Scientist Farmer, Earth Day, 6th Babies & Breakfast and...
On the eve of earth day, I’ve been thinking a lot about science, scientists and farmers. I became a scientist before I became a farmer. I became a farmer because of my love for science. As humans moved from hunting and gathering to cultivating, they employed the tools of science to develop their crops and select their livestock. They experimented, they tested hypotheses, they observed, they asked so many questions and then tested out those ideas to see what stuck. You could argue that farmers were the first practitioner scientists.
Wes and I started our farm, now over 13 years ago, because we had lots of ideas and we wanted to test them out. Every day, we are presented with new information, data if you will, and our questions evolve as we assimilate these data. As I look at our herd of dairy goats, I realize that we have created a unique herd of Nubian and La Mancha crosses by selecting for the traits that matter most to us: delicious milk with lots of butterfat and protein, good disposition, nice wide behinds and longevity. As I think about the evolution of our cheeses, and our attempts to make them better and better, science is at the core. Cheese making would be a black box and a lot of futile exercise, unless we tried to understand how to assuage the milk and cheese microbes to do our bidding.
Our farm is inexplicably tied to our land, our prairie-carved environs. The sets of conditions we have been given—our soils, our very slight elevation in an otherwise very flat landscape, our erratic weather-they all shape the questions we asked when we got and those we continue to ask. Farmers, no matter how much technology they employ or how big their tractors become, are tied to the land and the elements. We work in partnership with our earth. She is integral to our successes and failures. Earth Day reminds us to respect her.
Babies and Breakfast
Come to the farm on Saturday, April 22nd for “Babies and Breakfast.” The weather will be slightly overcast and a bit windy, but it should be a great day to visit with the newest arrivals on the farm and enjoy our latest offerings from the kitchen. We have a menu that sings spring:
- Doughnuts [Cardamom Glaze; Cinnamon Sugar]
- Mixed Berry Turnovers
- Biscuits and Gravy with local pork and goat
- Biscuits with Homemade Jam and Homemade Butter
- Meat Breakfast Burritos: braised lamb with ramps, rice, egg, roasted bell peppers, ramp aioli and herbed chèvre
- Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos: roasted garlic potatoes, sautéed ramps, asparagus, and napini or kale, egg, herbed chèvre
- Goat Milk Yogurt Parfait with homemade local grains granola
- Hard-boiled chicken & duck eggs
Beverages include: hot coffee, tea, hot chocolate, iced coffee, affogato (coffee with a scoop of gelato), cold milk
(farms include Blue Moon Farm, Cow Creek Farm, Bane Family Meats, Caveny Farm, Severson Farm, Kilgus Farmstead and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery)
We have lots of great local foods for you to pick up from our farm stand, “The Real Stand” this week. Our cheese repertoire is now flush with the full repertoire of our bloomy rind cheeses. Here’s the list of what we expect to have available:
- Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
- Little Bloom on the Prairie—our goat milk camembert-style cheese
- Angel Food-our little “crottin” style bloomy
- Black Goat-our ash-ripened bloomy rind cheese
- Huckleberry Blue
- Little Red-our special, raw-milk (cow milk) cheese with a smoked paprika, olive oil rind
- Goat Milk Yogurt in pints and quarts
We have pints of gelato too:
- Salted Caramel Swirl
We'll be serving scoops of select flavors of gelato as well. We are hosting two guest farmers this Saturday. They’ll be set up just outside our barn dining room. Cow Creek Farm will be here with spring ramps (wild leeks harvested from their woods-$10/lb.) and Tomahnous Farm will be here with first of the season asparagus. Don’t forget our great selection of meats, eggs and sausages from Bane Family Meats, Caveny Farm, KD Ranch and Piemonte Sausage.
If you’re looking for unique gifts, check out our goat milk soaps, “Chippy the Goat” tea towels and our wide selection of PFFC t-shirts and hoodies. Check out our new baseball style t-shirt too.
PLEASE NOTE the detour on N. Lincoln Avenue and if you’re coming from town, the Illinois Marathon might have roads blocked temporarily to let the runners pass. Here is the link to the Marathon map route just in case.
The deadline for signing up for our 2017 Cheese and Gelato CSA season is fast approaching (April 30th). Please consider signing up this year. We’re really close to meeting our goal of 50 members-can you help us get there?
CU Farmers-If you placed an order please remember to pick up on Saturday between 8 am and 12 pm at the Market in the Square (inside Lincoln Square Mall). Remember, the Illinois Marathon is happening, so be mindful that certain streets might be blocked temporarily in Urbana and Champaign.
Tickets to our Dinners on the Farm are going fast. Our first dinner with guest chef Paul Virant is already SOLD OUT!! We have such a great line of themes and guest chefs this year. Check them out and book 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.