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Welcome to Leslie's Blog.
Posted 2/9/2017 10:36pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farming at 30,000 feet

We’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. Winter is the only time of year when both Wes and I can leave the farm together and not worry too much about what’s happening at the farm.  The goats just eat and grow their girth with child (many), the cheeses that are aging need just a little loving care.  Orders are placed and filled; faucets go to slow drip when the temperature drops below 20 degrees.  So, we take to the skies to travel in this narrow band of time.  Gaining distance and elevation has a cleansing effect. If I’m lucky, I can peer out of the plane window to watch the landscape change from jagged snow caped peaks to arid irrigation circles, back to the familiar darkened flat earth with a skiff of snow-- the abstract patterns so removed from the minutiae of the quotidian.

Winter Farmers’ Market

This Saturday, February 11th, we’re attending the Urbana “Market in the Square.”  For those of you unfamiliar, the market is held in the south hall of Lincoln Square Mall (enter by Tang Dynasty), but our booth is located at the north end of this hall, close to Blue Moon Farm’s booth.  For this Saturday, we have a great selection of cheeses, gelato and some other farm products (sausage, stew meat, jams, goat milk soaps): If you’re planning something special for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, pick up some cheese, jam and gelato (limited flavors including vanilla, coconut, ginger, salted caramel). I’ve recommended some specific cheeses that would go well with chocolate below:

Chevre (has been frozen, so you can either thaw it to use right away or keep it frozen): plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper. For Valentine’s Day, why not dress up the plain chevre with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Raw milk feta: you may not think of feta as a ‘winter’ cheese, but it is perfect to liven up a hearty stew, a bowl of chili or even a winter salad—this is the last of the fall milk feta, and we have very little left (come early if you want some).

Snow Fog: our cow’s milk bloomy rind (“Chaource”) is slightly lemony and fudgy in texture.  It would be great served with chunks of dark chocolate.

Moonglo: our raw milk “tomme” makes a delicious and fancy grilled cheese sandwich. It’s also great with pickles or jam. 

Huckleberry Blue: This raw milk blue is dense and creamy and very approachable.  Talk about a perfect accompaniment to chocolate—try it with a melty milk chocolate or a chocolate hazelnut bar.

Upcoming Special Event at the Farm: Storytelling about resilient agriculture – a case study Laura Lengnick, author of Resilient Agriculture, will be at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 2 -- 4 pm to discuss her book and look at PFF&C as a case study of resilience in the face of climate change.

Laura will meld two areas of her experience and expertise, climate change in agriculture and storytelling, to help others understand what lies ahead and how we can respond to it.  Copies of her book, “Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate,” will be available for purchase, and we’ll have some local food snacks available as well. At 4 pm we’ll wind it up, and go forward with our ideas to make our responses to climate change accessible and meaningful to our customers and the greater public.  

Laura’s visit is hosted by U of I’s Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  PFFC is located at 4410 N Lincoln Ave, Champaign, IL 61822    

Tree Pruning Workshops at the Farm

Although March means mostly baby goats here at the farm, it’s also the time of year to prune our fruit trees so they have the greatest opportunities to bear fruit.  This March, Dani and Erica, the “fruit gals” are hosting two free workshops on tree fruit pruning: one for apples and one for peaches.  No experience necessary. We will go over general pruning techniques for each type of tree and then let you prune your own tree or two (with some guidance, of course).  A digital copy of our guide to pruning fruit trees will also be available to attendees.   

There is limited space (8 people per workshop) and pre-registration through our website is required.   Bring your own pruning shears if you have them (we have plenty of extras if you don't) and dress warm! Gloves and warm, sturdy shoes are especially important.  

March 4th: Apple Tree Pruning Workshop, 10am-1pm

March 11th: Peach Tree Pruning Workshop, 10am-1pm  

**If you would like to register, but the workshop is full, please email us at pffcfruit@gmail.com and let us know. If there is enough interest we will create a waiting list or hold another workshop in mid-March.  If you sign up and can’t attend, please let us know at least 24 hours in advance so we can contact others who might wish to attend.  

Celebrate CSA Day on February 24th  

February 24th is National CSA Day. We will be sending out little reminders leading up to the day, but our hope is that those of you in central Illinois feel moved to sign up for our Cheese and Gelato CSA.  We treat our CSA members REALLY well! We offer them discounted prices on our cheeses, first dibs on special “CSA members only” cheeses and other “first of the season” cheese offerings.  Members get to choose which cheeses they want for each pick up (twice monthly from May through October).  The “cherry on the sundae” is that we host a special “CSA Members Farm Feast” in the fall.  So, if you want to wait to sign up on February 24th, that’s fine, but WHY WAIT?? SIGN UP NOW.  

 


Copyright 2017. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2017. 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 1/23/2017 8:18pm by Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.

DUE TO INSUFFICIENT SIGN UPS, WE HAVE DECIDED TO POSTPONE OUR FARM DINNER "FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE." ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 29TH, WE WILL LET FOLKS KNOW WHEN WE WILL RESCHEDULE THIS HEARTY WINTER MEAL. STAY TUNED.

Posted 1/19/2017 3:40pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Winter Market

This coming Saturday, January 28th, we will be attending the Urbana's winter farmers' market "Market in the Square." We hope to be located closer to the south entrance of the mall, but just look for our booth, when you arrive; we should be easy to spot. Although it's winter, we have a great selection of cheeses, gelato and other farm products (sausage, stew meat, eggs, jams, goat milk soaps):

Chevre (has been frozen, so you can either thaw it to use right away or keep it frozen): plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper

Raw milk feta: you may not think of feta as a ‘winter’ cheese, but it is perfect to liven up a hearty stew, a bowl of chili or even a winter salad.

Snow Fog: our cow’s milk bloomy rind (“Chaource”) is back. If you're pining for a lovely local bloomy rind, this is it.

Moonglo: our raw milk “tomme” makes a delicious and fancy grilled cheese sandwich

Magia Negra: our raw milk, manchego-style hard goat cheese, is full of flavor-perfect for grating over your favorite winter dishes-casseroles, quesadillas, tacos, whatever you like. This is the last batch until next summer, so get it while it lasts.

Huckleberry Blue: YES! Our first fall batch is finally ready for your eating pleasure. This raw milk blue is dense and creamy and very approachable. 

If you'd like to pre-order your cheese and gelato and have it ready for you to pick up at the market, you can place your orders through CU-Farmers, an online customizable CSA/buying club. We are partnering with Blue Moon Farm this winter.  Get your veggies and cheese online, and they will make you smile all winter!

Winter Farm DinnerFrom Russia with Love”  

Sunday, January 29th, 5:00-8:00 PM  

Put on your faux fur coat and join for us a for a heart-warming winter feast on the farm. Chef-owner of Watson’s Shack and Rail, Mark Hartstein, will be our guest chef for the evening.  He’s crafted a menu that harkens back to my own eastern European ancestor roots. He'll be featuring local foods from Blue Moon Farm, PrairiErth Farm, Seven Sisters Farm and Bane Family Meats (as well as cheeses from us). Vegetarian substitutions are welcome, but we need at least one week’s notice to accommodate vegetarian requests.  

Menu

Pickles, bites, cheese vodka!!  
“Herring in a Fur Coat” Festive, layered pickled herring topped with vegetables and sieved eggs  
Borscht, Garlic Buns  
“Pelmeni” Beef and onion dumplings, black garlic broth  
Braised Mutton with greens and preserved peppers  
Pavlova with winter fruit and gelato

 Price is $100 per person and includes spirits, beer and wine pairings with each course.

Proceeds from the dinner sales will be donated to Girls Rock! A rock n’ roll camp for girls in Champaign-Urbana with the goal of creating a culture of positive self-esteem for girls in our community. https://www.facebook.com/GirlsRockCU  Click HERE to make your reservation.

Cheese and Gelato CSA

If you're thinking about spring and the coming season, why not consider signing up for our Cheese and Gelato CSA.  It's a great way to show your support of the farmers who strive to provide you with the highest quality, local food with a face. You also get discounts on our prices and the option to sign up for a "members only" CSA farm to table dinner in the fall.  Our CSA is designed to give you lots of options. Please check it out and give it a try.


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. 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 1/19/2017 3:37pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Sunday, January 29th, 5:00-8:00 PM  

Put on your faux fur coat and join for us a for a heart-warming winter feast on the farm. Chef-owner of Watson’s Shack and Rail, Mark Hartstein, will be our guest chef for the evening.  He’s crafted a menu that sends me back to my own eastern European ancestral roots. Vegetarian substitutions are welcome, but we need at least one week’s notice to accommodate vegetarian requests.  

Menu
Pickles, bites, cheese vodka!!
“Herring in a Fur Coat”: Festive, layered pickled herring topped with vegetables and sieved eggs
Borscht, Garlic Buns
“Pelmeni” Beef and onion dumplings, black garlic broth
Braised Mutton with greens and preserved peppers
Pavlova with winter fruit & gelato

Ticket costs $100 per person and includes alcohol pairings (beer, wine, spirits).

Proceeds from the dinner sales will be donated to Girls Rock!  https://www.facebook.com/GirlsRockCU 

Click HERE to make your reservations.   


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. 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 1/17/2017 10:25pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Winter Market

This coming Saturday, January 28th, we will be attending the Urbana's winter farmers' market "Market in the Square." We hope to be located closer to the south entrance of the mall, but just look for our booth, when you arrive; we should be easy to spot. Although it's winter, we have a great selection of cheeses, gelato and other farm products (sausage, stew meat, eggs, jams, goat milk soaps):

Chevre (has been frozen, so you can either thaw it to use right away or keep it frozen): plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper

Raw milk feta: you may not think of feta as a ‘winter’ cheese, but it is perfect to liven up a hearty stew, a bowl of chili or even a winter salad.

Snow Fog: our cow’s milk bloomy rind (“Chaource”) is back. If you're pining for a lovely local bloomy rind, this is it.

Moonglo: our raw milk “tomme” makes a delicious and fancy grilled cheese sandwich

Magia Negra: our raw milk, manchego-style hard goat cheese, is full of flavor-perfect for grating over your favorite winter dishes-casseroles, quesadillas, tacos, whatever you like. This is the last batch until next summer, so get it while it lasts.

Huckleberry Blue: YES! Our first fall batch is finally ready for your eating pleasure. This raw milk blue is dense and creamy and very approachable. 

If you'd like to pre-order your cheese and gelato and have it ready for you to pick up at the market, you can place your orders through CU-Farmers, an online customizable CSA/buying club. We are partnering with Blue Moon Farm this winter.  

Winter Farm DinnerFrom Russia with Love”  

Sunday, January 29th, 5:00-8:00 PM  

Put on your faux fur coat and join for us a for a heart-warming winter feast on the farm. Chef-owner of Watson’s Shack and Rail, Mark Hartstein, will be our guest chef for the evening.  He’s crafted a menu that harkens back to my own eastern European ancestor roots. He'll be featuring local foods from Blue Moon Farm, PrairiErth Farm, Seven Sisters Farm and Bane Family Meats (as well as cheeses from us). Vegetarian substitutions are welcome, but we need at least one week’s notice to accommodate vegetarian requests.  

Menu

Pickles, bites, cheese vodka!!  
“Herring in a Fur Coat” Festive, layered pickled herring topped with vegetables and sieved eggs  
Borscht, Garlic Buns  
“Pelmeni” Beef and onion dumplings, black garlic broth  
Braised Mutton with greens and preserved peppers  
Pavlova with winter fruit and gelato

 Price is $100 per person and includes spirits, beer and wine pairings with each course.

Proceeds from the dinner sales will be donated to Girls Rock! A rock n’ roll camp for girls in Champaign-Urbana with the goal of creating a culture of positive self-esteem for girls in our community. https://www.facebook.com/GirlsRockCU  Click HERE to make your reservation.

Cheese and Gelato CSA

If you're thinking about spring and the coming season, why not consider signing up for our Cheese and Gelato CSA.  It's a great way to show your support of the farmers who strive to provide you with the highest quality, local food with a face. You also get discounts on our prices and the option to sign up for a "members only" CSA farm to table dinner in the fall.  Our CSA is designed to give you lots of options. Please check it out and give it a try.


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. 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 1/13/2017 11:00am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

With the New Year and holiday festivities behind us, I have retreated to the winter den that is our log home.  I am feeling like a ground hog-pining for sleep, rising occasionally to cook, eat, survey the world and check out the weather conditions.  If our prairie scape were blanketed with snow, it might make my hibernation tendencies easier to justify, but the cold, damp, grey skies indulge my laziness just fine. The goats share my groundhog aspirations; lots of lounging, snuggling and rising to eat their winter hay. 

Wes’ winter routines are more squirrel-like. He rises every morning to feed and water the goats and check on the state of the “nest.” Invariably, there’s a broken pipe or a frozen compressor that needs to be repaired.  We both know there are still a lot of winter projects to do; we’re just trying to shake off the pull to slumber. 

Winter Farmers’ Market

I will be shaking off my slumber to attend a few winter farmers’ markets in Urbana (“Market in the Square) in January and February. The first market is this Saturday, January 14th and runs every two weeks (8AM to 1:00 pm, although we are going to be there for sure until noon). The market is held in the south hall (enter by Tang Dynasty), but our booth will be located at the north end of this hall (not our normal spot during the fall indoor market).  We will be close to Blue Moon Farm’s booth.  For this Saturday, we have a nice array of cheeses, gelato, yogurt and some other farm products (sausage, stew meat, eggs, jams, spiced pecans, goat milk soaps):

Chevre (has been frozen, so you can either thaw it to use right away or keep it frozen): plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper

Raw milk feta: you may not think of feta as a ‘winter’ cheese, but it is perfect to liven up a hearty stew, a bowl of chili or even a winter salad.

Snow Fog: our cow’s milk bloomy rind (“Chaource”) is back. This batch is quite young, but it is tasty.

Moonglo: our raw milk “tomme” makes a delicious and fancy grilled cheese sandwich

Magia Negra: our raw milk, manchego-style hard goat cheese, is full of flavor-perfect for grating over your favorite winter dishes-casseroles, quesadillas, tacos, whatever you like

Huckleberry Blue: YES! Our first fall batch is finally ready for your eating pleasure. This raw milk blue is dense and creamy and very approachable. 

Yogurt: I have a small number of pints and quarts of our goat milk yogurt left. It is still good and should be delicious for at least another few weeks. I will be selling it at a great discount, so first come first served. 

Winter Farm Dinner From Russia with Love”  

Sunday, January 29th, 5:00-8:00 PM  

Put on your faux fur coat and join for us a for a heart-warming winter feast on the farm. Chef-owner of Watson’s Shack and Rail, Mark Hartstein, will be our guest chef for the evening.  He’s crafted a menu that harkens back to my own eastern European ancestor roots. He'll be featuring local foods from Blue Moon Farm, PrairiErth Farm, Seven Sisters Farm and Bane Family Meats (as well as cheeses from us). Vegetarian substitutions are welcome, but we need at least one week’s notice to accommodate vegetarian requests.  

Menu

Pickles, bites, cheese vodka!!  
“Herring in a Fur Coat” Festive, layered pickled herring topped with vegetables and sieved eggs  
Borscht, Garlic Buns  
“Pelmeni” Beef and onion dumplings, black garlic broth  
Braised Mutton with greens and preserved peppers  
Pavlova with winter fruit and gelato

 Price is $100 per person.

Proceeds from the dinner sales will be donated to Girls Rock! A rock n’ roll camp for girls in Champaign-Urbana with the goal of creating a culture of positive self-esteem for girls in our community. https://www.facebook.com/GirlsRockCU  Click HERE to make your reservation


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. 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 12/22/2016 5:39pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

As 2016 draws to a close, we finally have a little time to catch our breath and get ready for the 2017 season. We have decided to do one final holiday farmers’ market, this Saturday, December 24th inside Lincoln Square Mall (Market in the Square).  To celebrate the season, I’ve written a little poem.  All of us at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery thank you, our patrons, for supporting us and our fellow farmers.  Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Split personality: a poem for winter solstice
By day:  low light reflections bounce off ice-coated grass blades
Hens coo, reluctant to leave the warmth of their straw-lined nest boxes in search of food
Lazy pregnant goats rouse from slumber at the sounds of rustling hay and grains hitting the manger
Ground crunches under boots, air bites exposed noses, cheeks, lips
Dogs bark at invisible sparrows roosting in tangles of naked quince bushes
Farm life lumbers in slow motion, low light crescendos in the early afternoon; pale sun squints over senescent brown barren fields.
Abbreviated light subsides quickly, brilliant trails of red, orange and lavender bleed across the western sky
By dusk: insatiable pregnant goats wail for grain that will not come in evening chores
Hens huddle along their wooden roost, feathers puffed like popped corn to keep out the night chill
Dog howls at distant coyotes
Head lamp breaks the darkness of the barns on the night rounds
Hot embers in the wood stove shed coats and hats and gloves
Flames cast a glow on the dinner table, early supper of soup and bread
Light is brief and low now, seducing heavy eyelids to close; soon enough it will regain dominance.  

Farmers’ Market Details-LAST MARKET OF THE SEASON

We will be bringing lots AND lots of goodies to the Urbana Market in the Square this Saturday, December 24th (8AM to 1PM). If you’ve procrastinated until the last minute, fear not. We’ve got you covered (and Blue Moon Farm will be there too with veggies!):

  • Cheeses-Chevre, Moonglo, Feta and Magia Negra
  • Gelato-vanilla, chocolate, toasted coconut, ginger, salted caramel, choc-raspberry swirl, turtle and sugarplum sorbetto
  • Salted Goats’ Milk Caramels
  • Goat Milk “Cajeta”—a very special holiday treat-Mexican style caramel sauce
  • Crackers
  • Jams
  • Pickles
  • Stocking stuffers and little gifts: t-shirts, tea towels, goat milk soaps, onesies, gift cards  

Reminder: Don’t forget to sign up for our 2017 Cheese and Gelato CSA Season. I know you’re thinking it’s way too early to be thinking about eating cheese and gelato in May of 2017, but if you sign up now, you get a significant discount on the retail prices of our cheeses and gelato. Not only that, you support us at a time of year when we need it most. But wait, there’s more: we offer an exclusive, CSA-Members-only farm dinner in the fall at a fraction of the price of our regular farm- to-table dinners. 

While the winter is our time for rest and renewal, we will be attending some of the Urbana Market in the Square winter markets as well as hosting a few events out at the farm. We'll be in touch to let you know about these happenings. 


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. 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 12/20/2016 11:46am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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The ice is melting, melting, melting and the goats are dry (as of this morning's final milking of the season), so LET'S CELEBRATE! 

The farm will be open from 12-7 PM tomorrow, December 21st.  It's the winter solstice, so come on out to celebrate light's triumph over the darkness.  This is our last open house for the season. 

We will be sampling cheeses, jams, pickles and crackers AND serving some great warm beverages and delicious treats:

  • Last of the hot chocolate 
  • Fresh doughnuts from Lucky Pierre Bakers
  • Glugg, a Scandanavian mulled wine
  • Hot, spiced pumpkin soup

If you want to take your picture with our holiday goats, this is your last chance (picture taking from 12-4 pm, because it's too dark after 4:00 pm).

We have so many great food and non-food gifts to purchase as well:

  • Cheese and goat milk yogurt
  • Gelato
  • Jams
  • Pickles
  • Crackers
  • Salted Goats' Milk Caramels
  • Chocolates and Chevre Truffles by Ruben's Chocolates
  • Doughnuts and Dog Treats by Lucky Pierre Bakers (they have Alpaca yarn too!!)
  • Leicester Wool Yarn by Seven Sisters Farm
  • Sausages by Piemonte Sausage
  • Pastured eggs and meats by Bane Family Meats
  • Pastured lamb (ground and shoulder steaks) by Caveny Farm
  • Goat stew meat by Prairie Fruits Farm
  • Pillows and textiles by Lara Orr
  • Goat Milk Soaps by Red Barn Farm (made with our goat milk and our herbs)
  • Tea and wellness products by Delight Flower Farm (and Liz Faermark)
  • Hand-carved wooden utensils and cheese boards by Cara's Garden (and watercolor note cards)
  • Prairie Fruits Farm t-shirts, sweatshirts, onesies-many sizes, colors and styles to choose
  • Prairie Fruits Farm tea towels and gift cards

If you've waited until the last minute to find that unique special gift for the special people in your lives, now's your chance. If you need some great local foods to feed your guests, we've got that too.  If you just need a reprieve from the holiday hustle an bustle, let our goats help you de-stress.  

Happy Happy Holidays!


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. 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 12/17/2016 8:56pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: We have decided to postpone our final Holiday Open House until Wednesday, December 21st. The icey and extreme cold conditions make travel treacherous to the farm. SO, tomorrow's event is CANCELLED. Stay posted for details about Wednesday's event.

Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. 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 12/15/2016 10:15pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News  

Tonight, a dozen first-year vet students crammed themselves into the milking parlor to ultrasound our does. They arrived at the end of the evening milking shift, armed with slick, new portable machines, eager to put their new knowledge into practice.  The does, udders deflated and heads buried in their after-milking hay, were reluctant to venture back into the frigid night air.  We coaxed them in with a little more grain, and got right to work prepping their udders with alcohol and lube.  Within minutes, the tell-tale exclamatory sounds from excited vet students confirmed what our breeding notes had captured: placentomes, fetal heads, feet, umbilical cords, fluid-filled uteri-down the line pregnant does.  Some had settled as soon as the bucks were brought into the barn in early October; others showed the very beginning stages of gestation. 

As we sunset the 2016 lactation season, it’s hard to think about the renewal of life and another season of milk.  The solstice moon, the early artic chill and the skiff of snow on the fields; these are nature’s cues for closure.  The goat girls have a few more days of milking, and then they will get their winter’s rest (as will we).  They’ve put their spring buns in a slow burning oven. We’ll keep the embers glowing with plenty of winter hay, clean warm water and a little grain from time to time. 

Farmers’ Market News This Saturday, December 17th we’re attending the final markets of the season:  both the Urbana Market and Chicago’s Green City Market.  Yes, the weather will be wintery, but it is winter after all.  Here is our line- up of cheeses:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Raw –Milk Feta: don’t neglect this cheese just because it’s cold outside-crumble feta on a bowl of chili or a hearty stew and you’ll elevate your meal to a whole new stratosphere
  • Snow Fog: our cow milk “chaource” style cheese is at peak ripeness now-perfect for holiday entertaining-LIMITED AVAILABILITY, SO COME EARLY TO THE MARKETS
  • Prairie Jersey Apple: a spin on a washed rind cheese.  These firm little rounds have been washed with hard cider and aged for a little over a month. They’re loaded with flavor, but very approachable. LIMITED AVAILABILITY.
  • Moonglo: our raw milk tomme-style cheese made in the heat of the summer captures the essence of the pasture forage in mid-lactation milk
  • Magia Negra: our homage to Manchego (goat style) is crumbly, sharp and nutty—perfect for shaving on a winter salad or some sautéed greens.
  • Goat Milk Yogurt: this is the last batch of the season and it’s really thick and luscious; just milk and live cultures—plain and simple

We have all the accompaniments for your holiday cheese boards as well. We have an assortment of house-made crackers made with flours and grains from Severson Farm in Fairbury, IL.  We will also have our spiced pecans, made with Voss Orchard (Carlyle IL) pecans, house-made jams & pickles and our salted goat’s milk caramels too.

We’ll bring a limited selection of gelatos including:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Raspberry-Chocolate Swirl
  • Toasted Coconut
  • Local Ginger
  • Turtle (made with local pecans, chocolate ganache and salted caramel)
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Sugar Plum Sorbetto

Don’t forget to sign up for our 2017 Season Cheese and Gelato CSA-Better Yet! Give it as a gift to the cheese lover in your life

If you love our cheeses, and want to get in on our special “members only” benefits, please consider signing up for our 2017 Cheese and Gelato CSA season.  We offer members lots of options and flexibility. You can choose the quantities and types of cheese you want. We also offer special “members only” cheeses throughout the season (this year, we made special chevre flavors including ramp pesto, a coffee flavored bloomy rind called “mocha” and a pickled pepper infused Moonglo).  The gelato share offers you one or two pints of gelato every two weeks. 

Members also have the option to sign up for a meat, poultry and egg share from Bane Family Meats and a special CSA members’ farm harvest dinner in the fall.  For 2017, we have pick up locations in Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington-Normal.

Sign up tonight, and get a 10% discount off the season.  If you sign up between December 16th and February 27th, you get a 5% discount off the season.  We also have a link to the Delight Flower CSA sign up. They will offer a pick up at our farm next year as well.

Make your stand at the Real Stand this Sunday, December 18th

What a wonderful year it has been! Join us this Sunday, 12/18, for our final day of the year and celebrate Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery’s 2016 season. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season – commune with the goats and enjoy a warm beverage and some cheese with us. 

Don't miss this Sunday:

- Hot doughnuts, hot chocolate and Glugg (mulled wine) for sale

- A typewriter poet, James Escher, on site from 11-3 

- Pick up cheeses, jams, pickles, pecans and crackers to build your holiday platters - Final weekend for the goat photo booth

- Find the best local and sustainable gifts in our store

- Many flavors of gelato to choose

- Buy eggs, meats and sausages to feed your house guests

- Chocolate stand will be open with chevre truffles and assorted chocolates for sale

POETRY James Escher, a typewriter poet, will be on site from 11-3 crafting poems. Give him a prompt, and he'll create a one-of-a-kind gift. Tips appreciated. 

CHEESE Cheeses we expect to have in stock: Chevre (all three flavors), Moonglo, Magia Negra and Feta.

JAMS / PICKLES/CRACKERS / NUTS/SALTED GOATS’ MILK CARAMELS Several flavors of jams are still in stock as well as crackers and pickles. We also have spiced pecans from Voss Orchard in Carlyle, IL. If you’ve never tried our goat milk caramels, grab a bag. You’ll never wanted eat any other kind of caramel.

GELATO Flavors in stock: vanilla, chocolate, toasted coconut, ginger, turtle, salted caramel swirl, chocolate-raspberry swirl, sugar plum sorbetto

RUBEN’S CHOCOLATE COUNTER Chevre truffles, caramel filled chocolates, chocolate dipped petit prunes

MEATS KD Ranch Elk Summer Sausage, lamb from Caveny Farm, meats & eggs from Bane Family Meats, Goat Stew Meat from Prairie Fruits Farm, Sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. 

DOUGHNUTS Lucky Pierre Bakery will be on site selling fresh doughnuts. Come early. They tend to sell out by 12 noon. They will also be selling their all-natural dog treats (Billy Goats Ruff) and alpaca yarn.

WREATHS Delight Flower Farm still has a few holiday wreaths available.  If you’ve waited until the last minute to adorn your door for the holidays, we can set you up. 

GOAT PHOTO BOOTH Our "goat elf" and "goat santa" will be ready to model in your family photo or selfie. Booth is free of charge. Goat 'tips" appreciated. 

GIFT GIVING If you have any last minute holiday shopping to do, we still have in stock:

- T-shirts, sweatshirts and onesies
- Tea towels
- Handmade wooden cheese boards and utensils-Cara’s Garden
- Notecards
- Hand-dyed sheep's wool yarn-Seven Sisters’ Farm
- Placemats, napkins and pillows-Lara Orr
- Goats milk soaps made by The Red Barn Farm
- Natural body care products by Liz Faermark of Delight Flower Farm
- CSA: Cheese and Gelato CSA shares make a great gift. Contact us if you're interested in giving a cheese or gelato CSA membership. 
- Looking for a gift certificate?  Consider a gift card with our “Credibles” Account-it’s a great way to support our farm and let your gift recipients use it whenever and however they like.
-If you’re looking for a customized gift certificate for the 2017 Farm-to-Table Meal Season, please email me at prairiefruits@gmail.com  

Join us for our final day of the season. It will be cold outside, but we’ll warm you up with all the holiday treats and all the goat lovin’.  It's your last chance to pick up items for your holiday dinners or gift giving. Hope to see you there.

Lastly, we thank you for your patronage this year. It has been a great season, and we know that our success is strongly linked to your support.  We wish you and yours joyous and restful holidays. 


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. 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.