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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.

Posted 8/14/2014 6:15pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

I’ve been obsessing about goat udders lately.  Given that the udder is the working end of a dairy goat, it’s a valid obsession.  Over the years of milking goats and transforming milk into cheese, I have educated myself on the relationships among udder and teat shapes & sizes, udder attachment and what goats do after milking (standing and eating after milking is great; lying down is bad).  All of these things matter when it comes to udder health.  Healthy udders, free of pathogenic bacteria, make clean and delicious milk, and this milk, in turn, makes clean and delicious cheese. 

When we first started cross breeding our Nubians and La Manchas, our sole objective was to get more milk and not sacrifice butterfat and protein (the solid components of milk that become cheese curd).  I was dismissive about beautiful udders; I thought, defiantly, “Those are the realm of show goats, not working girls like mine.”  I was naïve.  Beauty equals form, and form equals function. 

udders big and small

From left to right: Ceclia, Cinder (our newest littlest Nigerian Dwarf udder) and Hildy-check out those attachments.

As I came to understand these relationships and value them, I also learned the importance of proper breeding. I have been humbled by the wonder of genetics. You really can take a buck’s genes (inherited from his mother, of course) and turn droopy, pendulous udders into wide u-shaped backsides that attach their udders like a strong ball & socket joint. I am not talking about Lamarckian evolution, mind you.  This transformation takes place over subsequent generations.  The daughters, grand-daughters and great-grand-daughters of my high-octane, droopy-uddered does have beautiful, round, well-attached udders with plumb teats. These traits comprise the gold standard of udders in the show world.  Beauty truly is more than skin deep in this case. I am watching my young milkers closely to see if their gorgeous udders produce clean delicious milk.  Results look promising, indeed. 

Farmers’ Markets, Farm Happenings and Farm Dinner Ticket Sales

We’re attending the Urbana Farmers’ Market at the Square this Saturday, August 16th from 7AM to 12 noon.  We have lots of delicious milk-generated cheeses for you:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh ricotta
  • Bloomy rind cheeses including Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie and Black Goat: All of these cheeses are on the young side of ripe. If you like the milder versions of these cheeses, then, by all means, enjoy them this weekend. If you like them gooeyer and more pungent, then let them ripen in your frig for another week or so.
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

We’ll have pints and a few single servings of the following gelato flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Fresh Mint
  • Lemon Crème
  • Peach Sorbetto
  • Nectarine Sorbetto
  • Cucumber-lime-mint Sorbetto 

Don’t forget tomorrow (Friday, August 15th) we have two important events happening:

12 Noon: Tickets for the last five dinner dates go on sale

5:30 to 7:30 PM “Third Friday Pop-Up” featuring Wood-fired pizzas from Nomad Food Co. of Chicago, gelato-cookie sandwiches and music by Ryan Groff of Elsinore fame.


 

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 8/12/2014 6:58pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Despite the cool maritime weather we've been having lately, the blackberries are ripening, and we will have U-pick tomorrow during our weekly summer farm open house: 4:00 to 6:30 pm. Hershey, the wether, took a sniff of the freshly painted sign last week--don't know what's in that paint, or maybe he's smarter than we realized and knows it spells u-pick fruit.
Hershey sniffs upick sign

If you want to pick berries, follow the signs to the north end of our farm.  We'll have someone there to show you where to pick and to provide you with buckets and pints. Cost is $3/pint.

Inside the barn, we'll have plenty of cheese for you to try and buy: chevre, ricotta, bloomies, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue.

Our gelato flavors this week include:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Mint
  • Lemon Creme
  • Hazelnut
  • Peach Sorbetto

There are several other flavors by the pint for purchase as well.

Stewart's Artisan Breads will be here with his usual delicious assortment of breads, bagels, cookies and granola.

Tomahnous Farm and Heirloominous Farm will have gorgeous summer produce including greens, okra, tomatoes, squashes and eggplant.

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

The Land Connection will be here to talk to folks about what this wonderful non-profit organization is doing to help bring more local food to our community.

Don't forget to come back to the farm on Friday, August 15th for our Third Friday Pop-Up.  From 5:30 to 7:30, you can enjoy hot, wood-fired pizzas prepared with farm fresh ingredients by NOMAD Food Co. of Chicago.  We'll have some side salads and Homer Sodas too. Want some adult beverages--you are welcome to bring your own.  Ryan Groff of Elsinore will serenade you while you dine on your delicious pizza.  


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

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Farm News

It’s about this time in summer that I can steal away a few moments to just watch my goats.  I happened to out with the goat kids one morning this week as we were sorting who’s who for tattooing. Yes, it’s all the rage even with goats, although they don’t get to choose their tattoo—no “Elaine’s my mommy” or “Nate’s my daddy;” just a herd code and birth number for them.  They manage to rub the tattoo ink all over themselves and each other after their tales or ears are done, making for a look akin to paint ball wars gone awry.  

I watched the milkers as they congregated in the dry lot after milking.  The air was a bit cool and damp, and the pasture was wet with the morning dew. They seemed to be mustering the energy to go out into the pasture, but no one would take the lead.  A few had realized that there were a few peach branches hanging over the fence next to the barn within their reach, and were standing on the gate to grab a few mouthfuls of peach leaves (good thing there’s no peaches this year).  Others were chewing their cud resting peacefully in the shade of the barn. 

One of the younger does, Edith, decided to make a break for the pasture. As she headed confidently toward the grasses, a few of the senior does started to follow her—the matriarchs like Chippy, Huckleberry and Chocolate.  Suddenly, another older doe challenged her boldness with a hind leg rearing and head butting.  She turned around and returned the head butt. Within seconds she was headed back towards the barn and the group that had begun to follow her was turning around as well.   

I tried to understand the social dynamic that had just transpired.  The goat dominance hierarchy is both rigid and fluid.  There are certain does who maintain their dominant position in the herd for years. Chippy is one such doe. Although she is old now and pretty skinny, you will often find her in the middle of a fight, trying to mediate between two younger does. For other does, there are daily challenges to their position in the herd.  Sometimes, the does who you think are at the low end of the dominance hierarchy will challenge another doe who you know to be a lot higher on the totem pole and win.  Other times, an unsuspecting little doe like Edith will take a bold move to be the lead out to pasture, only to be knocked down by someone who thinks she’s being a little too uppity for her own good.   

Celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week by Patronizing the Farmers’ Markets Farmers’ Markets have become plentiful throughout the nation, and how fitting to celebrate them for an entire week in the summer, at the height of summer produce abundance.  In honor of this occasion, we’ll be offering a “It’s a buck not a doe” $1 off coupon to the first 10 shoppers at each of the farmers’ markets we’re attending this Saturday, August 9th: Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market (Lincoln Park). I will be travelling up to Chicago this week to see our wonderful Chicago patrons, while Wes and Lynn will be greeting our Urbana market goers. 

We have lots of beautiful and delicious cheeses for you:

  • Fresh chevre—plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh ricotta
  • Angel Food—it’s young, so let it ripen in your frig for a week if you like it gooey
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie—great for eating this weekend
  • Black Goat—also young, but quite tasty
  • Moonglo—how about serving this melted with some sliced tomato and basil?? YUM
  • Huckleberry Blue—this batch is sweet and tangy—perfect for a tomato salad or a blue cheese burger  

The gelato is tasting mighty fine too. Flavors include (flavors with asterisk are those that will be available at both markets): We have mostly pints and a few single servings available.

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Honey Chevre*
  • Mint*
  • Stracciatella
  • Thai Basil*
  • Cucumber Lime Mint Sorbetto*
  • Nectarine Sorbetto*  

Looking for something to carry those cold and frozen treats home in? Why not purchase one of our insulated tote bags with our logo printed on the side. The testimonials are coming in on the totes: several customers have told us they left their gelato in the tote without an ice pack in their hot car for over an hour, and the gelato was still frozen solid. Now that’s good insulation! Don’t forget to check out our hip and stylish “teat” towels too.  Made from organic cotton flour sacks and adorned with various poses of “Chippy” the goat, they are both beautiful and functional.   

Other farm happenings:

Wednesday Farm Open House will probably include another blackberry u-pick opportunity (if the weather ever warms up).

Third Friday Pop-up: August 15th featuring wood fired pizzas by Chicago’s Nomad Food Co.

Fall Farm Dinner tickets go on Sale Friday, August 15th at 12 NOON.


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.