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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.

Posted 12/8/2016 10:31pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

One of the joys of being a farmstead and artisan cheese maker in the U.S. is that we get to make up names for our cheeses. We are not tied to the ancient traditions of protected name (AOC in French) cheeses such as “Camembert de Normandie,” “Comte” or “Roquefort.” In true American entrepreneurial spirit, we build on the traditions of the old world and spin new twists suited to our milk, our seasons and our natural resources. 

Last winter, when we embarked on our new venture of making jersey cow milk cheeses when our goats are dry, I turned to the place that has inspired me from day one of my cheese making adventures-France.  I wanted to make a bloomy rind cheese with this high-fat golden milk, partly because I love to make little cheeses with white fuzz, and partly because I was curious how the jersey milk would compare with our goat milk bloomies. However, I didn’t want to just follow our recipe for Little Bloom on the Prairie, nor did I want to parrot a camembert recipe (too pedestrian).  So, I came upon a lactic curd version of bloomy rind cow milk cheese called a “chaource.”  If your eyes are starting to glaze over from the cheese making jargon, please indulge me.

This cheese originated in the Champagne and Bourgogne regions of France. It starts its life in a similar fashion to chevre; a long and slow fermentation of the milk (this is the lactic part-the starter cultures eat the milk sugar, lactose, and produce lactic acid as a by-product; the lactic acid curdles the milk and separates the curd from the whey). The curd is gently cut before ladling directly into molds and then left alone for several hours before undergoing a series of flips to help the whey drain and the cheese to firm up. The rounds are dry-salted, not brined, and, once firm, they go through a lengthy drying period to ensure a delicate thin bloomy rind develops in a high humidity aging room.  I chose the name “snow fog” for this cheese because the rind reminded me of the frozen fog that descends on our farm from time to time.  The paste starts firm and delicate and graduates to some degree of gooeyness with age.

As I gauge a customers’ interest and cheese knowledge at the farmers’ markets or at the farm, I try to find words to describe the cheeses we make. I choose words carefully, watching facial expressions and reactions as I begin the cheese’s story.  I search for words familiar to each person before me; as they feed me clues, I feed them more or less information or I simply offer them a taste. 

Last week, at the end of a not-very busy farmers’ market, a lovely young couple approached my stand asking for “black goat.” As I delivered the sad news that “black goat was finished for the season,” and probed them for other options, I detected their accent as French.  I offered them a taste of “snow fog,” initially describing it as ‘camembert-like,’ not really knowing the depth of their cheese knowledge.  When the gentleman replied, “this is not a camembert, this is a chaource,” I nearly fell backwards with joy.  “Yes, it is a chaource,” I smiled. “No one here knows what a chaource is, and frequently, they don’t know what a camembert is either.”  We, the customer and I, were both happy; he was happy because he loves chaource and cannot find it anywhere in the US, and I was happy because he knew exactly what cheese I was trying to make.  When I returned home, energized by the encounter, I went back to the book that is my “bible” for French cheeses-Dorling Kindersley’s “French Cheeses,” and I re-read the description for “chaource.” When I read “it melts in the mouth like light snow,” my cheese maker’s rapture was complete. 

Farmers’ Market News

This Saturday, December 10th, we are attending Urbana’s Market in the Square.  Next Saturday, the 17th are our final markets of the season, and we’ll be attending both the Urbana Market and Chicago’s Green City Market.  Here is our line- up of cheeses:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper (stock up for winter)
  • 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 fudgy and delicate-quite tasty
  • 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
  • Goat Milk Yogurt: get it while it lasts; just milk and live cultures—don’t need anything else

We will also 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 and maybe a few bags of 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

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 now through December 15th, 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.

What’s New in the Real Stand at Prairie Fruits Farm? This Sunday’s theme is ”Glugg, gifts and goats”  https://www.facebook.com/events/350799188615624/ We know the forecast is calling for snow, and we say “LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!” We’re open 10 AM to 5 PM

Delight Flower Farm will be here selling holiday wreaths. They also have a wreath building workshop from 2-4 PM inside the kid barn. Check out the details.

Visit with the goats inside our cozy barn (yes, they will be dressed in holiday attire, and yes, you can take your pictures with them until 4pm as it gets dark by then). We’ll warm you up with some toasty and tasty beverages inside our barn dining room: goat milk hot chocolate, affogatos (coffee with gelato) and “Glugg” a scandanavian mulled wine.  Lucky Pierre Bakers will be here with hot fresh doughnuts, and we’ll put out a sample spread of cheeses, jams and pickles for you to try.  Feel free to linger with a drink, and grab a cheese and a bag of crackers to nosh on while you’re here.   Rueben’s Belgian Chocolates will offer goat cheese truffles, petit prunes (from the Jarrell Family Farm in Oregon) dipped in dark chocolate and boxes of assorted dark and milk chocolate confections. 

Looking for some unique and truly local gifts? Check out herbal teas and bath care products from Delight Flower Farm, goat-milk soaps from Red Barn Farm and gorgeous yarns from Seven Sisters Farm. Don’t forget the artisanal, hand-crafted art work from Lara Orr and Cara Cummings. Lastly, check out the PFF&C “Merch:” t-shirts, tea towels, onesies and hoodies, oh my! There’s something for everyone here. Looking for local food with integrity to feed your hungry holiday guests? We have grass-fed lamb from Caveny Farm (ground and shoulder steaks available). We also have eggs, meat and poultry from Bane Family Meats, Elk Summer Sausage from KD Ranch and Artisan Sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co.

Looking for a unique 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

Concert at the Prairie Glass House—our friends at Lumen Events are hosting “Acoustic Christmas” on Saturday, December 10th Featuring Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery will be crafting the holiday cheese platters for this event. Last chance to get your tickets! https://www.facebook.com/events/1824221074488987/ 


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 12/1/2016 9:27pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

December brings less light. December brings cold winds. December wears a shade of grey that makes you pull your hood up. The goats’ coats stand on end every morning as they wait in the cold damp dark air of the morning milking shift.  They are increasingly reluctant to give up the paltry ounces of white liquid “gold” that their udders contain.  We are increasingly resentful to awaken in the dark to extract their liquid gold.  Yet, the richness of their milk and the denseness of the curd in the vat keep us going, keep us coaxing the pregnant goat girls a little bit longer. 

December is the month of milker attrition. Each week, another few does decide they have had enough and dry themselves off.  Last week, we had a group of 11 does who handed us their “pink slips.”  The good news is we know this is a clear sign that they are bred and shifting their resources to the next generation.  The onset of winter celebrates the culmination of a season of cheese making; it’s a time of people gathering together to enjoy the fruits of labors endured in the heat of summer.  December begins the transition from work to rest.  Goats and farmers alike are not putting up a fight. 

2017 CSA Season is ready for sign up

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 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 now through December 15th, 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.

What’s New in the Real Stand at Prairie Fruits Farm?

We had a fantastic turnout last Saturday for the Holiday Goat Parade. This weekend, we’re encouraging folks to visit the farm on Sunday, December 4th (10 AM to 5 PM) to unwind a bit.  We’re calling the event “Treat Yourself at the Farm:” https://www.facebook.com/events/1732839123709718/ Back by popular demand, we will be dressing up several yearlings in holiday attire for guests to pose with for pictures. We’ll also show you how to give goat facials; they go into a trance and you relax just watching them! We will have several Delight Flower Farm wreaths made with all-local greenery for sale.

We will also offer warm beverages (with and without alcohol) to warm your insides, and Rueben’s Chocolates will make their debut at The Real Stand with fine chocolates—goat cheese truffles, petit prunes (from the Jarrell Family Farm in Oregon) dipped in dark chocolate and even our famous salted goat milk caramels will be available for tasting and for purchase. 

Also new in the shop: herbal teas and bath care products from Delight Flower Farm, new soaps made with our goat milk from Red Barn Farm and grass-fed lamb from Caveny Farm (ground and shoulder steaks available). We also have eggs, meat and poultry from Bane Family Meats, Elk Summer Sausage from KD Ranch and Artisan Sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co.  Cheese, jams, pickles, candied pecans and other farm treats will be available for tasting and purchase as well.  Of course we have gorgeous hand-crafted art work from Lara Orr and Cara Cummings. Lastly, don’t forget the PFF&C “Merch:” t-shirts, tea towels, onesies and hoodies, oh my! Although the forecast is calling for possibility of our first SNOW, we will keep you warm and relaxed out at the farm.

Farmers’ Market Happenings

Don’t forget that the Urbana “Market in the Square” is VERY MUCH ALIVE and happening every Saturday through December 17th. We will be there this Saturday from 8 AM to 1 PM with cheese, jams, crackers, nuts and some gelato.  Here’s the lineup 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 next batch of cow milk “camembert” style cheese is young but beautifully dense and fudgy-quite tasty
  • 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
  • Goat Milk Yogurt: get it while it lasts; just milk and live cultures—don’t need anything else

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

Concert at the Prairie Glass House—our friends at Lumen Events are hosting “Acoustic Christmas” on December 10th, featuring Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery will be crafting the holiday cheese platters for this event. Get your tickets NOW! https://www.facebook.com/events/1824221074488987oat 

 


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.