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States of autumnal transition, market offerings, farm happenings

Posted 10/3/2019 8:29pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

September retreated in fits and starts, blowing its final breaths of hot air after dropping over three inches of rain on the farm in 48 hours. The unsettled nature of the weather has left the farm in a state of confusion.  Clean barns flooded, does coming into and out of heat, trees shedding crispy leaves onto a flush of greening pasture. Perhaps October will usher in a less turbulent autumn.

In the cheese vat, the milk reluctantly holds on to its summer character. The milk solids (butterfat and protein) have climbed only slightly, and the chevre retains its clean & lean flavor (with a hint of citrus).  We’ve made our final batches of goat-milk bloomies, and they’re dense, rich and delicious. Once goat breeding commences, we’ll anticipate the steady decline in milk volume coupled with an increase in richness.  We’ll turn our energies to making some new cheeses and squirreling away chevre for the cold dry months of winter.

Farm Store and Farmers’ Market Offerings

The weather should be downright fall like this Saturday and there are only a few more outdoor markets before we move inside the mall. Yet most farmers still have a cornucopia of offerings (some summer produce as well as those from fall). It’s really the best time of year to shop locally. Our cheeses go so well with all this produce bounty—either as a key ingredient or an adornment. Here’s the lineup for this week: 

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbes de Provence, cracked pepper-our chevre is so fresh and light; it’s the perfect foil for your salads, soups or stews.

Limited Edition Seasonal Chevre Flavors

  • Tomato-Juliette tomatoes from our garden dried and chopped into our fresh chevre-this cheese captures the sweet heat of summer; enjoy on some hearty multi-grain toast--VERY LIMITED, Last chance
  • Jalapeño crunch-Fresh, chopped peppers from Blue Moon Farm--they give just the right amount of heat to the chevre. Perfect cheese for stuffing sweet peppers! Also very limited.
  • NEW: Honey chevre-a touch of natural sweetness from local honey (Sasse Apiaries). It’s perfect served with sliced apples or pears. Try poaching the fruit and serving with a dollop of whipped honey chevre.
Goat Milk Feta in Whey Brine: our goat milk feta is firm and tangy. Bathed in a whey-salt brine for at least one month, the texture is what I call “creamy-crumbly.” As the weather cools, this cheese is perfect for crumbling on roasted veggies or warming stews. Last of the season.
Little Bloom on the Prairie-a goat milk camembert-style bloomy. The current batch is perfectly ripe, with hints of buttered mushroom flavor. Slice over roasted summer veggies (squash, eggplant) or enjoy on a burger or with some local dry-cured salami-VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY THIS WEEK
Black Goat—our current batch is aging nicely, but it has that lovely dense fudgy texture along with a hint of yeastiness on the palate.  Try it with one of our newest jarred creations-house made pickles or a tart jam.
Fleur du Prairie: our bloomy rind triangles topped with dried herbs and edible flowers. Beautiful and delicious!

Jarred products: I’ll be bringing a variety of our pickled veggies as well as some jams.

Enjoy a pint of gelato (3 pint special —Buy 3, get $1/pint off): 

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel Swirl

Try a pint from our new line of Whey-Based Sorbettos we’re calling “So-Whey-Betto” The whey from our chevre makes is added to the mix, creating a creamery texture and enhancing the flavor of the local fruits. Not only are they delicious, they are good for you (the whey contains probiotic cultures and lots of healthful nutrients):

-Red Currant

-Black Currant

-Peach-Bourbon  

Can’t make it to the market on Saturday morning? Check out our farm store’s Fall Hours: Fridays, 4-7 pm and weekends, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 pm.

Come out on a Friday after work. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the sun go down while you enjoy a glass of wine/beer and cheese board under our pavilion, you don’t know what you’re missing. Bring the kids too.

We offer a “build your own cheese board.”  You pick out the cheese(s) and accompaniments (jam, honey, pickled veggies or pecans), we provide you with a demi-baguette from Central Illinois Bake House. Complete the experience with a glass of wine or beer. Can’t decide what you want? Ask our staff for recommendations. 

Of course, you can visit with the goats (kids and adults alike) or just wander around the farm.  If you’re ambitious, you can walk along the path toward the creek. Come back inside the farm store to shop for other local farmers’ products (meats, eggs, flour, jams, pickles, salamis, syrups, honey, etc.) or take home some PFFC “merch” (tea towels, aprons, t-shirts, sweat shirts and….)

Other Happenings 

Dinners on the Farm autumn is a beautiful season to experience one of our farm dinners.   We still have plenty of seats for the dinners in October, November and December, especially our “I Love Pumpkins dinner with The Great Pumpkin Patch (October 28th). Make your reservations now, before they sell out.

Cancelled: October 20th Italian fall “festa” with Pizza M

Cancelled: October 26th and 27th Prairie Fruits Farm’s Third Annual Cider Days

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are cancelling these two fall events. Hopefully, we can host them next year.

Fall Classes and Tastings We will be offering a few cheese tasting and cheese pairings classes (wine/beer/bubbly) in November and December. Stay tuned for details and registration information. 


Copyright 2019. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2019. 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.