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Posted 10/2/2014 9:30pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Our all-male breeding chorus made its debut in the “barns” of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery last evening.  Their serenades interspersed with buck snorts and lip curls were greeted with rave reviews from the audience.  In fact, many of the ladies in attendance rewarded their crooners with tail wags and neck rubs.  Each of the “four tenors” has his very own group of 14 to 18 adoring fans.  No, Pavarotti has not risen from his grave.  Yes, the sounds of goat love have returned to Prairie Fruits Farm. It’s breeding season once again and we’re off to a splendid start.

Many consider fall a time of agricultural endings; harvesting the crops, putting the garden beds to rest,  mulching the berry plants to protect their roots from winter’s frigid reach, goats’ lactation slowly creeping to a halt.  Yet the seeds for spring’s life—new kids, new milk—are being sown now.  

Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending two markets this Saturday: Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market. Both of our cheese makers, Lynn and Dani, will be serving our patrons in Urbana, while Magdalena will be greeting our Chicago customers.  The weather will be a bit chilly, but don’t let that stop you from coming to the markets to shop and stock up on some great fall produce, cheese and gelato.

Cheese Offerings

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper and heirloom-dried tomato
  • Angel Food Brie
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Moonglo

Gelato Flavors to include (but not limited to):

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Espresso
  • Peanut Butter & Chocolate
  • Honey Thyme 
  • Pear Sorbetto

Farm Happenings

We’re still holding a “crop mob” tomorrow afternoon (October 3rd) from 4 to 7 pm.  We’ll be cleaning up the fallen fruit from the orchard. Come help Dani and Erica with this much-needed task and you’ll be rewarded with fresh cider and goat milk gelato. Just let Dani know that you plan to come. Her number is 815-382-2737. 

If you haven’t signed up for the Botanical Illustration workshop to held at our farm on Sunday October 12th. It’s not too late. Just go to www.carasgarden.com for details and sign up. 

Sunday, October 19th is our next Pop-Up event, 12 noon to 3PM.  Nomad Food Co of Chicago returns to bake us some wood fired pizzas in their portable brick oven.  Details coming soon


Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 9/26/2014 8:28am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

The passing of a matriarch

We sustained another major loss this week with Chippewa (Chippy)’s passing. Intellectually, I know that death is part of life.  Rational thought leads me to understand that we all age over time and that the aging process can be more or less harsh to living beings.  Despite these fundamental truths, I would often whisper into Chippy’s long Nubian ears that she had to live forever.  Her skeleton frame had been telling me otherwise for the past year, but I kept up the pep talks nonetheless. Her upbeat attitude contradicted the wasting image before me.

Just like some people get “under your skin,” Chippewa got under mine.  She was a doe who made you believe she was a person reincarnate.  Most goat herds have a dominant female and for most of her eleven years, Chippy was the obvious matriarch.  She strutted the pastures with an air of confidence reminiscent of a politician (a benevolent leader, I’d like to believe, although she was subject to head butting).  She was one of most humanly social goats; always the first to rush to the fence to greet newcomers, always the first to seek me out when I walked out into the pasture.  She practically commanded you to rub her face, frequently closing her eyes with pleasure.  She exuded empathy, seemingly sympathetic to herd mates in trouble or humans feeling down.  Earlier this summer, I watched her intervene in a tiff between two younger does.  Their “argument” was clearly escalating, and Chippy inserted herself between the rival parties to break up the fight.  Her body finally gave out earlier this week, and we buried her alongside Hershey in our prairie. She lives on in our hearts and in our logo. 

Chippy

Rumbling of the earth movers

The hulking earth movers arrived this week in the field south of our farm. The assault on the beautiful farmland that surrounds us will begin on Monday, September 29th.  While they are excavating dirt and moving it across the road, North Lincoln Avenue will be closed just south of our driveway for an indefinite period of time.  We will have detour signs put up along the detour route so you will still be able to come out to the farm.  I have also spelled out alternate directions from both Urbana and Champaign on our website

Farmers’ Markets and Other Farm Happenings

We’re attending one market this Saturday, September 27th: Urbana’s Market at the Square.  The butterfat is starting to go up in our milk, so our chevre is taking on that extra creamy texture.  We’ll have plenty of chevre, along with a full lineup of our other cheeses:

  • Plain, herbs de Provence and cracked pepper
  • Angel Food Brie
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue (last of the spring batches)

The gelato flavors just keep coming:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Thai Basil
  • Lemon Balm
  • Peach Pie (chunks of peach pie folded into vanilla gelato-YUM!!)
  • Ginger
  • Espresso
  • Peach-Raspberry Sorbetto
  • Nectarine Sorbetto

The weather should be perfect for market going, so come on out and stock up on fall's bounty.

Don’t forget to sign up for a very special event on the farm: Botanical Illustration with local artist, Cara Cummings. Come spend a day on the farm to learn about botanical illustration, start a painting, tour the farm, eat  lunch prepared on the farm with local ingredients, and end the day with a fun discussion of everyone’s work while tasting artisan cheeses and, if you choose, sip some wine (byob).  

When: Sunday, October 12 2014 — 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Where: Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

What: A botanical illustration workshop

Price: $55.00

Register: www.carasgarden.com   You will receive an e-mail within 24 hours of registering that will include a supplies list, agenda, and other supporting materials for the class.
botanical illustration workshop

 


 

Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 9/18/2014 10:21pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

The slow creep of fall is flowing over the farm.  It’s a subtle slow moving set of changes: slightly shorter days, slightly drier air, green vegetation slowing its growth, tree leaves stiffening, buck scents wafting up from the north pasture.  The intensity of the sunny afternoons is muted and is welcomed by the does lounging in the pasture, chewing their cud. Instead of fleeing the summer sun’s heat, we now welcome its restrained warmth.  It’s a time of year that we relish, knowing that cold weather extremes are not too far behind. 

We harvested a few boxes of very ugly apples and pressed them all into cider. Ben harvested our potatoes yesterday; we’re marveling at their size and their yields.  Tomato production is slowing down, but they still taste like summer.  Alisa brought back a carload of pumpkins, squashes and gourds from The Great Pumpkin Patch in preparation for our weekend “Cucurbit Love Affair” set of Farm Dinners-one at Prairie Fruits Farm on Saturday, another at The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur on Sunday. 

Our neighbor harvested the swath of corn that will become Olympian Drive East yesterday.  This was a sad harvest for us.  In another couple of weeks, North Lincoln Avenue will be closed to through traffic just south of our farm.  We will be putting up maps showing detour routes and we’ll be signing the roads so folks can still find their way to our farm.  We will do our best to minimize the impact of this construction project on our farm. 

Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending two markets this Saturday, September 20th: Urbana’s Market in the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market.  We have a couple of new chevre flavors for you to try this week—both include a little bit of Kilgus Farmstead cow cream, so we’re calling them “creamy chevre.”

  • Creamy Tomato Chevre
  • Creamy Honey-Lavender Chevre
  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Angel Food Brie
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue—these are the last few wheels of blue cheese for the season, so get them while they last.

We’ve started making some fall flavors of gelato this week as well as our regulars:

  • Pumpkin
  • Honey Ginger
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Peach-Raspberry Sorbetto
  • Nectarine
  • Chocolate-Caramel-Gingersnap

Upcoming Farm Events We have a number of private events at the farm this month, so we won’t be holding a “Third Friday Pop-Up” event in September. However, in October, we’ll be bringing back Jared Batson of Nomad Food Co. to make us some more of those delicious wood-fired pizzas.  To accommodate his busy market schedule, he’ll be here on a Sunday afternoon—October 19th from 12 noon to 3PM.  He plans to make several other dishes in the wood fired oven, so stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the date of the Pop-Up. 

Also in October, we’ll be hosting local artist, Cara Cummings who will be offering a very special workshop on Botanical Illustration.  Here are the details. 

A Botanical Illustration Workshop at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

botanical illustration ad

Cara Cummings is excited to partner with Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery to offer a day on the farm where you will have the opportunity to learn about botanical illustration, start a painting, tour the farm, eat  lunch prepared on the farm with local ingredients, and end the day with a fun discussion of everyone’s work while tasting artisan cheeses and, if you choose, sip some wine (byob).

When: Sunday, August 12 2014 — 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Where: Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

What: A botanical illustration workshop

Price: $55.00

Register: www.carasgarden.com   You will receive an e-mail within 24 hours of registering that will include a supplies list, agenda, and other supporting materials for the class.  

Lastly, we still have plenty of seats for the final two farm dinners of the season—November 22nd “Un-thanksgiving Meal” and December 6th-“Holiday Party. “  You can find details about the dinners and make reservations through our website. 


 

Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 9/11/2014 10:04pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Over two inches of rain fell on our prairie soils yesterday.  Most of it soaked right into those lush green pastures and our garden loaded down with ripening tomatoes.  The rain didn't slow down the ripening of corn and soybeans around us. The corn stocks seem to have turned burnt yellow overnight.  The combines will be rolling soon. The tropical winds that brought us the rain subsided and were overtaken by cold gusts from the north.  Why does fall come so suddenly? From sweat and shorts last week to hooded sweatshirts today; it’s hard for our bodies to adjust.  This sudden shift in the weather is sure to bring the does into heat.  Breeding season is just around the corner.  The smell of goat love is in the air.

Farmers’ Markets, Farm Dinners

We’re attending one market this Saturday, September 13th: Urbana’s Market at the Square.  Fall will be the air; perfect weather for enjoying some cheese.  We’ll have:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • An assortment of bloomy rind cheeses including Angel Food Brie, Little Bloom on the Prairie, and Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

There might be a slight chill in the air, but that just means your gelato won’t melt before you get home from the market.  We have some great new flavors as well as the tried and true standards:

  • Honey Thyme
  • Chocolate-Caramel-Gingersnap
  • Sweet Corn (probably the last of the season)
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Cantaloupe-Thai Basil Sorbetto
  • Nectarine Sorbetto

We have a few open seats to our upcoming farm dinner “Cucurbit Love Affair” with Guest Farmer Mac Condill of the Great Pumpkin Patch, Saturday, September 20th from 4:00 to 8:00 pm.  Chef Alisa is still putting the final touches on the menu, but every course will feature a different type of pumpkin or squash.  We have 4-5 tickets available. Please email me if you’re interested (prairiefruits@gmail.com) first-come-first-served.  We’re also doing a companion meal AT the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur on Sunday, September 21st.  The event starts at 5:00 and the price includes wine pairings with each course.  Sleepy Creek Vineyards will be pouring a selection of their wines.  For more information and to make reservations, follow this link: http://the200acres.com/store/farm-to-fork-dinners/farm-to-fork-ticket-sunday-september-21-2014/ 


Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 9/5/2014 7:32am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

We lost our first-born kid yesterday; our wether, Hershey.  Hershey was our “learning curve” kid.  He was born the Monday after Thanksgiving almost ten years ago. His mother, Chocolate, a first freshener at the time, got pregnant within two weeks of arriving on our farm in July of 2004. As utter novices to world of goats and goat births, we had NO idea she was pregnant until a little buckling appeared “in the manger” (no kidding—he was hiding under a hay feeder when I found him that auspicious Monday night).  He grew like a weed, and we decided to keep him as a wether (a castrated male goat for the un-initiated).  He had a jolly carefree personality. 

Wes with Hershey as a baby

 He was always in need of a head scratch or a body nuzzle.  Having no real job on the farm, he had an enviable life.  His hearty appetite and lust for grain lead to episodic “Atkins style” goat dieting—grass hay, but he always managed to avail himself of whatever goodies the other goats were offered. He hung out with our other boys during their off season (always being so tolerant of their buck antics), and then he would join the does during breeding season. 

It was only a few weeks ago that we noticed a sudden drop in his weight.  His appetite was still strong, so we chalked up the weight loss to old age. Yesterday, Wes found him lying on his side, unable to get up.  We called the vet and they discovered tumors in his abdomen.  We made the tough decision to euthanize.  He died peacefully with his head cradled in my lap. 

Hershey was Wes’ buddy. He reflected on the loss: “Last night at Open House, I was looking at the young of the year with the guests.  Someone asked me what the hardest part of having our farm was – haying, milking, feeding, planting, managing money, employees, guests.  It came to me immediately – ‘watching one of your goats die.’ He was a great goat; hearty and healthy his whole life on the farm.  We console ourselves with the thought that he had a great life, a week of not feeling his normal self, and a few minutes to die with the people who loved him, carrying a good appetite up to the end.  I couldn’t ask for more myself.”

Farmers’ Markets, Farm Dinners and Special Events We’re attending two Farmers’ Markets this Saturday: Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market. If it’s delicious cheese you need, it’s cheese we’ve got:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper AND HEIRLOOM TOMATO CHEVRE!!—yes, we’ve been busy drying those succulent Juliet tomatoes to make our seasonal tomato chevre.
  • Angel Food Brie
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

We have lots of great local flavors of gelato for you this week (* indicates flavors available at both markets):

  • Honey Lavender*
  • Sweet Corn*
  • Fresh Mint*
  • Cantaloupe Melon Sorbetto
  • As well as Vanilla and Chocolate

Although our summer open house season has come to an end, stay tuned for announcements about special events at the farm. For example, NEXT FRIDAY, September 12th  (5 PM start time), we’re hosting a fundraiser dinner for the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra.  They still have a few tickets available for sale. Here’s the menu to temp you:

  • Chocolate Mint Iced Tea
  • Grilled watermelon and heirloom tomato salad with house made goat-milk yogurt dressing and thai basil  
  • Herb roasted Lake Superior Whitefish with German potato salad, creamed corn and green bean relish
  • Prairie Fruits Farm cheese plate with preserves and house made crackers
  • Local plum and cornmeal cake with honey thyme gelato

For more information and to make reservations, please call the CU Symphony Orchestra Office from 10AM to 5PM at 217-351-9139 


Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 9/2/2014 10:05pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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  • Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 3rd, is the last Summer Open House of the Season. We'll be open from 4:00 to 6:30 pm.  We're going out in style with several seasonal flavors of gelato:
    Honey Chevre
  • Sweet Corn (the best ever!!-super "corny" in flavor)
  • Fresh Mint
  • Melon Sorbetto

Along with our standard flavors of Vanilla and Chocolate.  We've had a guest pastry chef in our midst these past couple of weeks, and she'll be making special ginger bread cookies to accompany the gelato. We're recommending you try them with the melon sorbetto. 

Of course, there will be plenty of cheese for you to taste and to buy: chevre, bloomy rind cheeses, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue. 

Our guest farmers will be here as well:

Tomahnous Farm and Heirloominous Farm with fantastic organic summer vegetables: heirloom tomatoes, greens, okra, squash and more.

Stewart's Artisan Breads will have his hearty sourdough breads, NYC style bagels, cookies and granola. 

Laurence the Knife Dude will be here to sharpen your knives while you visit the farm. 

We hope you can make it out to the farm.  The goats will be happy to see you.

Also, we still have four tickets to this coming Saturday's Farm Dinner (September 6th) with Guest Chef Nathan Sears of the Radler in Chicago.  The menu will be posted on the website tomorrow. I've seen a sneak preview and it looks fantastic.  To make reservations, please visit our ShowClix page.


 

Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 8/28/2014 6:23pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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 Farm News

We’re throwing a party for our “incubator farmer,” Shea Belahi, tonight to help her raise money to attend the Slow Food Terra Madre in Turin, Italy this fall.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of an incubator and how the term has come to be associated with start-up businesses. Before the business world decided to co-opt this word, it had deeper and softer connotations:  keeping things warm; protecting young creatures from the elements and from the dangers of the big bad world of grown-ups; providing care and nurturing to ensure success in the future.  In the business world, incubators typically are cold, hard spaces that fledgling businesses can rent to test out their business concept before investing gobs of money in infrastructure. 

So, how does the concept of an “incubator farmer” fit into the scheme of incubation?  I like to think of it as a hybrid between the incubators of the natural world and those of the business world.  Yes, we are providing acreage for this young farmer to use.  Yes, we have a written contract (constructed by a lawyer) that articulates what we provide as owners of the land and the farm and what the incubator farmer provides to us in return. 

However, I believe that our incubator-incubatee relationship is more than just a contractual arrangement.  We share knowledge with our incubator farmer.  She helps us tend our own farm to table garden. We give advice about planting, using compost and managing pests and diseases.  We help her fix equipment when it breaks. We converse about the fickleness of farmers’ markets.  We commiserate when the weather or external circumstances sends as much stuff as we brought to market back home with us.  We share wholesale contacts to expand her marketing horizons.  We give her space to make mistakes, and we rejoice her in successes.  Come to think of it, I’d say incubating a farmer is a lot closer to incubating a chick than just renting some space. 

Farmers’ Markets We’re attending one market this Saturday, August 30th: Urbana’s Market at the Square.  We have delicious cheeses for you to enjoy over this long holiday weekend:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • An assortment of bloomy rind cheeses, including Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie and Black Goat.  All are still on the young-ish side, but are perfectly delicious for eating now or setting in your frig for another few days. 
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

This week's Gelato Flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Toasted Coconut Cream
  • Raspberry Swirl
  • Plum Sorbetto
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut

Don’t forget to peruse our website for the latest updates on Farm Dinner Ticket Sales and Farm Open House. Summer is slowly exiting and fall is surely on its way, so stay tuned for upcoming events at the farm this fall.


Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 8/26/2014 8:21pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 27th, we’ll be open from 4:00 to 6:30 pm.  We have two weeks (including this week) remaining for our summer open house.  If you haven’t been out yet this summer or if you’ve developed a weekly ritual of visiting the farm, make your plans to come out to the farm NOW.  We have some great gelato flavors for you to try by the scoop or pint:

  • Vanilla
  • Toasted Coconut Cream
  • Raspberry Swirl
  • Plum Sorbetto
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut

We also have cheeses for you to sample and purchase: chevre, bloomies, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue. 

Stewart’s Artisan Breads will have a tempting assortment of rustic breads, bagels, cookies and granola.

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

Our two vegetable farmers, Tomahnous Farm and Heirloominous Farm, will be here with a full house of summer veggies including tomatoes, salad mix, squashes, kale, cabbage and okra. 

Speaking of Heirloominous Farm, the young farmer at the helm of this beautiful vegetable operation, Shea Belahi, has been our first incubator farmer at the farm. She has been renting close to one acre of land from us to grow her vegetables. She’s also been helping us grow our vegetables that we use for our farm dinners. Shea has been nominated as a farmer delegate to the Slow Food Terra Madre this year. Terra Madre is an international celebration of farmers and food artisans held in Turin, Italy every two year. 

To help send Shea to Italy this fall,we are hosting a fundraising party for her this Thursday, August 28th. The party starts at 6pm and will be a “tapas” themed event featuring many of the vegetables that Shea is growing on her farm. It also features pastured chicken raised and generously donated by Triple S Farms.  Need some enticement? Here’s the menu:

  • Basil Aioli with Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Poblano-Tomatillo & Black Bean Chalupas with Sauce
  • Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Marjoram and Chevre on a Crostini
  • Feta and Watermelon pickled on a Chinese Spoon
  • BBQ chicken on Biscuits with okra pickles
  • Blackberry Rice Pudding in Shot Glasses

Here’s the link to ticket purchasing: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/heirloominous-terra-madre-tapas-night-tickets-12489387093

Come support this bright young farmer and eat some great local food too!


Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 8/21/2014 4:22pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

We’ve hit the infamous summer wall of produce coming out of our little vegetable garden this week. Flats of tomatoes, totes of potatoes, mounds of beans and baskets of basil—they’re piling up in the temporary storage locations around the farm and kitchen, awaiting their processing.  I do love this abundant time of year, but it is also a time of conflicted feelings.  I love slicing a field-warm tomato, arranging it perfectly on a plate, drizzling it with a little vinaigrette and then sliding a dressed slice into my mouth.  I love walking into our commercial kitchen and finding the tables covered with basil and shelling beans.  I love the overpowering fragrance of basil leaves freshly plucked from their stems.  I love the aesthetic of jars of processed vegetables lined up on the counter, ready for their off-season resting place.

produce bounty

My mental conflicts arise from immediate gluttony versus the desire to preserve it all. I want to eat as much of it as I can NOW, knowing the intensity of flavors are fleeting.   I don’t want anything to go to waste; not even the tomatoes with a few blemishes or cracked shoulders.  Basil getting a little downy mildew on the leaves?—just wash it off and get it into the blender with olive oil.  I feel anxious as I try to find time to can some tomatoes of my own, hoping the weather stays hot a bit longer. I understand and appreciate the dilemma and the fury of the squirrel, who rushes from acorn to acorn, stashing as many nuts for the winter as she can.

Farmers’ Markets and Farm Happenings 

This Saturday, August 23rd, we’re attending two markets: Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market. As the summer wanes and our milk production starts to dwindle, we are beginning to simplify our cheese production schedule. So, this is the last week for fresh goats’ milk ricotta.  We will have:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh ricotta
  • An assortment of bloomy rind cheeses, including Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie and Black Goat.  All are still on the young-ish side, but are perfectly delicious for eating now or setting in your frig for another few days. 
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

For gelato we have:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Peaches & Cream*
  • Lemon Crème
  • Raspberry Swirl*
  • Espresso
  • Peach Sorbetto*
  • Cucumber-lime-mint Sorbetto*

(Flavors with an asterisk are those we are bringing to Green City Market)

With summer coming to an end, we’ll be hosting two more weeks of Wednesday Farm Open House (ends September 3rd). If you haven’t had a chance to come out to the farm yet this summer or if you have been enjoying the tranquility and great farm products throughout the summer, you should come out the next two Wednesday afternoons (August 27th and September 3rd) from 4:00 to 6:30 pm.

We still have tickets to a number of our upcoming Dinners on the Farm.  In fact, we have three seats open to the farm dinner this coming Saturday, (“Vegetarian: Provence”) August 23rd.  You can check out the menu on our website. Need some enticement? We’re making a special Provencal style cheese for the cheese course: banon—a chevre round wrapped in a local Elderberry wine-soaked sycamore leaf. 

banon wrapping


Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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 8/20/2014 7:18am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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We're finally getting some hot summer weather; just ask the chickens.  
chickens seek shade

Cool off at the farm this afternoon (WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20TH) during our open house: 4:00 to 6:30 pm. We'll have cheese: chevre, bloomies, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue.  We'll be scooping gelato:

  • Vanilla
  • Raspberry Swirl
  • Lemon Creme
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Chocolate
  • Peach Sorbetto

Riding on the tails of last Friday night's Pop-Up  success, we'll be making gelato sandwiches to order. You choose the cookie (chocolate chip, oatmeal craisin, sugar), the gelato flavor and assorted sprinkles, and we'll build it for you.  

cookie making

Of course, our vegetable farmers and bread baker will be here too:

Tomahnous Farm and Heirloominous Farm have a plethora of summer vegetables picked fresh this morning. 

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

Laurence the Knife Dude will be here to sharpen your knives while you shop or eat your gelato sandwich in the shade.  

There won't be any u-pick today. Our berries just aren't producing enough.  

 


 

Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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.