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Farm babies, market news and farm happenings

Posted 6/21/2017 10:37pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

June might be dairy month around the country, but here at the farm, June is usually the month that our Freedom Ranger chicks arrive. Like clockwork, we got the call from the post office at 7:30 this morning announcing their arrival.  Just as our baby goats are moving out of their utterly adorable phase (pre-teenage goat kids are still pretty cute, but don’t evoke the desire to grab them and squeeze them like the newborns), we get some new babies to ogle over. Fuzzy day-old chicks chirp in their little shipping parcel.  One by one, Wes takes them out of their box and dips their beaks into water to make sure they know how to drink.  They scurry around their fresh sawdust home and cluster in chick clumps to keep warm.  They’ll grow way too fast and soon shed their down for plumage. For now, I’ll enjoy their little milestones; scratching for bugs, leaping for flies and sleeping like they’re dead to the world.

There’s something about baby animals that tugs deep at the core of the human heart.  Maybe it’s the miniature nature of their form. Maybe it’s their large head relative to their bodies and their overly large eyes. Maybe it’s just that they embody the renewal of life. We recently added a new member to our animal family-an orange kitten we named Eddie.  His fur stands on end like he’s plugged into an electrical socket and he zooms across the floor like a fluffy hermit crab skirting the waves.  His tireless energy builds just as we’re getting ready to sleep. It’s taking a small toll (who needs sleep in the summer anyway), but the kitten has already gotten under my skin, especially when he rolls over and purrs. 

eddie and the chick

Farmers’ Market News This week, we’re attending just the Urbana Market at the Square. The very last of the late fall Moonglo is available but very limited. Our spring batches are about two weeks from being ready. Yogurt returns to the line-up this week.   

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—summer deliciousness on a salad
  • Fresh ricotta: sweet, creamy, mild-go sweet or go savory (limited)
  • Raw-milk Feta: Packed in whey brine for flavor and preservation, this cheese is perfect for summer salads, grilled veggies and home-made pizzas!
  • Angel Food: our little compact bloomy rind—firm paste; great with some homemade rhubarb jam
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert. Perfect on a burger.
  • Black Goat: our ash-coated bloomy with a hint of yeast on the rind; it is perfect on a baguette with a drizzle of local honey; 
  • Moonglo: these raw-milk tomme wedges are the last of the late fall-milk batches. Get ‘em while they last.  VERY LIMITED.
  • Magia Negra: our nod to a Manchego style cheese, sharp nutty notes with hints of tart berries. Rind is rubbed with an olive oil-black currant & aronia berry paste. 
  • Huckleberry Blue: the last of the raw-goat-milk blue made last December. This cheese is creamy, sweet & salty—the most flavorful blue in central IL.
  • Whole milk Yogurt: plain and simple—goat milk and live cultures (no thickeners, no sugar, just pure goodness).

We will have crackers for you to accompany those cheeses- oat chevre, whole wheat-buckwheat and herbed flatbread.

It really is GELATO season and the flavors just keep coming:

  • Honey Lavender
  • Red Currant-Aronia Berry
  • Tart Cherry-Amaretto-Stracciatella (this is a premium flavor and costs a bit more than our regular flavors-$12/pint instead of $10/pint)
  • Maple Chevre: made with our goat cheese and “Sticky Pete’s maple syrup from Athens OH
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Espresso
  • Mint Stracciatella (fancy for “chocolate chip”; chocolate is from Ethereal Chocolate-an IL bean to bar chocolatier in Woodstock IL)-LIMITED
  • Blueberry-Lemon Balm Swirl (blueberries from Pitcher Patch Farm in Southern IL)

CU Farmers: Online Farmers Market with two outdoor pick up locations; weekly ordering opens Friday (6/23) at 8:00 AM through Monday, 6/26, 10 PM) Blue Moon Farm, Bane Family Meats and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery have teamed up to offer the CU Community an online farmers’ market.  If you can’t make it to the markets on Saturday, or you just don’t want to fight the crowds, consider CU Farmers.  It is simple, convenient and comprehensive (veggies, meats, eggs, cheese and gelato).  You won’t find a better deal on some of the highest quality local foods around.

Farm Happenings

Farm Summer Hours:  Come meet the baby chicks and see the peaches ripening on the trees. Open hours are:

  • Wednesdays, 3-6 PM
  • Fridays, 11 AM to 6 PM
  • Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 PM

Don't forget to follow directions to the farm from our website. This will ensure easy travels during the road construction on N. Lincoln Avenue.

Family Friendly Happy Hour on the Farm Friday, June 23 (5-7 PM will be our third Family Friendly Happy Hour on the farm. . .  Come out to enjoy a summer evening at the farm-bring yourself or your whole family. NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. We’ll have local microbrews available as well as wines by the bottle or glass (all of our wines are either organic or biodynamic and our prices are VERY reasonable).  For the non-alcohol drinkers, we’ll have Homer Sodas available and iced mint tea. NEW: Delight Flower Farm will be making a special herbal infused cocktail for purchase.

Grab some cheese, a wedge of Pekara Bakery baguette, charcuterie from Smoking Goose, a jar of Autumn Berry Jam and farm-made treats (pickled asparagus, ramps and mushrooms anyone?) and you’ve got some delicious local food snacks to accompany your beverages.  Sarah will be making her highly addictive popcorn made with Serverson Farm organic popcorn, nutritional yeast and truffle salt.  Chef Raquel Aikman-Ritz will be making slow-roasted cabrito sandwiches with a yogurt sauce. The Merry Travelers will serenade us with their sounds. The weather should be perfect.   

Twin Silos Farm “Second Annual Lavender Festival (June 24-25; 9-5 each day). The festival features 10 varieties for U-Pick lavender ($5 small and $7 large bundles), a bee presentation at 2 p.m., Saturday. A special treat will be "Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery" honey/lavender gelato made with Twin Silos Farm's honey. Admission is free. The farm is located at 1090 Bucks Pond Road, Monticello, IL, just off of interstate 72, (take exit 172, IL 10/Clinton exit, head west toward Clinton, left on 1100 E/Bucks Pond Road, third house on the right). If you are using your GPS, satellite coordinates see the farm driveway as 1090 Randy’s Road and the house as 1090 Bucks Pond Rd, Monticello, IL. Visit us on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/TwinSilosFarm.MonticellsIL/

Farm Dinner Updates July dates feature the best burger you’ll ever eat (courtesy of the chefs from Sunday Dinner Club) AND a very special fish & chips fry featuring invasive species (cooked to perfection by Chef Raquel Aikman-Ritz)-curious? Check them out

Copyright 2017. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2017. 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.