloping) toward the doe barn.  Erica and Zev both had to restrain them to put the marking harnesses on each one before letting them into their breeding pens. 

breeding harness onto bucks

Within minutes of releasing them into their pens, the courtship rituals of flagging (does waving their tails), urine analysis (bucks testing the does’ urine for estrous hormones) and even mounting the few in standing heat ensued.  After a couple of days, the males and their harems are settling into their new routine with occasional bouts of jealousy if someone else’s does come into heat.  So, we begin the simultaneous creep toward the end of this year’s lactation cycle with the first steps toward next year’s production.

As new beginnings stir in the doe barn, the bonus garden crops from delayed summer must now be harvested before the coming frosts.  Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours pulling off ripe and green tomatoes, peppers and any other cold sensitive crops from their vines. My feelings were conflicted—wanting to hoard every single ripe tomato, even those that had fallen to the ground versus accepting that it is ok to leave a few to rot or be eaten. 

fall tomatoes

Despite my better judgement, I was overcome by a sense of last chances, the strong need to glean all of the year’s harvest. It is hard for me to let anything go to waste (perhaps of so many years of childhood indoctrination into the “clean plate club”), even though I know our freezers are full of frozen fruit and veggies.  Just a few more pickles to make, a few more jars to fill and line the shelves.

Text Message Customer Loyalty Program:  This week’s text club special is still about chevre. To get the message with the special info, you’ll need to sign up: text either “GOAT” or “URBANA” or “FARMSTORE” to 30500 to sign up. 

Farmers’ Market Offerings

The forecast is calling for seasonal temperatures—this means cool—but sunny. Perfect shopping weather-lots of farmers will have the end-of-summer produce as well as fall beauties.  We have a great line-up of cheeses, especially chevre, as well as gelato flavors for you, so come out and support your local farmers this Saturday.

If you can’t make it to the market, our farm store is open Friday evening, 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 pm. Here’s the cheese line up for Saturday:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter.
  • Roasted poblano chevre: poblano peppers grown on our farm, gently roasted to remove the skins, chopped and blended into our fresh chevre. Slight heat from the peppers, cooled by the creamy chevre; need I say more? Try it on a crostini with pan-roasted mushrooms.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch aging nicely; buttery, milky and slightly mushroomy. Enjoy a wedge with local honey or jam.
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This batch is aging well with a fudgy texture to the paste.  It has a wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  This cheese pairs well with sliced pears or try with a reduced balsamic vinegar. 
  • Moonglo:  Our first spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) are making their debut at the market and in the farm store. The spring milk produces a lighter, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Lunar Eclipse: Earlier this spring, when milk was plentiful, we experimented with a cheese make that attempted to hybridize our “Magia Negra” (a Manchego-style cheese with a black currant rub on the rind) with our Moonglo.  Lunar Eclipse is the same size as our Moonglo wheels, but has a very different paste texture and flavor profile. The paste is slightly dry and crumbly, making it suited to both slicing and grating. The flavor has hints of tannins from the black currant rub.  It looks like the dark side of the moon, but the flavor will put you over the moon (we hope). 
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns and a touch of a local barley wine.  The cheese wheels have been aging for nearly five months, and the verdict is complex deliciousness.  The green peppercorns give a hint of pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight.

Gelato: We still have a good selection of both gelato and sorbetto flavors this week, although a couple of flavors are quite limited. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours. Market pint flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Caramel Apple (apples from Red Crib Acres, Monticello)
  • Buttered Pecan (pecans from Voss Orchard, Carlyle, IL)
  • Pumpkin (pumpkins from Sola Gratia, Urbana)
  • Thai Basil-Limited
  • Pear Amaretto Sorbetto (made with our Seckel pears)-Limited

If haven’t figured out yet where we are at the market this year: Urbana Market at the Square. We are in spot #20 on the south-west (along Illinois Street) end of the market. We are right next to Moore Family Farm. The outdoor market goes until the end of October this year, then, we will be moving inside Lincoln Square Mall starting November 3rd.

The market DOES NOT end once it moves inside; it’s just a change of venue.

Farm Store Fall Hours

We have new hours for the fall:  Fridays, 4-7 pm and Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm. Now that the weather is cooler (hopefully), the farm is a great place to visit and to shop.  On Fridays, come out after work to unwind. During our open hours, you can savor a scoop of gelato or “build your own” cheese boards—pick out your cheeses, add a stick of salami (Underground Meats) or a jar of jam from Autumn Berry Inspired, our own house-made jams or pickled veggies, grab some Central IL Bake-house or Bread Co. baguette bread and we’ll provide the board.

Friday Fall Happy Hours at the Farm

Starting October 12th and through the end of October, Michael Darin, our “wine guy” returns to farm for Friday low-key happy hours, 4-7 pm. He’ll offer tastings and suggestions for special cheese and wine pairings each Friday evening. It’s a fun way to try some new wines and/or local micro-brews alongside our cheeses. Check out the details.

Shop in our farm store “The Real Stand.” In addition to our cheese and gelato, we’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. (Bernie’s Classic Sweet, Cantalupo and Chicken Apple are back in stock as well as bulk chorizo sausage), jams and pickled veggies by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more.

NEW: Delight Flower Farm has a self-service bouquet stand at the entrance to our farm! Get a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers for only $10!! Leave your $$ in their box via the honor system.

FEATURED IN THE STORE

PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat, goat loin or rib chops (4 to a package) and leg shanks (2 to a package). We also have shoulder roasts (approx. 4-5 lb. packages). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 

Apple Cider pressed from Red Crib Acres apples—we hand pressed apples into delicious, refreshing cider.

Two Million Blooms Honey: we’ll have 1 lb. squeeze bottles and 4 oz. and 1 lb. fancy bottles for sale this weekend.  Their honey is beautiful and sweet.

Farm Dinners  We only have a few dinners left this season, and all but one are sold out. I encourage you to book your tickets now for the remaining date (December 8th). It will be an early winter holiday celebration themed meal.  We probably won’t post the menu for another few weeks, but I promise that we will end the dinner season in style.

Sunday, October 21st Cider Dayz at the Farm--mark your calendars for our second annual fall apple cider festival. From 1-4 pm, you’ll be able to press your own cider, enjoy a cider-gelato float, grab some fresh apples and savor some cider-inspired pastries by Lucky Pierre Bakers.  RSVP on our Facebook page.  

Delight Flower Farm will be offering a fall wreath making workshop in our pavilion from 3:00-4:30 that same afternoon.  Reservations required for the workshop.

Saturday, November 3rd Meet the Cheese Maker at Eataly Chicago, 12:30-1:30 pm. We’ll be headed up to Chicago to do a special cheese tasting and wine pairing.  Sign up here: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/chicago/cheese-tasting-with-local-producer-prairie-fruits-farm-creamery-2018-11-03-5033 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 10/4/2018 4:16pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

Despite the roller coaster temperatures that make it difficult to get on with fall, we pressed some apples this week for cider.  Our cider press is old fashioned; it requires human strength to load the apples into the hopper (not so taxing), hand crank the chopper and then dial down on the chopped pieces of apples to expel their juice (most muscle required, especially upper body strength).  Although this has become an annual ritual on the farm over the years, I always marvel at the golden caramel colored juice flowing from the white and yellow fleshed apples.  One hundred pounds of apples yielded almost five gallons of cider: nectar of the pomme fruits.

The brisk winds of late are carrying the buck mating odors eastward toward the pasture.  The does are coming into heat in waves now. This morning, another early morning phone call from our buck keeper, Abad, alarmed that there had been another doe breakout into the buck pen.  We rushed down through the orchard to find a line of does wailing along the fence line in the direction of their suitors. Wes watched Pattie, clearly in heat, test the hot wire with her nose; a gentle jolt gave her sufficient respect to not challenge the fence.  

Inside the buck pen, the bucks’ lips were curled up to test the winds for doe pheromones.  Like the humpback whales who sing to their mates in the deep blue ocean, the wave of does in heat call to the bucks and the bucks respond with their own chants and snorts.  The breeding males go after the remaining bucklings in their pasture paddock, practicing moves for eventual mating yet frustrated that they can’t have the real thing just yet. To get a first hand account of the serenading, go to our Facebook page.

Text Message Customer Loyalty Program: This week’s text club special is all about chevre. To get the message with the special info, you’ll need to sign up: text either “GOAT” or “URBANA” or “FARMSTORE” to 30500 to sign up. 

Farmers’ Market Offerings

The forecast is for pleasant temperatures (70’s to low 80’s) and a chance of rain. Don’t let the a few drops of the wet stuff slow you down-bring an umbrella. The market is brimming with so much goodness right now—the fleeting crops of summer and the sweetness of fall crops like apples, pears and carrots.  We have a great line-up of cheeses, especially chevre, as well as gelato flavors for you, so come out and support your local farmers this Saturday.

If you can’t make it to the market, our farm store is open Friday evening, 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 pm.

Here’s the cheese line up for Saturday:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter.
  • Fresh chevre with dried tomatoes: Last chance folks! We have a limited number of tubs of this intensely tomato flavored chevre. We grow the mini-Roma tomatoes called Juliette, dry them chop them up and then blend them into our fresh chevre.  This is my favorite flavor of chevre.
  • Roasted poblano chevre: poblano peppers grown on our farm, gently roasted to remove the skins, chopped and blended into our fresh chevre. Slight heat from the peppers, cooled by the creamy chevre; need I say more?
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch is young but loaded with flavor; buttery, milky and slightly mushroomy. Enjoy simply on a slice of crusty bread with local honey or jam.
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This batch is young with a fudgy texture to the paste.  It has a wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.
  • Moonglo: Our first spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) are making their debut at the market and in the farm store. The spring milk produces a lighter, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Lunar Eclipse: Earlier this spring, when milk was plentiful, we experimented with a cheese make that attempted to hybridize our “Magia Negra” (a Manchego-style cheese with a black currant rub on the rind) with our Moonglo.  Lunar Eclipse is the same size as our Moonglo wheels, but has a very different paste texture and flavor profile. The paste is slightly dry and crumbly, making it suited to both slicing and grating. The flavor has hints of tannins from the black currant rub.  It looks like the dark side of the moon, but the flavor will put you over the moon (we hope). 
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns and a touch of a local barley wine.  The cheese wheels have been aging for nearly five months, and the verdict is complex deliciousness.  The green peppercorns give a hint of pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight.

Gelato: We still have a good selection of both gelato and sorbetto flavors this week, although some flavors are quite limited. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours. Market pint flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Honey-Lavender (limited availability) with lavender from Sharp’s Crossing Lavender Farm, Urbana
  • Tart Cherry Amaretto-Stracciatella-LIMITED (it’s a mouthful –local cherries marinated in amaretto liquor with a chocolate ganache ribbon throughout)—premium flavor costs $12/pint
  • Sicilian Pistachio (premium flavor—pure Italian pistachio paste) $12/pint
  • Pear Amaretto Sorbetto (made with our Seckel pears)
  • Ginger White Peach Sorbetto (made from our peaches)

If haven’t figured out yet where we are at the market this year: Urbana Market at the Square. We are in spot #20 on the south-west (along Illinois Street) end of the market. We are right next to Moore Family Farm. The outdoor market goes until the end of October this year, then, we will be moving inside Lincoln Square Mall starting November 3rd. The market DOES NOT end once it moves inside; it’s just a change of venue.

Farm Store Fall Hours

We have new hours for the fall:  Fridays, 4-7 pm and Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm. Now that the weather is cooler (hopefully), the farm is a great place to visit and to shop. 

On Fridays, come out after work to unwind. During our open hours, you can savor a scoop of gelato or “build your own” cheese boards—pick out your cheeses, add a stick of salami (Underground Meats) or a jar of jam from Autumn Berry Inspired, our own house-made jams or pickled veggies, grab some Central IL Bake-house or Bread Co. baguette bread and we’ll provide the board. You can sit outside under our new pavilion roof and enjoy a glass of wine or beer with cheese! 

Starting October 12th and through the end of October, Michael Darin, our “wine guy” returns to farm for Friday low-key happy hours, 5-7 pm. He’ll offer tastings and suggestions for special cheese and wine pairings. 

Visit with the goats-they will be in breeding pens starting October 10th.  Walk through the orchard, or even take stroll down to our restored prairie. The farm has amazing natural beauty and the fall light, especially at the end of the day is surreal.

Shop in our farm store “The Real Stand.” In addition to our cheese and gelato, we’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. (Bernie’s Classic Sweet, Cantalupo and Chicken Apple are back in stock as well as bulk chorizo sausage), jams and pickled veggies by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more.

NEW: Delight Flower Farm has a self-service bouquet stand at the entrance to our farm! Get a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers for only $10!! Leave your $$ in their box via the honor system.

FEATURED IN THE STORE

  • PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat, goat loin or rib chops (4 to a package) and leg shanks (2 to a package). We also have shoulder roasts (approx. 4-5 lb. packages). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 
  • Apples from Red Crib Acres (formerly Wolfe Orchard) in Monticello-we have three new varieties this weekend: Mutsu (large, crisp and tart), Jonagold (perfectly sweet-tart) and Smokehouse (a crisp, yellow fleshed apple that tastes like cider). $2.75/pound. 
  • Two Million Blooms Honey: we’ll have 1 lb. squeeze bottles and 4 oz. and 1 lb. fancy bottles for sale this weekend. Their honey is beautiful and sweet.

Farm Dinners

Fall season is upon us, and most of the remaining farm dinners have sold out already.  I encourage you to book your tickets now for the two remaining dates (Oct. 6th and December 8th). The beer dinner on Saturday, October 6th features Bane Family Meats pastured pork and beers from Triptych Brewery.  Guest Chef, Mark Hartstein (currently cooking at bacaro, and was one of the co-founders of Watson’s Shack & Rail) and his partner, Leslie Bettridge (GM at Farrens) have crafted a gorgeous and creative menu to go with the wonderful and varied beers of Triptych Brewery. We still have a few tickets left for this event, so don’t delay. 

Sunday, October 21st Cider Dayz at the Farm-mark your calendars for our second annual fall apple cider festival. From 1-4 pm, you’ll be able to press your own cider, enjoy a cider-gelato float, grab some fresh apples (and maybe even meet the farm who grew them) and savor some cider-inspired pastries by Lucky Pierre Bakers.   Delight Flower Farm will be offering a fall wreath making workshop in our pavilion from 3:00-4:30 that same afternoon. More details to come, but put this one on your calendars.

Saturday, November 3rd Meet the Cheese Maker at Eataly Chicago, 12:30-1:30 pm. We’ll be headed up to Chicago to do a special cheese tasting and wine pairing.  Sign up here: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/chicago/cheese-tasting-with-local-producer-prairie-fruits-farm-creamery-2018-11-03-5033 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.