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Farm Happenings and Winning Udders

Posted 7/17/2014 10:14pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

I am trying a new format to our newsletter--farm happenings and farmers' market news first, blog second. Please let me know what you think of this change.

Farm Happenings and Farmers’ Markets

Friday, July 18th (that’s either today or tomorrow, depending on when you’re reading this email), we’re hosting another “Third Friday Pop-Up,” from 5:30-7:30 pm.  We have live music from “Los Guapos” and a southern food-inspired menu.  Check out all the details on our website. NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Saturday, July 19th, we’re attending Urbana’s Market at the Square. Unlike last Saturday (deluge anyone), the weather forecast is calling for sunny skies and perfect market going temperatures.  We’ve got some beautiful summer cheeses for you:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh goat milk ricotta
  • Bloomies: Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie and Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

Need some gelato? We’ll have pints and assorted single servings of:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Lemon Balm
  • Tart Cherry Stracciatella
  • Thai Basil
  • Red Currant-Apple Mint Sorbetto
  • Nectarine Sorbetto

Worried that your gelato will melt if you buy it at the market? Worry no more! You can purchase one of our re-usable insulated tote bags with the Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery Logo.

Other happenings: Don’t forget to check out the menus for our upcoming farm dinners on July 26th and August 9th-we still have seats available for both of these dinners. The menus look amazing! Also, check out our next Fork in the Road Tasting Trail—August 10th.  We have plenty of spots open for the tour. Come join us.

Winning udders and junior Nigerian Dwarfs

This past Tuesday, we piled into a rented mini-van, NYC teenage girls in tow, and drove to Louisville, KY to attend the American Dairy Goat Association’s (ADGA) Annual Goat Show.  While we’ve never shown our own goats, I am intrigued by the show goat world.  Does the adage, “beauty is only skin deep,” apply to livestock?  Do those large udders hold up to commercial dairy rigors? I have been to a few goat shows at county and state fairs, but I’ve never been to the “Miss America” of the goat show world: The ADGA National Show.  Dairy goat breeders from all over the country convene for one week with the hopes of taking home a blue ribbon or the coveted “Grand Champion” title. 

One of our part-time milkers, Carolyn, is a judge for ADGA, and she has taught me a lot about conformation—how a dairy goat is put together, and how the body structure can translate to a long-lived, healthy, productive dairy doe.  I admit it took me a few years before I really understood the “dairy wedge,” (narrow in the front, wide in the back—to hold that great big udder), but now I can look at my little doelings within a few days after they are born and predict the ones that have the right stuff to become a member of our milking herd.   

When we arrived at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville and entered the great hall, our eyes were met with a sea of dairy goats of all breeds—Nubians, La Manchas, Saanens, French Alpines, Oberhasli, Toggenbergs and Nigerian Dwarf.  Most breeders set up sleeping quarters with their animals, so amidst the stalls with goats, there were sleeping bags and inflatable mattresses.  Some of the goats were just lounging, either waiting for their turn in the show ring or resting after the stress of prior judging.  Several were on the grooming stand, being clipped and primped in anticipation of their showing.   

NYC girls at the goat show

As we approached the show ring, the Senior Nubians were in the final throws of judging.  As the judges commanded each owner to walk their doe in the prescribed pattern, the audience whispered quietly little tidbits about the herds, the owners and the usual show goat gossip.  When the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion were finally chosen, the smart phones came out, pictures were taken and the texting frenzy of winners ensued. 

nubian winners

The highlight of the day for me was the Junior Nigerian Dwarf show. These are the tiny Nigerian doelings born this year.  As one of our NYC teenagers astutely observed, this show was akin to a caprine version of “Toddlers and Tiaras.”  While a number of them were well behaved and moved to the winners circle fairly quickly, the majority of these baby beauties squirmed and screamed, refusing to make the proper show stance.   

junior nigerians

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.