News

Welcome to Leslie's Blog.
Posted 7/31/2014 10:48pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

 “Don't it always seem to go 

That you don't know what you've got

Till it's gone 

They paved paradise  And put up a parking lot”

from Joni Mitchell’s song “Yellow Taxi”

farm paradise

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of prescient nature of Joni Mitchell’s song from my youth.  In a little less than two weeks, the excavators and the bulldozers will arrive on the hallowed farm ground in our midst to begin the extension of Olympian Drive eastward over the railroad tracks.  I confess I am sad, very sad.

Over the eleven years plus that we have lived here, I have felt the slow transformation in my bones from easterner to prairie dweller.  I have come to embrace the flatness of this place, the truly big, transparent sky, the way corn grows ten feet tall seemingly overnight, the sounds of clanking, creaking rail cars when the windy prairie air is finally still.  I have come to value the history of my surroundings; of the Native Americans who settled along the Saline Branch and who probably paddled their canoes over our fields when it rained in the spring.  I have come to respect deeply my neighbors, descendants of the German immigrant farmers who settled this land after the Civil War and drained the wet prairie, somehow knowing that its soils would yield them riches for generations to come. 

We knew our little piece of ground was special when we bought it.  We are so close to town, yet we feel as if we are in the middle of the country as we stand in our front yard.  The traits that have made our farm so wonderful are the same ones that made it vulnerable to development.  Unlike the lyrics of Joni Mitchell’s “Yellow Taxi,” we DO know what we’ve got.  We just couldn’t convince the powers that be that our paradise is really the community’s paradise. 

Turkey woes It’s hard to keep poultry alive in the country.  Our experiences with chickens, guinea hens and ducks has somewhat hardened us to the realities that everyone loves to eat poultry.  So, when we constructed the moveable pen for the turkeys, we knew of the potential dangers lurking in the shadows.  We were certain that the thick chicken wire and the barbed wood baffles on the bottom of the pen would keep most of the known predators out.  What we didn’t anticipate was that one would put his little dexterous hand inside the cage and try to pull a turkey out.  One night last week, a raccoon (who else has such dexterous hands??) stuck his (or her) hand through the chicken wire and grabbed one of our turkey’s wings, mortally wounding the poor turkey.  So, now there are eight.  They are growing beautifully. We must keep them alive.  turkeys

Farmers’ Markets, Dinner Tickets and Fork in the Road Tasting Trail

We’re attending one market this Saturday, August 2nd: Urbana’s Market at the Square.  All of our cheeses are tasting really great right now—must be all that delicious pasture the goats are eating. We’ll have:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, Cracked pepper
  • Fresh, whole milk ricotta
  • An assortment of bloomy rind cheeses including Angel Food (very limited), Little Bloom on the Prairie (young, but very delicious) and Black Goat.
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

For gelato, we’ll have:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Margot’s Fresh Mint
  • Espresso
  • Honey Lavender (it’s back and it’s wonderful)
  • Sweet corn (made with organic sweet corn from Severson Farm)
  • Cucumber Lime Mint Sorbetto

I’ve been plugging our upcoming dinner with guest chef Jordan Coffey of Springfield’s American Harvest Eatery because we have several seats still available for this dinner AND it's going to be GREAT. If you haven’t checked out the menu yet, please do.  He will be serving pork raised by Stan Schutte of Triple S Farms, and Stan will be our guest farmer for the meal. We hope you can join us. 

Tickets for the final five fall dinner dates will be going on sale on Friday, August 15th at 12 noon. You might want to familiarize yourself with the themes, and how to purchase tickets through our ShowClix page BEFORE they go on sale. 

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A FUN WAY TO SPEND A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN AUGUST, PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING UP FOR OUR AUGUST 1OTH “FORK IN THE ROAD” TASTING TRAIL.  


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 7/29/2014 8:46pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

This week's open house (Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:30 pm) has an explosion of summer gelato flavors:

gelato pans

  • Thai Basil
  • Sweet Corn
  • Vanilla pistachio brittle
  • Cucumber lime mint
  • Chocolate (how can you not have chocolate all the time!)

We'll also have the regular flavors by the pint including:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Honey Chevre
  • Honey Lavender
  • Espresso
  • Peach sorbetto

We have plenty of cheese for you as well:

  • Fresh chevre
  • Fresh ricotta
  • Angel Food
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

Our farmer friends will be here with gorgeous summer produce: Tomahnous Farm and Heirloominous Farm both.

Stewart's Artisan Breads will be here with his rustic breads, bagels, cookies and granola.

Last, but certainly not least, Laurence, the Knife Dude, will be here after a long hiatus, to sharpen your knives while you visit the farm and eat giant bowls of gelato.  

 


 

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 7/24/2014 10:02pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farmers’ Markets, Farm Happenings

We’re attending two markets this Saturday, July 26th: Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market.  With the onset of fresh field tomatoes (read all about my first tomato bliss in the blog post below), the bloomy rind cheeses are a must buy. However, I have recommendations for using ALL of our cheeses with tomatoes this week! We’ll have:

  • Angel Food Brie—these are ripe and ready to eat this weekend!
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie—this batch of camembert style goat cheese is a bit young, but can either enjoy it now, or ripen it in your frig for a few days
  • Black goat—the delicate ash-ripened round; also on the young side, but perfectly delicious now or later
  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence or cracked pepper—you can dot your tomato salad with some of this creamy deliciousness, then slice some fresh basil over all of it.
  • Fresh goat milk ricotta—how about stuffing a tomato with some ricotta, a few shallots and fresh herbs and dusting it with some panko bread crumbs before placing it in a hot oven to bake for a 20 minutes?
  • Moonglo—our raw milk tomme. Looking for a way to make fancy grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches? This cheese is the ticket
  • Huckleberry Blue:  toss some tomato wedges in a light vinaigrette; crumble some our blue cheese over the top along with toasted pecans. 

We’ve got some great gelato and sorbetto flavors for you to try this week (* indicates available at both markets this weekend):

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Fresh Mint*
  • Pistachio (very limited quantities)
  • Honey Chevre*
  • Espresso
  • Red Currant-Apple Mint Sorbetto*
  • Peach Sorbetto*  

In addition to our delicious edible products, we’ll be bringing some of non-edible products as well, including our insulated tote bags, some of our goat tee-shirts and our NEW “teat” towels (organic flour sack cloths with a few whimsical versions of Chippy the Goat-play on the tea towel). Check out the “merch” at our stand at the Urbana Farmers’ Market. 

Don’t forget to take a look at the upcoming farmdinners on our website. Several still have seats available.  We will be releasing the tickets for the final five fall dates on Friday, August 15th.  Details to follow.  Also, if you’ve been looking for something unusual to do with out of town guests, check out our August 10th “Fork in the Road” tasting trail tour.  Rumor has it that KD Ranch will have a new baby zebra to show off. 

Farm News:Tomatoes, Flat Tires and False Doldrums

Tomato season has come in with a whimper this year. With the roller coaster rides of rains and air temperatures, my vigilance for ripe tomatoes slackened.  I got tired of watching the green tomatoes hanging from the vines.  With a good several days of drying weather, I regained some hope, only to watch blight set into the vines of several of our heirloom varieties.  Beneath the shriveled brown leaves and black spotted fruit, I spied a few red, black (more like deep purple red) orange and green (yes, yellow-green for the Cherokee Green tomatoes) tomatoes clinging to their vines. 

I collected them with care, brought them into the house, cut out the rotted parts, sliced them, sprinkled some coarse salt and drizzled them with a little olive oil.  The field-warm tomato at peak ripeness—juicy, sweet, tart-a lycopene explosion in my mouth; if Keats didn’t write a sonnet about tomatoes, he should have. 

Unlike last summer’s drought, this summer’s prolific rains have left the farm tall with vegetation, both good and bad.  The orchard grasses have grown too tall between the trees, the weeds are in a race to set seeds, and our lawn looks as lush as springtime.  The vegetation seems to have conspired against us and has consorted with our tractors and lawn mowers to keep their stature intact.  Every time we attempted to mow this past week, we were foiled with either a flat tire or a broken mower blade.  We finally brought in the big guns (aka, our neighbor who has a landscaping business and a fancy whirling riding mower) and won the battle over the lawn.  The orchard grasses will live to fight another day. 

The Doldrums—connotes a time of laziness, of summer heat stultifying humans into a stupor of inactivity.  Farm life in the summer is the antithesis of laziness—milk the goats, make the cheese, feed the kids, weed the garden, harvest the garden, fight the pests, sell the farm products—really there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all the way you’d like the chores to be done.  Yet, the stillness of the air beckons you to slow down, to stop in your tracks, to sit on your porch and eat corn on the cob and chin-dripping peaches.  I do sometimes pine for that dead calm air to push me down, to force me to relax, even just a little.   

 



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 7/22/2014 9:35pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

The kitchen at Prairie Fruits Farm has been busy preparing some great foods for you to take home tomorrow during our farm open house, Wednesday, July 23rd from 4:00 to 6:30 pm.  


We'll have mixed berry cobbler, several jams, and peach, corn & tomato salsa (this is a fresh salsa). Of course, there will be plenty of cheese to accompany those jams including fresh chevre, fresh ricotta, bloomy rind cheeses, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue.  

Gelato flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Mint
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Peach Sorbetto
  • Hazelnut

As well as a few other flavors in pints only.  Consider purchasing one of our new insulated tote bags to put those pints into-you won't even need an ice pack. 

Stewart's Artisan Breads returns with an assortment of hearty breads, bagels, cookies and granola.

Tomahnous Farm will be here with some berries, and lots of great summer veggies.

Heirloominous Farm will have fresh summer veggies as well. 


 

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 7/17/2014 10:14pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

I am trying a new format to our newsletter--farm happenings and farmers' market news first, blog second. Please let me know what you think of this change.

Farm Happenings and Farmers’ Markets

Friday, July 18th (that’s either today or tomorrow, depending on when you’re reading this email), we’re hosting another “Third Friday Pop-Up,” from 5:30-7:30 pm.  We have live music from “Los Guapos” and a southern food-inspired menu.  Check out all the details on our website. NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Saturday, July 19th, we’re attending Urbana’s Market at the Square. Unlike last Saturday (deluge anyone), the weather forecast is calling for sunny skies and perfect market going temperatures.  We’ve got some beautiful summer cheeses for you:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh goat milk ricotta
  • Bloomies: Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie and Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

Need some gelato? We’ll have pints and assorted single servings of:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Lemon Balm
  • Tart Cherry Stracciatella
  • Thai Basil
  • Red Currant-Apple Mint Sorbetto
  • Nectarine Sorbetto

Worried that your gelato will melt if you buy it at the market? Worry no more! You can purchase one of our re-usable insulated tote bags with the Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery Logo.

Other happenings: Don’t forget to check out the menus for our upcoming farm dinners on July 26th and August 9th-we still have seats available for both of these dinners. The menus look amazing! Also, check out our next Fork in the Road Tasting Trail—August 10th.  We have plenty of spots open for the tour. Come join us.

Winning udders and junior Nigerian Dwarfs

This past Tuesday, we piled into a rented mini-van, NYC teenage girls in tow, and drove to Louisville, KY to attend the American Dairy Goat Association’s (ADGA) Annual Goat Show.  While we’ve never shown our own goats, I am intrigued by the show goat world.  Does the adage, “beauty is only skin deep,” apply to livestock?  Do those large udders hold up to commercial dairy rigors? I have been to a few goat shows at county and state fairs, but I’ve never been to the “Miss America” of the goat show world: The ADGA National Show.  Dairy goat breeders from all over the country convene for one week with the hopes of taking home a blue ribbon or the coveted “Grand Champion” title. 

One of our part-time milkers, Carolyn, is a judge for ADGA, and she has taught me a lot about conformation—how a dairy goat is put together, and how the body structure can translate to a long-lived, healthy, productive dairy doe.  I admit it took me a few years before I really understood the “dairy wedge,” (narrow in the front, wide in the back—to hold that great big udder), but now I can look at my little doelings within a few days after they are born and predict the ones that have the right stuff to become a member of our milking herd.   

When we arrived at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville and entered the great hall, our eyes were met with a sea of dairy goats of all breeds—Nubians, La Manchas, Saanens, French Alpines, Oberhasli, Toggenbergs and Nigerian Dwarf.  Most breeders set up sleeping quarters with their animals, so amidst the stalls with goats, there were sleeping bags and inflatable mattresses.  Some of the goats were just lounging, either waiting for their turn in the show ring or resting after the stress of prior judging.  Several were on the grooming stand, being clipped and primped in anticipation of their showing.   

NYC girls at the goat show

As we approached the show ring, the Senior Nubians were in the final throws of judging.  As the judges commanded each owner to walk their doe in the prescribed pattern, the audience whispered quietly little tidbits about the herds, the owners and the usual show goat gossip.  When the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion were finally chosen, the smart phones came out, pictures were taken and the texting frenzy of winners ensued. 

nubian winners

The highlight of the day for me was the Junior Nigerian Dwarf show. These are the tiny Nigerian doelings born this year.  As one of our NYC teenagers astutely observed, this show was akin to a caprine version of “Toddlers and Tiaras.”  While a number of them were well behaved and moved to the winners circle fairly quickly, the majority of these baby beauties squirmed and screamed, refusing to make the proper show stance.   

junior nigerians


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 7/16/2014 7:17am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

We'll be open from 4:00 to 6:30 PM this afternoon. The weather is VERY un-summer like, but it is a gorgeous day for an outing to the farm. Of course, you can see the goats and the growing turkeys (they are now outside in a movable pen).  

We'll have plenty of cheese for you to taste and take home:

Chevre, bloomy rinds, fresh ricotta, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue

Gelato flavors by the scoop include :

  • Lemon Balm
  • Red Currant-Apple Mint Sorbetto
  • Rasberry Swirl
  • Hazelnut
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate

There are many other flavors by the pint as well.

1ST EVER: NEW YORK STYLE EGG CREAMS: THIS IS A DELICIOUS OLD-FASHIONED SODA FOUNTAIN DRINK MADE WITH CARBONATED WATER, MILK AND CHOCOLATE SYRUP. We'll be making a Prairie Fruits Farm version of this using our chocolate and vanilla gelatos and carbonated water.  We've got two NYC girls in our midst to help serve you, so come out to meet our guests and try an egg cream.  They are DELICIOUS!

Tomahnous Farm will be here with veggies and berries and maybe some beautiful flowers.

Heirloominous Farm will be here with gorgeous vegetables as well.

Both Stewart's Artisan Breads and Laurence the Knife Dude are on vacation this week, but Stewart's Breads will be back next week.


 

 

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 7/11/2014 8:43am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

The turkey poults have grown.  Their adult plumage is mostly in place, the classic fan tails are beginning to appear and the toms are now easily distinguishable from the hens—mostly by size. A couple of the toms have even puffed out their chests in classic male show-off fashion.   Their graduation from chick-hood to turkey teenage-hood was obvious. So, it was time to move them into their moveable pastured pen.  The pen is a veritable poultry “Fort Knox,” built to accommodate the large size of the turkeys as they grow and to keep the most persistent coyote out.  Unlike the other birds we have moved in the past (chickens, ducks, guinea hens), these turkeys were mellow.  They didn’t mind being picked up, they didn’t scamper in terror as people entered their pen or worked to finish the predator deterrents.  No, they went right to work, eating insects and pecking at bits of greenery below them. 

turkeys in pasture

The neighbor’s field to the south that was planted in wheat last fall was finally ready for harvest this week. You could catch the smell of drying grains from the road, driving by the field with the car windows down.   The red combine rolled out on to the field yesterday, and we watched the grain flying into the hopper.  Soon, they’ll cut the wheat straw and we’ll stack the bales in our barn for bedding this fall and winter.  They’ll probably plant a short season variety of soybeans in that field next week—so goes the old fashioned grain crop rotation in these parts.

Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending two markets this Saturday, July 12th: Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market. Here’s the lineup for cheese:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh goat milk ricotta
  • Angel Food brie
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie (camembert)
  • Lena –ash ripened, mushroomy rind—a one-off for Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery. These dappled-grey beauties are ripe and ready to eat this weekend, so we’re running a special: 50% off each round. My recommendation for enjoying this cheese: slice up some nice crusty bread, spread cheese on bread, place slice of fresh tomato (they are making their appearances at farmers’ markets all over now) and a fresh basil leaf on top, drizzle with a little olive oil and ENJOY!
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

Gelato flavors include (* for Green City Market):

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Stracciatella
  • Tart Cherry Stracciatella
  • Espresso
  • Thai Basil*
  • Nectarine sorbetto*
  • Peach sorbetto*
  • Red currant-apple mint sorbetto*


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 7/8/2014 10:19pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

We're in peak summer fruit season, and we've been busy making some special gelato and sorbetto flavors:

red currant sorbettoraspberry swirl
red currant sorbetto                                   raspberry swirl

We'll also have nectarine sorbetto, vanilla, chocolate, stracciatella (both regular and tart cherry) and espresso.  

Looking for something savory? How about some cheese? We'll have chevre, bloomy rinds, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue for you to taste and to buy.

We'll be selling our insulated tote bags so you can carry home your cheese and gelato without worrying about it melting before you get home.

Our other farmers and food artisans will be here as well as a special guest: 

Laura McManus of "Sticky Pete's Maple Syrup" will be here from southern Ohio selling various size containers of maple syrup as well as maple sugar and maple glazed nuts.

Tomahnous Farm will be here with summer veggies and berries (blueberries and raspberries).

Heirloominous Farm will have freshly harvested vegetables as well.

Stewart's Artisan Breads will be here with an 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.  He'll be gone for two weeks after this week, so if you've been waiting to have your knives sharpened, don't delay.  

Future Events:

We're gearing up for our next "Third Friday Pop-up" event--Friday, July 18th.  Los Guapos will be here to serenade our guests with their latino-influenced music.  Here's what we're planning for the menu:

  • Southern Style Chicken thigh and wing with macaroni & cheese, corn on the cob, a biscuit and fried pickles.
  • Fried Green tomatoes with tomato salsa
  • Mixed berry cobbler
  • Peach pie
  • Sweet tea and Homer Sodas

Farm Dinners: We still have a number of seats available for upcoming dinners this summer. Big Grove Tavern's "Summertime Sizzle" and American Harvest Eatery's "Capitol Meal" have plenty of seats open while there are just a couple left for the Radler's Septemberfest meal.  You can find dinner description on our website and you can book tickets through our ShowClix page.  

Fork in the Road Tasting Trail: We are cancelling the tasting trail scheduled for this coming Sunday, July 13th, but you can book reservations for the tours on August 10th and September 14th.  It's a great way to get a behind the scenes look at our farm as well as experience some unique agricultural enterprises right here in Central Illinois.

 


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 7/3/2014 9:39pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News (really off the farm news)

This week, rather than recount happenings at the farm (after all, everyone is tired of hearing about flooded fields and doelings covered in mud), I thought I would reflect on my two days spent in Chicagoland sampling our fresh chevre to customers at several Whole Foods Market stores. I gained many sociological insights in these past couple of days, particularly those related to how people shop for cheese. Although my sample size is small and my observations in no way represent any statistically objective study, I submit my thoughts humbly to you, our patrons and friends. 

I observed that many people are frightened by the many choices a well-stocked cheese counter presents to them.  The typical display of caseus bounty is both beautiful and intimidating—strange foreign names, goat, sheep, cow, water buffalo milks, fresh versus aged, flavored or plain, raw versus pasteurized, with rind versus waxed versus no rind—how does a cheese novice know where to start?  Watching people’s eyes dart nervously across these displays and then head straight for the refrigerator case with pre-cut slices and bags of shredded cheese, I believe that many Americans retreat to the cheese of their youth (yes, the equivalent of Kraft singles) when presented with so many choices unfamiliar to them. Cheese mongers in stores like Whole Foods can only help those customers who are brave enough to ask for help.

After nearly a decade of making and selling goat cheese in central Illinois and Chicago, I had come to believe that our countless offerings to taste our cheeses had reduced the fear factor much-associated with goat milk products. I was convinced that the Midwestern palate had come to embrace the tangy and sometimes pungent flavors associated with goat milk cheeses.  With each passing season at the farmers’ markets, the number of customers who have never tried goat cheese has declined steadily, while the number of customers who actively seek out our bloomy rind cheeses has gone up. We have worked hard to educate our customers about OUR goat milk and the flavor profiles of OUR cheeses, as compared to goat cheeses produced on an industrial scale.  We take pride in the sweet and creamy nature of our goats’ milk and the cheeses we make from this delicious milk. 

So, as I tried to entice Whole Foods shoppers to taste our fresh chevre these past couple of days, a cheese I believe is VERY approachable (aka mild), I was struck by the number of people who refused to try it.  They had tried goat cheese before and were convinced they wouldn’t like it. Granted, it is hard to “educate” customers in a grocery store.  Most are there on a mission; most are trying to decide what to eat for lunch or dinner; many have kids in tow pulling them toward the aisles with sweets.  They are not expecting to be accosted by a farmstead goat cheese producer handing them a spoonful of chevre.  The lesson learned from my little foray to the big city: goat cheese still has a bad reputation to live down and we goat cheese producers still have a lot of work to do to convince folks that our cheese is NOT scary. 

Farmers’ Markets and Farm Happenings

Over this Independence Day holiday weekend, we’re attending the Urbana Farmers’ Market only on Saturday July 5th.  Cheese and gelato are the perfect antidotes to the excesses of barbeque you will be eating on July 4th, so come on out to the market to get the “cure.” Also, we will be selling our new insulated tote bags—complete with our new logo, they will safely transport your cheese and gelato home without spoiling.  We tested a tote with a pint of gelato and NO ice pack, and the pint kept frozen for at least one hour.   

tote bag

 

Cheeses

  • Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh goat milk ricotta—this would be divine in a grilled peach or nectarine (now in season here in Central IL) drizzled with honey or balsamic vinegar glaze
  • Bloomy rinds including Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie, Black Goat and few of the “Lena” cheese (ash dusted, mushroomy rind)
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue 

Summer Gelato and Sorbetto Flavors are HERE:

  • Fresh Mint
  • Thai Basil
  • Tart Cherry Stracciatella (chocolate ganache chip)
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Pistachio (pure Sicilian Bronte pistachio paste—not local, but sooo delicious)
  • Peach sorbetto
  • Cucumber lime mint sorbetto  

For those of you longing for farm dinner tickets, your ship has come in. We still have seats open for several of the dinners this summer.  You can get all the details on our website. The menu for American Harvest Eatery’s “Capitol Meal” on August 9th is now posted on our website—it is perfect for a sultry summer evening at the farm-CHECK IT OUT!

Also, our next “Fork in the Road” tasting trail is set for Sunday, July 13th. If you weren’t able to make the one in June, you should check it out.  There is always something new and different happening on each of the farms. With our new insulated tote bags, you can safely transport products you purchase at our farm and KD ranch without them melting. 

For those of you who have been following the long saga of our fight to prevent Olympian Drive from extending eastward, I am sad to report that the road is going forward.  We thank all of the folks who supported our cause and who made donations during our spring open houses. For those of you who donated to the raffle for two dinner tickets, we finally drew a winner.  THANK YOU




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 7/1/2014 9:31pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

What better expression of Independence than eating locally. Come out to the farm tomorrow (Wednesday, July 2nd) to stock up on cheese, gelato, veggies and breads for celebrating our nation's Independence Day (July 4th). We'll be open from 4:00 to 6:30 pm.  

We have lots of cheeses for you including fresh chevre, VERY fresh goat milk ricotta (made today!!), an assortment of bloomy rind cheeses, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue.

We'll be serving gelato by the scoop only tomorrow. The summer fruit and herb explosion is upon us. Flavors include:

  • Vanilla
  • Lily's Luscious Chocolate
  • Pistachio
  • Margot's Fresh Mint
  • Stracchiatella with tart cherry
  • Peach
  • Cucumber-lime-mint
  • Thai Basil

Tomahnous Farm will be here with veggies and flowers. Heirloominous Farm will have succulent summer vegetables picked within a stone's throw of our barn.  Stewart's Artisan Breads will be here with breads, bagels, cookies and granola (warning: all of Stewart's baked goods are highly addictive.)  Laurence Mate, the Knife Dude, will be here to sharpen your knives (gotta get 'em sharp for your 4th of July barbeque, right??) while you shop and visit with the goats.  

Need any more reasons to come out?

kids with our kids

Other Things to think about: Dinner tickets and tickets to our Fork in the Road Tasting Trail are still available. Check it out!!

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.