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Earth Day in an uncertain world AND Last spring open house-farm breakfast of the season

Posted 4/23/2015 9:30pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Celebrating Earth Day with threats of frosts killing our fruit blossoms in late April; it’s an exercise in cognitive dissonance. Earth Day, established more than four decades ago, was a political construct to wake up the American public about our society’s need and responsibility to take care of our environment, to protect the earth that sustains us.  Like many of the “angels-of-our-better-nature” policies of that era, their legacy is largely hollow symbolism. 

cherry blossoms

The peaches and cherries are in full bloom, the blossom density so high it’s hard to see the sky amidst a sea of petals.   We fretted over how to save them: should we stay up all night spraying the trees with a fine mist of water or whey? Should we find a source of liquid seaweed to coat the blooms and prevent the cells from rupturing? Throughout the day, I was checking my “My Radar” app along with three other weather apps to see if the forecast had changed.  By dusk, we decided that the risk of temperatures dipping below 31 degrees was pretty minimal and we would do nothing.  This morning we awoke to a very light skiff of frost on the ground. The stock tank out by Lynn’s horses had a thin veneer of ice.  The blooms look vibrant still. We have one more night of worrying, although the temperature forecast is now above freezing throughout the night, but the winds have died down.  I pine for the taste of a chin-dripping peach picked from our orchard, I’ll make a special plea to higher powers. 

peach blossoms

We experienced another form of dissonance this week: the cries of disbelief from the first group of weaned kids.  When I stopped the milk flowing from our self-feeding system on Sunday, I was impressed with the degree of calm that pervaded this group of kids. They ate their hay and grain with a bit more gusto and sipped water from the stock tank.  They ran wind sprints between the barn and their jungle-gym play structure outside.  I deluded myself into thinking their transition away from milk would go easy.  On day two, the cacophony awaiting me as I approached the kid barn for morning chores was deafening.  The gusto of hay and grain eating had turned into a feeding frenzy, like sharks to blood.  Four days into the weaning process, they have settled into their new reality; the decibels of their cries have lowered, save for the occasional kid who just screams for the hell of it. 

Farm Happenings and Other Events

This Saturday, April 25th, is our last spring open house-farm breakfast of the season. How time has flown.  We have a delicious breakfast planned for you, so we hope you’ll make it out despite the Marathon traffic blockage and the forecast of possible rain showers.  Chef Alisa and crew are making one of my favorite breakfast dishes—corned beef & sweet potato hash (using Triple S Farms Corned Beef) and malted chocolate chip pancakes with bananas.  We’ll also be making some gooey cinnamon buns and goat milk hot chocolate to warm you up. 

Cheese-wise, we’ll be debuting our goat milk feta (it’s crumbly, tangy and oh so delicious) alongside our chevre, Little Bloom on the Prairie (camembert-style), Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue.  We have a great selection of goat milk gelatos this week too, including our first of the season “Margot’s Fresh Mint” made with chocolate mint from Tomahnous Farm’s greenhouse.  Don’t forget goat milk caramels and house-made crackers.  We will also be selling artisan sausages from Piedmonte Sausage.

Our farmer friends will be here as well including Tomahnous Farm with FIRST OF THE SEASON ASPARAGUS!!!, greens, herbs and potted plants AND Cow Creek Farm with wild-harvested ramps.  Stewart’s Artisan Breads will have an assortment of rustic breads, delicious bagels, cookies and granola. 

While you are enjoying your farm breakfast and farm-fresh goodies, I will be in Chicago sampling our cheeses at Pastoral’s ARTISAN PRODUCER FESTIVALChicagoans, come see me from 11 AM to 3PM at the French Market.  If you haven’t experienced this celebration of artisanal foods, you should brave the crowds and come on over.   

Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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.