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Lost in the flood, more babies & breakfast and other farm happenings

Posted 4/7/2017 1:44pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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 Farm News

I’ve had the lyrics to the Bruce Springsteen song “Lost in the Flood” (from his first album-“Greetings from Asbury Park”-his best, in my humble opinion) stuck in my head all this week. His flood was allegorical and tragic.  Our flood was more literal-standing water following days of torrential rains- a mix of good and bad. We watched, helplessly, as the heavens opened up and dumped inches of the wet stuff on our farm over several days.  Normally, our growing green pasture is able to absorb this kind of moisture; but, as Wes led the does down to the prairie and old hay field, he and they encountered standing puddles of water between the bunch grasses.  The girls protested over getting their feet wet and muddy, but they were raptured by the lush green forage.  Despite his attempts to keep them eating, the post-storm winds were so fierce yesterday, that they got spooked by the phantom roar and made a bee-line back to the doe barn. 

Our plans to clean out the kid barn have been dashed for another week, and the straw bedding is creeping ever closer to the self-feeder nipples along the wall.  The older kids are getting so big that they now have to kneel to drink their milk.  

The orchard flower petals are still clinging to their branches, but I wonder how any pollinators could make their way through the sideways rain sheets to tap nectar and move pollen around. Sadly, our bee hives did not survive the winter (AGAIN!! Our beekeeper has told us he’s throwing in the towel), and we are hoping that all the native pollinators our farm harbors have been filling in the void left by the absent honey bees.   

I see so many ephemeral pools of water in our neighbors’ fields.  Transient migratory waterfowl take advantage of these pools to clean and preen. You can barely make them out against the brown, black and grey backdrop. The purple haze of henbit (an invasive annual cool-season weed in the mint family) provides a shock of color to the otherwise drab landscape of barren grain fields.  Our neighbor farmers now must wait for the soil to dry out before tillage and seed bed preparation can begin.   Meanwhile our little oasis of green just gets brighter and brighter, especially with the sun now reflecting off the wet blades of grass.   

Babies and Breakfast, Take Three

This Saturday, April 8th, from 9 AM to 12 Noon will be our Fourth “Babies & Breakfast.” The weather should glorious-sunny and warm.  Come visit with the goats (we have some newborns to show off and our older kids turned one month old this week!!), watch the babies run and jump and see the vibrant colors of spring on the farm. It’s a bit muddy in spots (from all the rain this past week), so wear your wellies.  Here’s the menu for this week:  

  • Doughnuts - Cardamom Glaze; Cinnamon Sugar
  • Cinnamon Rolls with a Ginger and PFF Chèvre Icing
  • Breakfast Burrito (Meat) - Bane Family Steak and Egg with PFF Chèvre
  • Breakfast Burrito (Vegetarian) - Mexican Potatoes (Blue Moon), Egg (Bane), Fajita Veggies, and PFF Chèvre
  • Southern-style Cornbread with Homemade Sausage Patty (PFF Goat and Bane Pork) and Homemade Green Tomato Relish
  • Southern-style Cornbread with Homemade Jam and Homemade Butter
  • PFF Goat Milk Yogurt Parfait and Local Grains Granola w/ Ginger and Cranberry
  • Pastured, Hard-boiled Chicken and Duck Eggs

Beverages:

  • Hot Tea
  • Hot Coffee (Columbia Street Roastery)
  • Iced Coffee (Columbia Street Roastery)
  • PFF Goat's Milk Hot Chocolate
  • Affogato—coffee with a scoop of gelato (vanilla only this week).   

We will also be selling cheese, yogurt, and gelato by the scoop as well as pints. Here are a few highlights:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence and cracked pepper
  • Moonglo-it makes the most perfect grilled cheese
  • Huckleberry Blue-if you’re a blue cheese lover (or not), you must try our raw goat milk blue
  • Little Red—a one-of-a-kind raw cow-milk cheese made by one of our cheese making classes last December. They did a fantastic job—this hard cheese is mild with a slight tartness and a hint of smokiness from the smoked paprika-olive oil rub on the rind. 
  • Plain, Whole Milk Yogurt-in pints and quarts

Pick up some house-made jams to go with those cheeses too: red currant-lavender and green tomato jam are the perfect accompaniments to our cheeses.

Fresh Gelato Flavors: vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel swirl—can’t really go wrong with these. We’ll be offering scoops of vanilla gelato too.

We also have lots of other great local foods: eggs (chicken and duck) from Bane Family Meats, beef, pork and chicken from Bane Family Meats, ground lamb and lamb shoulder steaks (ON SALE!!) from Caveny Farm, artisanal sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co, Elk Summer Sausages and beef sticks & jerky from KD Ranch

Want something to remember your experience at Prairie Fruits Farm? Check out our “merch:” t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, onesies, tea towels, goat milk soaps.  We’ll have a NEW adult t-shirt style that we’re debuting this Saturday. Come check it out.

SPECIAL Guest farmers this week and coming next week (April 15th):

Cow Creek Farm, Paxton, IL, will be bringing bunches of ramps (wild leeks). They are wild-harvested from their woodlands. 

Delight Flower Farm will be selling spring flower bouquets.  

Sticky Pete’s Pure Maple Syrup - from the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio-will be here NEXT Saturday, April 15th, selling their amazing maple syrup and other products made from maple syrup:  

  • Maple Syrup - various sizes to fit every need  
  • Maple Crusted Almonds  
  • Maple Crusted Pecan Nougats   
  • Maple Granulated Sugar  
  • Maple Leaf Candies (great Easter treats)  

DIRECTIONS TO THE FARM--DETOUR ON NORTH LINCOLN: The detour is now open on North Lincoln Ave. Follow the signs that take you to Oaks and Willow Roads to the east and then connect back up with Ford Harris Road (making a LEFT to go WEST) and then SOUTH on N. Lincoln Ave to our farm. If you’re coming from Urbana, just take Cunningham (HWY 45) north to Ford Harris Road (approximately 5 miles from the intersection with I-74) and go WEST (LEFT). If you’re coming from Champaign, take the NEWLY OPENED OLYMPIAN DRIVE, and head EAST to our farm.  Watch for the signs of where to park as it might be full at the farm driveway. We have an overflow lot in our north pasture that will be signed.

Cheese and Gelato CSA-time is running out to sign up for the 2017 season We still have a few openings for our 2017 Cheese and Gelato CSA and a discount on pricing if you sign up by the end of April.  Our CSA is designed to give members the maximum flexibility to choose which cheeses and gelato flavors they want for each pick up. We have four convenient pick up locations in central Illinois: two in Champaign-Urbana and two in Bloomington-Normal.  Check it out.

Farm to table Meals-Tickets going fast Don’t forget to peruse the line- up of farm to table meals we’re offering this year.  From a spring lamb dinner in May to a fall Mexican feast in October, we have something to please many palates at several price points.  Take a look and make your reservations NOW.  

 


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.