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Homegrown vet skills, poultry on the move, farm happenings and more

Posted 7/7/2017 9:10am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

 With as many goats as we keep on the farm, we are thrown feet first in the veterinary fire when goats get sick or need medical attention.  Milkers off feed?- take their temperature, offer them probiotic paste and see how they respond. If they don’t get better, we listen to their lungs or check their milk for any abnormalities.  Diarrhea or loose stool?-check their eyelids for color-if pale, take fecal samples and give them a dewormer based on results.  We keep a close watch on the kids, because, kids being kids, they get themselves into trouble.  They push each other off their climbing structures, they practice head-butting dominance rituals constantly.  Every week, or so it seems, someone’s got a sprained ankle or a head bruise that needs attention. 

This week, we had a buckling with a hernia in his abdomen.  A month or so ago, he had an abscess in that same spot which had been drained and left to heal on its own. We thought the abscess had returned, so Erica, our herd manager, and her summer volunteer, Meagan, bathed the wound with betadine and sterilized the scalpel to make a clean cut to drain the infected area.  As soon as the scalpel went in, they realized that this was no infection; it was a classic herniated intestine.

Remaining calm, and keeping the little guy comfortable, we ponder our options. Take him to the vet school to get stitched up?  Too expensive.  Suture him ourselves? We’ve never done this before, and we don’t have a suture kit.  Improvise? Yes.  I dig through my home sewing kit for an appropriate needle (I’m not much of a sewer—Wes sews his own buttons back on his shirts), and I open a new package of dental floss for thread.  All I can find is a thin needle from a sewing kit you get at a fancy hotel. It will have to do. 

We sterilize all of our “surgical equipment” with a flame (pilot lighter from the farm kitchen).  We bathe the opening with copious warm diluted betadine solution, as Erica and Meagan secure the “patient (both are straddling him and stroking him to keep him calm, as we have no sedatives or lidocaine to do a local nerve block). Meagan’s young eyes are able to thread the dental floss through the microscopic eye of the needle (that’s how it looks to my old eyes). Erica, master seamstress, begins to sew the opening closed. I douse the wound with betadine and provide words of encouragement and solace (to the little buckling) as the needle enters flesh for each stitch.  Within minutes, the opening is closed, the intestines back in place and the little guy is up, walking around, looking for grain and acting like a buck! We give him some pain meds and start him on antibiotics to prevent infection. Erica’s stitching is beautiful-just like a pro.  Who needs vet school??

Poultry Update:  The Freedom Ranger “chicks” are moving into teenage-hood. Their down has mostly fallen out, replaced by adult plumage. Their movable “chicken tractor” is nearly ready,  and we plan to move them out in the orchard today, just in time to clean their pen and move in the next round of poultry—our little French Guinea keets. They arrived at the post office early this morning. 

Farmers’ Market News

This weekend, we’re attending only Urbana’s Market at the Square. Cheese and a few simple accompaniments make a great meal when the weather is hot (I’m including some simple ways to dress up each cheese):

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—summer deliciousness-how about chevre-stuffed dates or little peppers stuffed with fresh goat cheese and heated under the broiler
  • Raw-milk Feta: Packed in whey brine for flavor and preservation, this cheese is perfect for salads-maybe you might score some melons to do a sweet-savory salad? Or how about going Greek with chopped tomatoes, cukes, feta, fresh herbs and olives?
  • Angel Food: our little compact bloomy rind—firm paste; great with some homemade peach jam on a rustic bread slice and you have a simple crostini
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert. Perfect on a burger-gooey deliciousness
  • 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
  • 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.  Wrap it with some local ham or prosciutto
  • Moonglo: our first spring batches are finally ready for prime time.  The flavor is grassy and slightly tart compared with their fall-milk cousins. In addition to the picture perfect wedges, we’ll be selling some discounted wedges that have some rind imperfections.  These are strictly cosmetic cracks that occurred when we had some temperature fluctuations in our aging room this spring. Both taste AMAZING, so come try them at the market or at the farm this weekend. Try serving with a raspberry puree on baguette
  • 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. Blue burgers anyone? Or just crumble in a salad? Or wrap in thinly sliced ham? 
  • 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- blue corn-chevre and herbed flatbread.

This weather is PERFECT for gelato, so pick up a pint or two at the market this Saturday:

  • Lemon Crème (made with Meyer Lemons)
  • Maple Chevre: made with our goat cheese and “Sticky Pete’s maple syrup from Athens OH*-limited in number this weekend
  • Red Currant-Aronia Berry-tart local berries
  • Lemon Balm-straight from our herb garden
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Salted Caramel Swirl*
  • Mexican Coffee (cinnamon and a hint of cayenne take this flavor into the stratosphere)
  • Stracciatella (Italian for amazing chocolate ganache chip)  

CU Farmers: Online Farmers Market with two outdoor pick up locations; weekly ordering opens Friday (7/7) at 8:00 AM through Monday, 7/10, 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. Here’s how it works:

1) Go to the website and set up an account

2)  Order products from Friday (8AM) through the following Monday (10 PM). Select your pick up location (one in Champaign, one in Urbana) before you check out.  Pay online with a credit card.

3) Farmers fulfill your orders and bring them to two pick up locations on Wednesdays for you to pick up (5-6 PM for both locations)

4) Pick up locations are either Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign on Prospect Avenue OR the east parking lot of Lincoln Square Mall in front of Common Ground Food Co-op. 

Farm Happenings

Farm Summer Hours:  Our week-day hours are a great way to visit the farm when there aren’t lots of people here.  Take in the tranquility of the landscape and enjoy a scoop of gelato on the patio. The goats love visitors all the time, any time. 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, July 7th (5-7 PM)-TODAY!!

 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-DAMIANA MARGARITA.

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. 

We’ll be grilling some goat merguez sausages (hand crafted for us by Piemonte Sausage Co.) for you to enjoy.  Our musical guest this week is Paul Kolthimer, a singer-songwriter.  Farm-fresh produce grown here on the farm by Deux Cheveaux Farmers will be available for sale out of the garden too-details to follow.

Farm Dinner Updates Chef Raquel Ritz is goin’ fishin’ next week (with the fisherman who will be catching the Asian Carp for our “Fish and Chips” Dinner on July 22nd).  This is going to a fish fry like no other!  

Also, there are a few seats still open for the first seating of Burger Night dinner. Check them out along with future dates & themes!    

Girls Pint Out and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery team up for a cheese and beer night-Tuesday, July 18th

From Whitney, one of the event organizers: "Join us for a celebration of two of the best things ever invented – cheese and beer! Champaign-Urbana Girls Pint Out, the local chapter of the national non-profit organization Girls Pint Out, Inc., is hosting a cheese and beer pairing event for women who love craft beer and who want to be an active, contributing part of the greater craft beer community.   This event will feature an array of cheeses, including some locally made goat cheese straight from the farm, paired with a variety of craft beers from our community, including local favorites like Triptych, Riggs, JT Walkers, White Oaks, Blind Pig, and Destihl. "

You can buy tickets online at http://goatfarmandbeer.brownpapertickets.com/. For more info about the local chapter of Girls Pint out: http://www.facebook.com/ChampaignUrbanaGPO 

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.