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Posted 7/30/2015 10:12pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Cheese as Art

Late last fall, we received a curious inquiry. A gentleman name Mike Geno was undertaking a “Cheese Map Project,” painting cheeses from every state in the nation.  He wanted to paint a portrait of our Huckleberry Blue to represent the state of Illinois.  Here was his proposition: send him a wheel of our cheese and he would send us a print of the painting.  So, we scanned the shelves in our aging room for a particularly beautiful wheel of Huckleberry—cloaked in apple-brandy soaked sycamore leaves, tied up in twine like a lovely parcel of raw milk rusticity. We sent it off proudly, not really knowing when or if we would ever see its rendition in paint. 

Imagine my surprise today, when a flat package arrived in the mail from a Mike Geno. It had been so long since we sent him the cheese wheel that I didn’t recognize his name or associate it with the package contents.  After slicing the tape to reveal the contents, I was amazed to see Huckleberry Blue’s likeness on canvas.  The artist captured the essence of the cheese so well, I could almost smell it. Want to see more of the Cheese Map Project? Check out his work on Instagram.

Huckleberry Blue painting

Farmers’ Markets—Cheese, Crackers, Gelato AND Peaches

We’re attending both Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market on Saturday.  The secret password into the world of delicious cheese is “bloomy rind.” Ask for Little Bloom on the Prairie, in particular, and we’ll give you a recipe for how to enjoy this cheese with our scrumptious peaches.   

We also have:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh ricotta: this is probably the last batch of the summer, so get it while it lasts
  • Feta Little Bloom on the Prairie: still on sale this week, still more brie like in its gooey deliciousness
  • Angel Food
  • Black Goat: the Geo rind is particularly lovely on this batch
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

Peaches are everywhere on the farm these days, and they’ve made their way into gelato. Flavors this week include:

  • Peaches & Cream (singles only)
  • Lavender (made with fresh lavender buds from Sharps Crossing Lavender Farm in Urbana, IL)
  • Fresh Mint
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Thai Basil
  • Lemon Chevre
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Frozen Yogurt with Lemon Zest (made with our goat milk yogurt)
  • Plum Sorbetto
  • Sangria Sorbetto

Speaking of peaches, our U-pick this week has been so successful that we have to cancel tomorrow (Friday)’s U-pick. However, we’ll be bringing first and seconds peaches to the Urbana market—Dani will be at Heirloominous Farm’s tent again at the north end of aisle 3 (just ask us at our tent and we’ll point you in the right direction).  She will also have some amazing baked goods made with our peaches:

  • Savory and sweet peach gallettes
  • Peach pie
  • Peach jam bars
  • Thumb print cookies with peach jam and blackberries  

Farm Happenings

The tickets for fall dinner dates go on sale on Saturday August 1st at 12 noon.  If you’re not familiar with our ticket sales platform, “ShowClix,” I recommend you go on the website tomorrow and click through some of the dinner dates. 

We also have a couple of seats that just recently opened up for our dinner on August 8th with guest chef Niall Campbell of Firefly Grill as well as seats to our Cucurbit Dinner with The Great Pumpkin Patch. Stay tuned for future events in August and September including “Third Friday Pop-Ups” and our fall tasting trail with Sleepy Creek Vineyard and KD Game Ranch.   


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/27/2015 8:31pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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We now have the summer we've been asking for--full throttle heat and humidity and no rain for over a week.  The weather is perfect for a cool salad with cheese AND some peach cobbler with gelato for dessert.  Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery can make all that happen for you this week. 
First, Tuesday, July 28th from 4-7PM, we'll be attending The Land Connection's Downtown Champaign Farmers' Market.  We've got cheese:

  • Fresh chevre
  • Feta
  • Ricotta
  • Black Goat--it's ripe and ready to slather on a baguette from Pekara bakery
  • Angel Food
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Moonglo 
  • Huckleberry Blue

We even have a few bags of crackers to go with the cheese.

We've got gelato:

  • Fresh mint
  • Thai Basil
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Vanilla 
  • Chocolate
  • Plum Sorbetto
  • Sangria Sorbetto

We've got organic peaches--they are soooo juicy and sweet. I've been slicing them into a bowl, topping them with a scoop of gelato and giving my mouth a summer version of heaven.  

Wednesday, July 29th: Summer Open House: 4:00-6:00 PM

Of course, we'll have the usual offerings of cheese, gelato (follow us on Facebook to get updates on the flavors by the scoop this week), crackers and caramels. We'll also be selling pastured eggs and chicken from Seven Sisters Garden and sausages from Piemonte Sausage.  

The usual "suspects" will be here too:

Tomahnous Farm with summer veggies and BLUEBERRIES--how about a peach-blueberry crisp for dessert??

Heirloominous Farm will have summer veggies too.

Stewart's Artisan Breads will have rustic breads, bagels, cookies and granola.

Laurence. the Knife Dude. will be available to sharpen your knives while you shop and visit the farm. 

The "peach" de resistence: U-Pick peaches from 2-6 PM.  We will also be selling firsts and seconds for those who don't want to pick.  


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/24/2015 7:58am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

We had planted a lot of different cover crops this spring in our attempts to diversify pollinator habitat and recuperate weedy, tired ground.  One of the areas we planted was our former cane berry area. The Canada thistle had so overtaken, it was impossible to find the berries among the thorns.  Sorghum-Sudan grass is known to smother thistle, so we planted a swath of it.  Over the past month, it has grown close to eight feet tall.  It turns out that this grass has great forage value—do we cut and carry or do we bring the goats to the forage? Solution: build an enclosure and put the retired and non-lactating does in the Sorghum-Sudan grass. 

goats in sorghum sudan grass

Goats, especially old goats, don’t like change; goats on the dole (not producing milk) get lazy too. Moving them from the comforts of the doe barn was not easy, but enticement with grain helped overcome their inertia.  The other thing goats don’t like is wading through vegetation that is taller than them; you never know if a predator is lurking inside the tall grass.  So, we had to cut a few lanes inside the Sorghum-Sudan “jungle” to allay their fears.  After 36 hours, they have already made a pretty good dent in their edible home.  They still whine and complain a bit when they see me, but they have a job to do, and they seem to be enjoying it.

The theme at the farm this week seemed to be livestock on the move.  One of our farmer friends (Cathe Capel of Seven Sisters Farm) had decided to sell some of her older laying hens as her pullets started laying and offered them to us.  We have been without layers since the winter and starting to miss collecting our own eggs, so we said yes.  To receive the layers and settle them into their new home, we had to move our little guinea keets from the chicken coop (their temporary home) into their moveable pen.  Guineas are even more of a challenge to move than goats.  If they escape, they run so fast, they’re nearly impossible to catch.  Small guineas are a bit easier to capture than adults as you can still scoop them up in the palm of your hand. It took four people to catch one guinea during the move.  With Blue’s help (he wanted to eat one so bad), it took me only a few minutes to corner a few that escaped from underneath their moveable pen.  It’s peach season at the farm. 

guineas in moveable pen

The harvest has begun and the long wait to shove chin-dripping peaches in your mouth is over. The Red Havens are especially large this year; one peach weighs almost half a pound! We started our U-pick season too.  Our days and hours are: Wednesdays and Fridays 2-6PM. 

chippy with a red haven peach

We’ll also be selling firsts and seconds both at the farm and at the farmers’ market (Urbana and The Land Connection Markets).  Dani, one of our cheese makers and orchard managers, will be selling firsts and seconds fresh peaches, along with some delectable baked goods (sweet and savory peach gallettes, peach jam bars, thumb-print cookies and more), at the Heirloominous Farm stand at the Urbana Farmers’ Market this Saturday.  If you’re not sure where this is, just ask us at the market tomorrow.

Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market this Saturday.  If you’re looking for some ripe gooey bloomy rind cheeses to eat with your fresh tomatoes, come see us.

  • Black Goat—the rinds are looking gorgeous these days, and the cheese spreads beautifully on a nice crusty bread—be creative with your toppings.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: this batch of our camembert-style cheese is more reminiscent of our old “Angel Food Brie”—flatter and a gooey layer between the paste and rind. The taste is delicate and creamy.  We’re offering them at a discounted price this weekend, so get them while they last. 
  • Angel Food: They are back after a few weeks of summer vacation.  Standing tall with a firm paste, they will stand up to the peach jam you’ll be making with all those seconds peaches we have for sale. 
  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—perfect for a summer salad or to adorn your burger Fresh ricotta: it begs to be joined with fresh berries
  • Goat milk feta: firm, crumbly, tangy—delicious—feta watermelon salad anyone?
  • Moonglo: spring milk batches are now mature and nuanced in flavor; notes of tropical fruits overlay the nutty-meaty flavor of this raw milk cheese.
  • Huckleberry Blue: creamy, raw milk blue; you can taste hints of the Rhine Hall apple brandy used to wash the rind of this cheese.

With all the great fruit available at the markets right now, pie, cobbler and crisp season is HERE. Our gelato is the PERFECT accompaniment:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Fresh Mint
  • Salted caramel swirl
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Lemon Chevre
  • Plum Sorbetto

Are some of the flavors you can expect to find at the markets this weekend. 

Due to some cancellations, we now have a few tickets available to tomorrow’s Mexican Farm dinner as well as our Backyard BBQ dinner on August 15th.  The menu for the Mexican dinner will posted on the website later today, but I can tell you that the kitchen has been busy making tamales and fresh hand-made tortillas.   


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/21/2015 5:07pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Peach harvest time has finally arrived at the farm.  We will start offering U-pick starting NEXT week, but for this week, we'll have first and second quality peaches for sale during our Farm Open House (Wednesday, 4-6 PM).  Try grilling some of our peaches and then stuffing them with fresh ricotta or fresh chevre.  We will have plenty of other delicious cheeses to enjoy with all those summer tomatoes starting to make their appearance:

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Feta
  • Black Goat
  • Angel Food
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue
Of course, there will be gelato by the scoop:
  • Tart-cherry stracciatella
  • Salted Caramel
  • Plum sorbetto 

are some of the featured flavors this week.  There are lots more flavors available in pints as well.

Our guest farmers and food artisan products will be here:

Breads, bagels, cookies and granola by Stewart's Artisan Breads

Organic veggies and blueberries from Tomahnous Farm

Organic veggies and flowers from Heirloominous Farm

Pastured eggs and chicken from Seven Sisters Farm

Sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co

Laurence the Knife Dude will be here to sharpen your knives while you visit with the goats and shop for local foods.  

LAST CALL FOR THE RHINE HALL BRANDY AND SMALL PLATES EVENT!

We still have quite a few tickets available for our brandy-small plates tasting event this Thursday, July 23rd from 6-8 pm. Even though the weather is hot, our food pairings and drink cocktails are perfect for a summer's eve.  If you've been thinking about coming to this unique and tasty event, ACT NOW! Ticket sales will only be available until 10PM TONIGHT as we have start cooking tomorrow, and we need to know how many people are coming. 

 


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/16/2015 10:00pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

The pock-marked landscape that has been filled with stagnant water is beginning to return to its normal summer colors of brown and green.  We had built a board walk out to the kid’s outdoor play area so they wouldn’t get caked in mud. The standing water was so high at one point, the board walk was submerged. Now, they can run at lightning speed over the boards out to their “jungle gym” with clean hooves. 

The milking does were barn-bound during the torrential downpours. This week, they ventured back out to the pasture to graze.  Their enthusiasm for grazing led them up and over the compost pile into the orchard. Luckily, someone was working in the orchard, and we were able to coerce them back toward the barn with grain before too many peaches were eaten.  They did manage to chow down some blackberry leaves.  Our recovering blackberries will now have to recover again.

Speaking of peaches, the heat and humidity have caused our Red Haven and Sweet Sixteen peaches to swell and blush.  The crop is looking luscious.  We should be close to picking in week or two.  We will let folks know when U-pick season is upon us. 

Farmers’ Market Goodies

We’ll be attending both Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market on Saturday, July 18th.  It will be hot, but don’t let the weather deter your local foods shopping.  We have lots of great cheese on hand. Just bring a cooler or insulated bag (or you can buy an insulated “totes ma goats” from us) to keep your cheese cool. 

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh Ricotta: I’ve made a few copies of a recent NY Times recipe entitled “Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Ricotta and Basil.” Except for the dry pasta and a little lemon zest, you should be able to get all your ingredients at the farmers’ market. I made a version of this with grilled zucchini (and I added some grilled eggplant too) and it was sublime. We’ll have copies of it to give out at both farmers’ markets.
  • Feta: Our whey-brine aged feta is the perfect foil for summer foods—feta & watermelon salad, grilled veggies topped with crumbled feta, feta with mayo on sweet corn
  • Black Goat: This batch is perfectly ripe and ready for enjoying this weekend.  It’s back to its gooey self and is begging to be slathered on a hunk of baguette topped with tomato and basil.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: Our camembert-style bloomy rind works its magic when paired with a tart summer jam and a glass of sparkling rose.
  • Moonglo:  our raw milk tomme made with spring milk—fruity, nutty, complex—it’s that simple
  • Huckleberry Blue: creamy and nutty—it’s a perfect adornment to a summer salad

Don’t forget to pick up some farmstead crackers to go with those cheeses you’ll be buying. And treat yourself to some salted goat-milk caramels too. 

Cool off with gelato; we’ll have most of these in pints and several in single servings (*):

  • Vanilla*
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut)*
  • Strawberry Cheesecake (local strawberries and chevre—a match made in frozen dessert heaven)
  • Thai Basil
  • Fresh Mint*
  • Salted Caramel Swirl*
  • Berry Sangria Sorbetto (loaded with fruits including aronia berry and red currant)
  • Red Currant Sorbetto

Farm Events

We have a lot going on at the farm these days. Mark your calendars or make your reservations now. Don't forget to follow directions to get around the road construction detour to the farm.

Friday, July 17th: Third Friday Pop-Up “Burgers and Brats” and Ryan Groff of Elsinore; 5:30 to 7:30 pm—NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Saturday, July 18th: Author of “Land of Milk and Uncle Honey,” Alan Guebert, will visit the farm, read from his book and sign copies for guests. We’ll give you a little nosh of cheese and gelato while you converse with the author.  4-6PM. Just come on out to the farm--should be VERY entertaining.

Sunday, July 19th: 1:30 to 4:30 Tasting Trail: “A tale of two milks” The tour starts at Ludwig  Farmstead Creamery and ends at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  If you really want to see how each creamery makes their cheeses, this is THE tour for you. Please make reservations NOW so we know how many people to expect.

Thursday, July 23rd: Rhine Hall Brandy Tasting with Small Plates; 6-8 PM. Meet artisan distiller Jenny Soldberg and taste some beautiful brandies alongside dishes prepared by our chef Alisa.  Reserve your spot NOW!

Saturday, July 25th: Mexico on the Prairie Farm Dinner—due to a cancellation, this sold-out dinner now has a few (3) seats left. Better grab them while you can.  We also have four seats open to our Backyard BBQ dinner on August 15th.   


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/14/2015 9:45pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Come out to the farm tomorrow from 4-6 PM.  It will be a beautiful sunny July day. Come celebrate the sun with us by enjoying a scoop of gelato.  This week's special flavor will be "Strawberry Cheese Cake." Made with local strawberries, chevre and house-made graham cracker "crust," it should be delicious.  We will have other flavors by the scoop as well as pints. 

In celebration of "Bastille Day," come eat some french-inspired cheeses:

  • Fresh Chevre
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie (camembert style)
  • Black Goat (ash-ripened-very French)
  • Moonglo (a raw milk tomme)

We have other cheeses as well:

  • Fresh ricotta
  • Feta
  • Huckleberry Blue

You can also do a lot of mid-week shopping if you missed the farmers' markets:

Stewart's Artisan Breads will have breads, bagels, cookies and granola

Tomahnous Farm will have organic veggies and lots of blueberries

Heirloominous Farm will have veggies and herbs

Seven Sisters Farm will be bringing us pastured eggs and chickens

Piedmonte Sausage has a great assortment of old-world recipe sausages

Laurence the Knife Dude will be here to sharpen knives too.   

Other farm events that you should know about:

Third Friday Pop-Up:  This Friday, July 17th, 5:30-7:30  NO RESERVATIONS-CHECK OUT THE MENU!

Saturday, July 18th: Book reading and signing PLUS a tasting of cheese, gelato and wine.  Come out to the farm from 4-6 PM to meet Alan Guebert, author of "Land of Milk and Uncle Honey."  This event is now FREE, but you need to contact The Land Connection so we know how many people will be coming.  

Sunday, July 19th: "Two Milks Tasting Trail"  We're partnering with Ludwig Farm Creamery in Fithian IL to give you an inside view of two creameries right here in Central IL: cow and goat.  You''ll tour and taste cheese at both locations.  For details and to book reservations, visit our website.

Thursday, July 23rd: Rhine Hall Distillery Brandy Tasting 6-8 PM.  Come meet the founder of Chicago's brandy distillery, Jenny Soldberg. She and her father make craft brandies using local fruits sourced from Michigan. Our chef Alisa will be preparing small plates to accompany four of the spirits made at the distillery.  It should be a magical evening.  


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/10/2015 7:03am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News from near and far

The guinea keets (the baby guineas) arrived early this week on the farm.  They will be the star attraction for this year’s 100 Yard Dinner in October.  We raised guinea fowl a few years ago, and thankfully, slight amnesia has set in for the challenges they present.  Right now, they are tiny, fast-moving balls of down that dart around the stock tank (their temporary home inside the kid barn), eating, drinking water and sleeping en masse under a heat lamp’s warmth. 

On Wednesday, I swapped farm clothes for finer threads and headed to the big city (Chicago) to sample cheese with cheese mongers and chefs.  I brought our cheese making intern, Kathy with me, so she could witness the pen-ultimate fate of the products she was helping to make: the art of selling cheese and the process of transforming cheese into something delicious that restaurant diners will devour.  Although we connect with our customers weekly at the farmers’ markets, I often forget the important role that mongers and chefs play in “marketing” our cheese.   They are the gate keepers to the world of cheese for so many more people than we will ever encounter at the farmers’ markets.  

I found them hungry for understanding the nuances of milk seasonality and the processes of cheese making.  They were genuinely curious about our breeds of goats and the ups and downs of their milk’s butterfat and protein. Their palates are tuned for tasting, and they have the vocabulary for translating their taste buds sensations:  “chevre is bright and lemony, “feta is sharp with a fatty-acid finish,” “Moonglo has notes of tropical fruit and strawberries”—kindred spirits.  We also talked a bit about how to confer their knowledge to their customers, how to offer suggestions for pairings and preparations, how to clinch the sale.  Cheese can be scary and overwhelming to folks on the street, and these great cheese ambassadors can help folks navigate the murky sea of cheese choices. 

Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market this Saturday, July 11th.  We’re hoping the sun shows her face so you’ll be enticed to come out and soak up her rays at the markets.  We’ve got cheese

  • Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh Ricotta: it is so sweet and creamy right now, a perfect foil for fresh berries and sliced peaches
  • Feta: tangy and crumbly, try rolling your sweet corn (buttered first) in a fine crumble of feta and sprinkling it with smoked paprika—this was our 4th of July treat last weekend
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie—still slightly gooey deliciousness
  • Black Goat:  ash-ripened, yeasty rind—yummy
  • Moonglo: that spring milk fruitiness is perfect for a summer cheese plate
  • Huckleberry Blue: creamy blue cheese with a hint of nuttiness

Need crackers and salted goat milk caramels to accompany those cheeses? We have those too. It should be hot and perfect weather for gelato:

  • Vanilla 
  • Chocolate
  • Salted caramel
  • Fresh mint
  • Thai Basil
  • Sangria Sorbetto
  • Red Currant Sorbetto

Are highlights of the flavors we’ll have in pints and single servings.

Farm Happenings

We still have a few seats left for our farm dinner with guest chef, Cleetus Friedman of Fountainhead Restaurant in Chicago. He is pairing up with New Holland Brewery of Michigan for this one. You can check out the menu and the pairings on our website.  It’s going to be FANTASTIC!

Next weekend, we have a  lot going on at the farm:

Third Friday Pop-Up on the 17th, featuring fresh-ground burgers and sides and Ryan Groff of Elsinore to serenade you.

Saturday, July 18th: Cheese, wine and gelato tasting AND a book reading and signing “The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey” with acclaimed author, Alan Guebert.  This event, from 4-6 PM, is co-sponsored with The Land Connection, and all proceeds will go to their efforts to train the next generation of sustainable farmers.  Here's a few more details about the author and the book:

"Nationally syndicated columnist Alan Guebert and his daughter Mary Grace
Foxwell will read from their recently released book *The Land of Milk and
Uncle Honey* at various upcoming events throughout Iowa. Published by the
University of Illinois Press, the book is a collection of personal memories
written over the past two decades as part of Guebert’s weekly Farm and
Food File column. Each column recalls and reflects on the people, food, and
values he learned on the 720-acre, 100-cow “southern Illinois dairy farm
of my youth” in the late 1960s.

*The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey* was recently included on Bon Appetit
Magazine's 20 Food Books to Read This Summer, LA Magazine's Top 10 Summer
Books for Foodies, and Food Tank's Summer Reading List."

For tickets, go to: http://thelandconnection.org/community/unclehoney

Sunday, July 19th: “Two Milks Tasting Trail” with Ludwig Farmstead Creamery (Fithian) and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  This trail includes tours and tastings of both dairies and creameries.  For times, details and reservations, go to our website


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/7/2015 9:45pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Tomorrow (July 8th) our Farm Open House is chock full of farm fresh goodies.  We'll be dipping scoops of some great gelato flavors:
  • Tart Cherry Stracciatella
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Thai Basil
  • Sicilian Pistachio
  • Berry-Sangria Sorbetto

We'll also have pints of several other flavors for sale too.  

If you missed out at shopping the farmers' markets this past weekend, you can do a lot of your local foods shopping right at the farm. From cheese & crackers, to breads & desserts (Stewart's Artisan Breads) to organic vegetables & berries (Tomahnous Farm and Heirloominous Farm), to pastured chicken and eggs (Seven Sisters Farm) and Italian sausages to throw on the grill (Piedmonte Sausage). Laurence the Knife Dude will be here to sharpen knives too.   

By the way, if you haven't tried Tomahnous Farm's organic blueberries this season, you don't know what you're missing. They are plump and sweet, and she's having a bumper crop.  They go perfectly with a wedge of our ricotta drizzled with some local honey or maple syrup.

Looking for some great cheeses to enjoy with a glass of wine al fresco? We'll have:

  • Chevre
  • Fresh Ricotta (and I mean FRESH--it was made today!)
  • Feta
  • Bloomy rind cheeses (little bloom and black goat)
  • Huckleberry Blue
  • Moonglo

Ask us for a taste.   On another note, our peach crop is ripening nicely now that we've got some sun and heat shining down on the orchard. Wes expects the Red Havens to be ready for picking in another couple of weeks. Stay tuned for details about U-Pick.  


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/2/2015 9:28pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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 Farm News

Last Friday, during torrential downpours, we tattooed this year’s crop of keeper doelings.  Goat tattooing has a more mundane goal (animal identification) compared with the elaborate self-adornment ends of human tattooing.  Since I don’t have any tattoos, I am not sure how far the analogies between goats and humans can be taken.  Goat tattoos either go in the ears (in the skin between the ribs of the ear) or on the tail (as is the case for our La Manchas and La Mancha hybrids).  First, you need to set up the letters and numbers in the tattoo press so that they will read right side up when imprinted on the goat.  For folks who are spatially challenged (I include myself in this category), this is not always obvious.  Then, you must restrain the goat (we use our old wooden milk stand) because it can be slightly painful when the press is clamped down on their skin.  Then, you slather neon green tattoo ink in the spot where the tattoo will go, count to three and clamp down on the press.  Then, you rub the ink really well into the imprint so it takes. It’s all over in a matter of seconds, and the kids are back in their pens eating and frolicking with green faces and tails. 

goats with green ears

escape goat eating humble pie

Blue, our dog, has taken on the role of goat kid protectorate. He barks whenever someone gets their head stuck in the fence during feeding time. He barks when one of the kids escapes or calls out in distress. Often, he accompanies his barking with carrying a large piece of firewood in his mouth (this is his version of a stick).  He also has a terrible fear of thunderstorms, so he sought refuge in the kid barn during tattooing.  Each goat’s tattooing was met with barks and dropping the firewood on the wooden stand.  Before long (and after many attempts to get him to stop barking), his “stick” was covered in green tattoo ink as was his mouth and head.  As the rain subsided, we were able to convince him to find another job elsewhere on the farm. 

blue dog with green tattoo

Fourth of July Farmers’ Markets

This Saturday, we’ll celebrate our nation’s birthday with an assortment of fireworks for your taste buds.  We'll be attending both Urbana's Market at the Square and Chicago's Green City Market. We have a full house of cheeses that you can either cook with or take along for your fireworks picnic:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh ricotta:  make a pasta and grilled veggie salad and cube up some ricotta to blend in
  • Feta: think salads, grilled sweetcorn (if you’re so lucky to score some at the farmers’ market) or grilled summer squash
  • Angel Food: very limited number available—just enjoy with a baguette and gooseberry jam
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie—this batch of goat milk camembert is a bit young, but is tasting delicious (buttery, slightly mushroomy)
  • Black Goat—hint of yeast on the rind, deliciousness inside (creamy)
  • Huckleberry Blue—think burgers, salads, quiches; the skies, the limit
  • Moonglo—our first SPRING-MILK batch is READY and boy is this delicious, it’s got a nice tang and a nutty finish. You could melt it on a burger OR just slice it and eat it!

How about some gelato to go with the 4th of July pies? So many flavors, so many pie options!

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Mint Stracciatella
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Lemon Chevre
  • Strawberry
  • Lemon Balm
  • Fresh Mint
  • Key Lime Pie (single servings only)
  • Red Current Sorbetto
  • Sangria Sorbetto (single servings only)

Don’t forget to pick up some artisan crackers to accompany your cheeses on your holiday picnic.  Feel free to ask us for picnic cheese recommendations.  We love to give you our opinions.  AND indulge your family’s sweet teeth with our mouth-melting salted goat-milk caramels. 

Farm Dinner Tickets are still available:  I’ve heard many comments from Farmers’ Market customers assuming that all of our dinners are sold out. In fact, we have seats open for two upcoming dinners: July 11th and August 8th.  Chef Cleetus Friedman of The Fountainhead Restaurant in Chicago will be our guest chef on July 11th, and he’s partnering up with New Holland Brewery.  Check out the menu (including beer pairings) and book your reservations today!  Chef Niall Campbell of Firefly Grill in Effingham will be our guest chef on August 8th.  We hope to have the menu posted for that dinner (or at least a few tidbits of what he’s planning to prepare) very soon. 


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 6/29/2015 2:40pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Greetings!  The solstice has ushered in summer officially, and we're soaking up the sun's rays in between the drops of rain.  Nothing says summer better than frozen treats, and boy do we have lots of those right now:
  • Fresh Mint Stracciatella (that's italian for "chocolate chip")
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Lemon Chevre
  • Red Currant Sorbetto
  • Berry-Sangria Sorbetto

are some of the gelato flavors we have in pints and single servings.  Come see us at The Land Connection's Downtown Champaign Farmers' Market on Tuesday evening (4-7PM). We will also have cheese, salted goat-milk caramels and crackers for sale too.

Can't make it then? Come to the farm on Wednesday from 4-6 PM.  In addition to the pints of gelato,  we'll have gelato by the scoop (flavors yet to be decided).  You can do a lot of your pre-holiday (that's 4th of July) local foods shopping right at the farm. From cheese & crackers, to breads & desserts (Stewart's Artisan Breads) to organic vegetables & berries (Tomahnous Farm and Heirloominous Farm), to pastured chicken and eggs (Seven Sisters Farm) and Italian sausages to throw on the grill (Piedmonte Sausage)--you won't have to fight the grocery store crowds.

 Laurence the Knife Dude will be here to sharpen knives to get them in mint condition for slicing and dicing over the holiday weekend.  AND... we have a special guest vendor this WEDNESDAY only: Sticky Pete's Maple Syrup from Athens Ohio returns to the farm.  Southeast Ohio Maples must be growing in some complex soils, because their maple syrup is DELICIOUS!! They'll have a variety of sizes of syrup containers as well as maple sugar and maybe even maple candies.  


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.