News

Welcome to Leslie's Blog.
Posted 11/12/2012 3:38pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.
Hello CSA members:
Our final CSA share pickup will be tomorrow evening, November 13th. Our Peoria members will be picking up their shares with Marcela Teplitz from 5 to 6PM, and our Bloomington members will be picking up from 6:30 to 7:30PM at the Vitesse Bike Shop in Normal. I will be bringing extra cheese and gelato for the Thanksgiving Holiday too, so if you know of people who might want to come get cheese and gelato, please send them over to the Bike Shop at that time. As usual, if you are having someone else pick up your shares OR if you are not planning to pick up your shares, please let me know ahead of time.

We want to thank you all for participating in our fledgling CSA this year. We will be in touch with you soon about our plans for next year.   
Posted 11/8/2012 9:37pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Farm News

November is the time in a doeling’s life when she begins the transition from kid to productive doe.  Our doelings have been given their names, the first step toward milker-hood on our farm. Next comes the match-making; aka, the breeding plan.  Then, we do a thorough clean out of their pens and put down fresh straw bedding.  Next follows a “day of beauty,” a full mani-pedi hoof trimming by our resident goat cosmetologist, Ben.  After all, they have to look their best for their future breeding partner.  At last, they are ready to meet their mates.  We have three breeding pens set up this year—Vincent, our new champagne-beige La Mancha buckling—he’s quick on his feet, both horizontally and vertically. Then, we have Nate, our tall, tan and handsome Nubian. Last, but certainly not least, we have Harry, our red-haired whirling dervish.  The doelings are let into their respective breeding pens. Immediately, Samantha, one of our all-black hybrid does with beautiful pigtail ears (one of Elaine’s daughters) saddles up to her mate and gives him the tell-tale tail wag.  Instincts kick in, the buck returns his suitor’s affections and the rest is textbook Mother Nature.   I didn’t have to give anyone any lectures about the proverbial “birds and bees,” no pep talks, nothing. Instinct is a powerful and beautiful thing.

doeling breeding pen

Farmers’ Markets and Holiday Markets

We’re going inside for the Urbana Farmers’ Market this Saturday, November 10th. It will be held inside Lincoln Square Mall from 8AM to 1PM.  We won’t be attending Green City Market this Saturday, but we will be there the following Saturday, November 17th.  We have a great lineup of cheeses for our Urbana market goers:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herb de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Bloomy rinds: Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie, Black Goat and a few remaining Ewe Bloom—both the Black Goat and Ewe Bloom are nice and ripe and gooey-ready to eat this weekend
  • Sheep Milk Feta
  • Moonglo
  • Roxanne

I will have a few pints of gelato available, but not much, so if you want gelato, please come early.

We’re gearing up for our pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Markets. We’ll be attending three holiday markets on Saturday, November 17th: Urbana, Springfield and Green City Market.  More details to follow about what we’ll be bringing to those markets next week. I also wanted to let our Bloomington-Normal customers/fans know that we will be dropping off our final CSA bread, cheese and gelato shares this coming Tuesday, November 13th and I plan to bring extra cheese, honey and gelato for our non-CSA customers to buy.  If you are interested in this venue, we will be at the Vitesse Bike Shop in Normal from 6:30 to 7:30PM on November 13th. Feel free to email me to let me know you plan to come by that evening.

Posted 11/1/2012 10:54pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Farm News in the big wide world

The only signs of Hurricane Sandy to reach our central Illinois fields were the whiplash winds. Those winds buffeted our faces, they made it hard to do much of any work outside, they pushed our little white truck sideways on the highway as I drove to drop off our cheese CSA shares in Bloomington. The goats had little interest in venturing outside the barn, and our non-breeding bucks spent most of the day hunkered down inside their hutches.  It’s hard to fathom the destructive power of water and wind that wreaked havoc on much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.  We were spared this time around. 

Farmers’ Market News

We’re at that time of year when outdoor farmers’ markets come to an end for the year. Urbana’s Farmers’ Market has its last outdoor market this Saturday, November 3rd and then moves inside Lincoln Square Mall on November 10th. Chicago’s Green City Market makes their indoor move this Saturday to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The indoor market runs 8AM to 1PM.  We’ll be attending both markets this Saturday with a respectable lineup of cheese:

  • Fresh Chevre—plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—NOW is the time to start stocking up and freezing chevre for the winter
  • A near full house of bloomy rind cheeses including Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie, Black Goat and Ewe Bloom (Black Sheep is done for the season)
  • Red Dawn—we have brought back this smoked paprika red bloomy-rind beauty for a limited engagement this fall. Quantities are limited so come early if you want some.
  • Sheep Milk Feta—perfect for a fall spinach and feta pie
  • Moonglo
  • Roxanne

We’ll also be bringing some of our late summer farmstead honey to enjoy with our cheeses or with whatever you choose. Urbana shoppers can stock up on pints of gelato too:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Espresso
  • Lemon Verbena-Thyme
  • Cardamom
  • Pumpkin Pie
Posted 10/25/2012 6:58pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Farm News (aka the weather report)

As the mercury rose to 80 degrees this afternoon, the accelerating wind speed and nearly bare trees acknowledged the dissonance of this late October day. We carried on with preparations for winter, shedding layers of clothing as we worked; pruning out the dead canes from the blackberries, shoring up the hay stocks in the barn, tilling up garden beds, taking supers off the bee hives.  It doesn’t feel right to sweat in late October; something bad is sure to follow. Indeed, the sky is darkening as I write, and the blackness isn’t just the onset of dusk.  The wind mill is shifting furiously outside our house triangle window; first north winds blow, then west winds and now EAST winds (that almost never happens around here).   Within a few hours, the temperature is expected to drop 40 to 50 degrees.  By morning tomorrow, there will likely be a skiff of frost on the spinach and kale. I am bracing myself for frozen feet at the farmers’ market on Saturday.

Farmers’ Market News

My rationale for coaxing you out of your cozy covers on Saturday morning is the promise of rich, fall-milk cheese and gelato that you can take back home to enjoy by a roaring fire.  We’ll be attending two markets this Saturday, October 27th: Urbana and Green City Market.  This Saturday will be the final outdoor market of the season for Green City Market, so come out and stock up on your favorite cheeses. Don’t worry. You’ll still be able to purchase our cheeses for the months of November and December. We will be moving inside to the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum starting November 3rd.  The Urbana Farmers’ Market stays outside through November 3rd, and then moves inside the Lincoln Square Mall for the remainder of the fall.  Also, don’t forget: now is the time to start freezing your chevre to get you through the bleak winter months when we are out of production.  We will be bringing the following cheeses to market:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence and cracked black peppercorn
  • An assortment of bloomy rind cheeses likely to include Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie, Black Goat, Ewe Bloom and Black Sheep.  We are now selling our final batches of Ewe Bloom and Black Sheep of the season, so buy them while they last. 
  • Sheep milk feta
  • Roxanne
  • Moonglo

Urbana Market goers can grab a few pints of gelato to stock up in their freezers. We should have:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Lemon Verbena Thyme
  • Pumpkin
  • Ginger

among other surprise flavors.  I promise you, it will be worth getting out of bed for!

Posted 10/18/2012 9:20pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Farm News

I’m long overdue for my annual ritual of naming the next generation of does--our doelings, young-of-the- year, future milkers--all terms apply.  My method involves selecting a theme (three years ago it was movie stars of the ‘30’s and ‘40’s; last year it was dearly departed matronly relatives), and then peering into the soul of each doeling and giving them a name I believe befits their personality.  This year’s theme is TV personalities from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. I’ve got names like Jeannie (as in “I dream of Jeannie”), Samantha (as in “Bewitched”), Elly May (as in “The Beverly Hillbillies and Marcia (as in the “Brady Bunch).  I confess that I had to do a bit of internet “research” to come up with 22 names. While I am a child of many of those TV shows, my memory and name recall aren’t that great. 

a former tiny tot

On the farm, we continue to ready the farm for winter as breeding continues and the milk supply slowly tapers off.  We’re pulling up dead squash vines, turning the compost pile and cleaning up the shop.  I have been pouring over bulb catalogues in the hope of giving our flower beds a complete makeover this fall.  The leaves are turning their brilliant hues of reds, yellows, oranges and browns.  It seems that the summer’s drought either stressed the trees to their colorful splendor or they somehow overcame the drought’s stress to put on a truly Technicolor show.  Unfortunately, the winds this week don’t leave the leaves much time to be admired on the trees. 

fall leaves

Farmers’ Market News

This Saturday, October 20th, we’re attending three farmers’ markets: Urbana, Springfield, and Green City Market. This will be our last outdoor market in Springfield. We’ve got plenty of cheese for you, so don’t let the fall temperatures slow you down:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • An assortment of bloomy rind cheeses including Little Bloom on the Prairie, Black Sheep and Ewe Bloom. Angel Food and Black Goat might be available at some of the markets in limited quantities.
  • Sheep Milk Feta—if you’re moving out of salad mode, I would recommend trying the feta on a pizza or finishing a hearty winter stew
  • Moonglo
  • Roxanne

Our Urbana market goers can still get their hands on pints of gelato.  I know I am not deterred in my gelato consumption despite the cooler outside temperatures.  We’ve got a smorgasbord of flavors for you; sorbetto flavors are available in very limited quantities so come early to get the full selection:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Espresso
  • Mint Stracciatella
  • Stracciatella
  • Hazelnut Crocante (brittle)
  • Lemon Verbena-Thyme
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Ginger
  • Rhubarb Sorbetto
  • Espresso Sorbetto
  • Concord Grape Sorbetto
  • Chocolate Sorbetto

Farmers' markets have lots of great food in the fall. Put on your coat and gloves and come out to shop. You won't regret it!

Posted 10/11/2012 9:37pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Farm News

Although we know that all things green must turn to brown in this part of the world, it always comes as a shock to me when we receive our first frost.  At some level, I knew it was coming, so we harvested almost half of our green tomatoes over the weekend. We awoke Monday morning to a thin veneer of white covering the ground. The tomato vines were shriveled and black; the squash leaves curled, heads hung low and black as well. 

shriveled tomato vines

The first frost always creates a moral dilemma in my mind. On the one hand, I am sad that I won’t have any more tomatoes to harvest. On the other hand, I am jumping for joy with glee that I won’t have any more tomatoes to process.  When pushed, I have to admit that I now have tomato fatigue. 

copious green tomatoes

Fall is the season of pumpkins and squashes. Chef Alisa and I headed down to the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur on Tuesday to pick up the squashes for our upcoming dinner celebrating cucurbits.  The Great Pumpkin Patch grows hundreds of varieties of squashes and pumpkins; it is truly a cucurbit lover’s dream place. This Saturday’s menu reflects the diversity of the family curcurbitae, showcasing squashes and pumpkins originating from every continent. 

squash party

October is also the month that our sheep milk supply dwindles.  Sheep lactate for only six to seven months; relatively short compared with the 9-10 month lactation of our goats.  We are making our final batches of sheep milk cheeses of the season with milk containing over 8% butterfat and close to 7% protein. Just to put things in perspective for those of you who aren’t milk geeks, our goats’ milk butterfat content ranges from 3.5% to close to 6% over the span of their lactation.  Milk this rich can make some wonderful cheeses, but it presents unique challenges for us cheese makers.  Seasonality is the spice of life.

Farmers' Market News

Speaking of milk and cheese and seasonality, our outdoor farmers’ market season is slowly winding down. We’re attending only ONE farmers’ market this Saturday: Urbana. We won’t be at the Green City Market this Saturday, but we will return for the final two outdoor markets on October 20th and October 27th. We’ll then move indoors to the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum on November 3rd and go to an every other Saturday attendance until the end of the fall season in December. Here’s what we’re bringing to the Urbana Farmers’ Market this Saturday:

  • Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Sheep Milk Feta
  • Angel Food—yes, it’s back and it’s luscious as ever (limited quantities though)
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Ewe Bloom
  • Black Sheep
  • Moonglo
  • Roxanne

We’ve also got some of our beautiful amber farmstead honey to accompany those cheeses. The weather will be perfect for gelato as well:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Espresso
  • Mint Stracciatella
  • Lemon Verbena-Thyme
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Ginger
  • Concord Grape Sorbetto
  • Espresso Sorbetto
  • Chocolate Sorbetto
  • Rhubarb Sorbetto

Farm Dinner News :Get Tickets to the Sold-Out Little Goat Brunch
We’ve got some exciting news about farm dinners. We’ve decided to support a very worthy organization here in Champaign Urbana-Crisis Nursery. Crisis Nursery creates an "Island of Safety" dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis. Last year, Crisis Nursery provided over 29,000 hours of crisis care to local children and conducted over 950 home visits. We’re donating two tickets to the October 28th “Little Goat Brunch” with guest chef, Stephanie Izard. They will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and all the proceeds will go to Crisis Nursery. These tickets will be sold to the highest bidder in an online auction. Bidding opens on Friday, October 12 at 8am and lasts for five days. Click here to bid. (Please note this link will not be active until bidding opens. An eBay account is required to place a valid bid.)

A Sunday Afternoon Little Goat Brunch on Sunday, October 28, from 1-5pm, features Chef Stephanie Izard, of Top Chef and Girl and the Goat fame. Guests can expect classic brunch dishes adorned with many of Prairie Fruits Farm cheeses. Come dine on the farm and experience the essence and pleasures of eating locally and sustainably, while supporting the Nursery!

Sunday Dinner Club Fish Fry Dinner rescheduled for Saturday October 20th

We had planned to host the chefs of Sunday Dinner Club on Saturday, September 1st for a Local Fish Fry, but Hurricane Isaac got in the way, and we had to postpone.  Several of our guests had to cancel, so we have seven extra seats available. You can purchase tickets starting tomorrow, October 12th at 10 AM from ShowClix.  Here’s the menu to tempt you:

Menu

  • Squash Soup with Fresh Chevre and Basil
  • Market Greens with Shaved Apples, Red Onion, and Buttermilk Biscuit with Chive Butter
  • Great Lakes Fish Fry! with Warm Bacon Potato Salad and Cavolo Nero Kale
  • S'mores

 

Posted 10/5/2012 8:01am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Farm News: Love “stinks”

cool fall winds

A strong north wind ushered in a 30 degree drop in temperature last night, and, with it came a cold rain and that full fall feeling. Love is in the air on the farm, and it has a distinct odor of male goats eager to pass on their genes to the next generation. Their mating rituals are quite elaborate, and to spare you the gory details, let’s just say, for the bucks, there is a lot of “goat cologne” sprayed around. Our does are ready too.  Their tales are wagging in a frantic manner, as they vie for coveted spots close to the fence to draw the attentions and affections of their suitors. As the Burt Bacharach song goes: “the look of love is in your eyes, a look your smile can't disguise.”  Yes, even goats can smile.

 It is time once again for our annual fall ritual of breeding.  These past couple of weeks, I have been pouring over milk records, reviewing goat lineages and re-examining kid conformation to make my goat pairing selections.  The hat I wear this time of year is that of goat yente (aka the farm matchmaker).  Each buck will have his harem of does, based on our hopes and desires for the next generation. We’ve got Eddie, our tall, spotted and handsome Nubian buck, in the spot light. He provides stature, nice long necks and some splashy spots. Next in line are our two La Mancha bucks, Mocha and Rex. Mocha also gives length and leanness to his daughters; Rex gives us nice wide and well-attached udders.  We have three new bucklings from last year’s breeding to bring into the lineup as well. We’re particularly excited about the “Millie buck” (yet to be given his real name). He’s the buckling of one of our top Nubian does, Millie, and the success of artificial insemination. His sire comes out of a long line of “champions” who purport to produce copious quantities of milk.  He’ll be a busy boy for sure this fall. We might even have to give him a step ladder to get the job done with some of our does.

Farmers’ Market News and Cheese Events

October is American Cheese Month. It’s a time to celebrate the explosion of great artisan and farmstead American cheeses now on the market across the country. You can do your part by coming to the famers’ markets this weekend and throughout the month of October to patronize your favorite cheese makers.  The cooler weather might tempt you to stay in bed, but I always say that it’s worth getting up early, coming to the market and getting all of your week’s food wares, coming home, making a great breakfast with all those local foods and then taking a long nap! We will be attending three farmers’ markets this Saturday, October 6th: Urbana, Springfield and Chicago’s Green City Market.  Wes and Sarah will be in Urbana, Alison will be greeting our Springfield patrons, and I will be alongside Pat at the Green City Market. We’ve got some great fall cheeses for you:

  • Plenty of Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • An array of bloomy rind cheeses including Little Bloom on the Prairie (Angel Food is continuing to age and should be ready soon), Black Goat (limited quantities), Ewe Bloom AND Black Sheep—don’t forget this American Cheese Society’s blue ribbon winner.
  • Sheep milk feta
  • Moonglo
  • Roxanne
  • The last of this season’s Huckleberry Blue

We will have some of our mid- summer honey for sale as well—both 8 and 16 ounce glass jars as well as a few boxes of honey comb and comb + honey in the jar. 

For our Urbana shoppers, the expected cold temperatures should allow you to purchase several pints of gelato and get them home safely without them melting. We’ve got our usual flavors as well as some new ones:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Ginger
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Espresso
  • Mint Stracciatella—NEW FLAVOR, A FANCY MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP
  • Sorbettos: Espresso, Chocolate, Concord Grape and Rhubarb (yes, Brackett Farm still has Rhubarb!!)

For those of you in the Chicago suburbs, I will be coming to Standard Market in Westmont Illinois this Saturday afternoon to participate in their Artisan and Craft Food Festival. I will be there from 1:30 to 4PM along with some other great cheese makers, craft brewers and other food artisans. It should be a great time of sampling some great foods and meeting the people who make them.  Please come to see me there.

Posted 9/27/2012 9:44pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Farm News

This Saturday, we’re hosting our “100 Yard Dinner.” It’s a culmination of the fruits of our season’s labors-a true harvest feast.  It’s a meal designed to showcase what we can grow, harvest and transform into delicious dishes right here on our farm. We like to say that 90% of what our dinner guests will eat comes from within 100 yards of the dinner table.  This year, I admit, our garden is not the cornucopia of vegetables that it was last year.  Nonetheless, it is respectable.  We’ve got Rainbow chard, planted in May, but continued to thrive and survive during the height of the heat and drought. 

RAINBOW CHARD

We’ve got ripe tomatoes, potatoes and giant sweet potatoes, harvested at the end of the summer. 

CARA'S SWEET POTATOES

Our herb garden will feature prominently on the menu, from parsley to basil to lemon balm; we even grew hops that we’ll use for a soothing tea. 

HOPS

The featured “protein” of the menu will be our Freedom Ranger chickens.  We raised them from day-old chicks to sturdy pastured broilers in about 10 weeks.  

FREEDOM RANGERS

Our chef, Alisa, will be making a goat buttermilk marinade for the chicken that will be fried southern style.  Of course, we’ll have an egg course with a creamy sunchoke puree and some beautiful pea shoots we grew.

eggs

Let’s not forget cheese. We made a special “prairie blazing star banon” for the meal; a petite soft-ripened cheese wrapped in an Illinois wine-soaked sycamore leaf.   If you’re intrigued, you can see the full menu on our website.  It’s a testament to the bounty that can be grown right here in central Illinois, even in the face of drought, heat waves and pop up thunderstorms.

Farmers’ Markets

This weekend, we’re attending THREE farmers’ markets: Urbana, Chicago’s Green City Market on Saturday, September 29th and Chicago’s Logan Square Market on Sunday, September 30th. For those of you who patron the Logan Square market, this may be our last one for this season, so come on out to get your favorite cheeses. You can even stock up on chevre and freeze it for the winter if you like. We’ll have:

  • Lots of chevre—plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Sheep Milk Feta
  • An assortment of bloomy rind cheeses including Angel Food, Little Bloom on the Prairie, Ewe Bloom and Black Sheep
  • Moonglo
  • Roxanne
  • Huckleberry Blue
  • Mollisol Pecorino

For our Urbana shoppers, we’ve got gelato—even though the weather is cooler, you can still enjoy our gelato with a warm apple pie:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Rhubarb Swirl
  • Stracciatella
  • Anise Hssop
  • Cardamom
  • Ginger
  • Thai Basil
  • Concord Grape Sorbetto
  • NEW FLAVOR: CHOCOLATE SORBETTO
  • NEW FLAVOR: ESPRESSO SORBETTO
Posted 9/26/2012 3:27pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Dear CSA members:

We are going to have to adjust our pick up dates a bit here in October. Our original schedule was the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Since July had 5 weeks, we got off of this schedule. We are needing to get back onto a 2nd and 4th Tuesdays pickup schedule for October and November because the Bloomington pick up location moves indoors starting October 2nd TO THE VITESSE CYCLE SHOP IN NORMAL. THE NEW PICK UP TIME IS 6:30 TO 7:30PM TO ACCOMMODATE THE OWNERS OF THE BIKE SHOP.  The new location is:

Vitesse Cycle Shop in Normal

206 S. Linden Street, Normal, IL

(309) 454-1541 · vitessecycle.com

You should be able to get directions from their website. It is very close to the Amtrak Station in downtown Normal.  SO, we will NOT have Bread Cheese and Gelato CSA pick up next Tuesday, October 2nd. Our new pickup dates will be the following:

October 9th

October 23

October 30 (I know this is only one week after the 23rd, but we need to make sure you receive a total of 13 shares as was promised in the CSA share program for this year)

November 13th (the last pick up date)

Although these changes affect only the Bloomington CSA, we will also have these same dates for pickup at the Peoria location, just to keep things less confusing. As far as I know, the pick up time in Peoria at Marcella Teplitz' house will remain 5 to 6PM.  Please let me know if you have any questions about these changes. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause some of you, but we are working under the direction Henry's Farm CSA logistics. 

Thank you for your understanding.

leslie

Posted 9/20/2012 9:54pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

Farm News

It’s in the air: that certain crisp smell, the clarity of light, the ease of breathing dryness.  Fall is here.  You can feel it.  You can sense it in the animals around the farm.  This week, a rash of hummingbirds appeared at the hummingbird feeder, all fighting for a spot to drink nectar. They seem to spend more time fighting each other than feeding.  There have been a few monarch butterflies hovering around the flowers, as they stock up on reserves to sustain them on their southbound journey.  I’ve also noticed that the praying mantises are abundant once more; it’s strange how I only see them as summer is waning and fall is waxing. 

New England Asters

The grain farmers have started harvesting corn this week.  The combines are rolling down the roads, but I don’t see the usual back and forth grain truck traffic associated with many trips needed to take the harvest to the grain elevator. There’s lots of talk on the commodity reports about checking for aflatoxin in corn this year-it’s a toxin associated with a black mold;  another insult to the injury of a poor corn harvest.  I’ve been watching the sharp-shinned hawks hover over the newly harvested corn fields on the prowl for rodents, now easy to spot in the skimpy corn stubble.

The goats sense fall is in the air too. The bucks are all too eager to watch the milkers parade into the milk parlor every evening, curling their lips to catch any scents that might indicate that the does are coming into heat.  Soon, they will be able to satiate their desires when breeding season begins. The milkers are ever more reluctant to rise from their slumber in the morning and waddle into the milking parlor.  It’s dark now at 5:30AM, so, really, who wants to get out bed?  We too are finding it ever more difficult to leave the comfort of the covers and rise to meet the days’ challenges.  The desire for hibernation grows stronger and stronger. I’m holding it back for the time being.

Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending three farmers’ markets this Saturday, September 22nd: Urbana, Springfield and Chicago’s Green City Market. For our Springfield patrons, we’re the featured farmer for the Springfield Slow Food Convivium this week, so if you’re a Slow Food member, please come out and see us this Saturday.  We’ve got some great cheese for you:

  • Fresh Chevre—plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper and a few heirloom tomato
  • Most of our bloomy rind cheeses including: Little Bloom on the Prairie, Black Goat, Ewe Bloom, Black Sheep
  • Sheep Milk Feta
  • Moonglo
  • Roxanne
  • Huckleberry Blue—we are now cutting into our last wheels so this cheese will be around for another week or two. It’s more aged, drier and more crumbly than earlier in the season—perfect for a salad or to crumble on a pizza (try caramelized onion, Huckleberry Blue and chevre on a pizza-yum!!)
  • Mollisol Pecorino Romano (these are the last few wedges of this sharp and flavorful grating cheese as well)

For our Urbana shoppers, don’t let fall deter you from stocking up on pints of our goat milk gelato and sorbetto. We’ve been tweaking the recipes for the Anise Hyssop and the Cardamom, resulting in a lot more flavor. If you like these exotic flavors, I encourage you to give them a try.

We’ve also got:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Espresso
  • Rhubarb Swirl
  • Stracciatella (fancy chocolate ganache chip)
  • Thai Basil
  • Ginger
  • Concord Grape Sorbetto
  • Pear Sorbetto

Fall is a great time to shop the farmers' markets, so come out and support your local farmers!