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Posted 4/6/2018 9:22am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Crystalline white petals encasing a bright orange trumpet; the daffodil is the persistent harbinger of spring.  On Sunday, April 1st, we awoke to a blanket of over four inches of pristine white snow; the warm soil beneath gasping for breath.  The waning moon was still in the western sky, while the warming sun rose over the creek to the east.  There was steam rising over the borrow pit pond and snowy ice crystals coating the emergent green stems of weeds in the pasture. Daffodils frozen tall in a bed of snow; a cruel April Fools prank, indeed.

 

Assuming that this spring would be like most others here in the Midwest, we had moved our bucks out to the pasture just before kidding season commenced.  The poor guys have had to endure several snow squalls and a blizzard-more snow than we got in the months of January and February combined. I’m impressed with their adaptability.  They have toughened up quite a bit (yes, they have shelter to get out of the weather), and the April Fool’s Day snow didn’t slow them down one bit.  As I pushed out the fluffy white stuff out of their feed troughs, they wait, with steaming breath, for the promise of grain and fresh hay.  We’re all trying to come to grips with discordant weather, and we all must eat. 

Fundraiser Campaign Update:  The donations continue to flow in and we continue to be so grateful. We are now over $11,000, close to one third of our total goal.  If you aren’t yet familiar with our “Raise the Roof” campaign, please CLICK  HERE, you can read all about it—our projects, our goals, our donation levels.  As we’ve stated before, this community has been very good to us over the years. We hope you’ll consider making a donation (small or large) to help us “Raise the Roof” and take the farm to whole new level.  We will also have a donation box out at the farm during spring open hours if you’d prefer to donate that way.

Babies and Brunch: Full Brunch on BOTH Saturdays and Sundays is FINALLY here! Come out to the farm this weekend—we’re open from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.  Check out the fabulous menu that Chef Raquel and Sarah of Feast Catering have crafted as well as the details of how these brunches will be run.  The format will be different than our “Spring Open Houses,” which have featured mostly grab and go type foods and beverages.  We’re calling it a “Pop-Up Café.”

Cheese and Gelato Offerings We have a really great line up of cheeses to offer you this weekend, featuring the lovely and lemony spring chevre:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—these are our regular flavors available all year round
  • Fresh chevre special flavors: cinnamon sugar, caramelized onion—these are limited edition flavors, so get them while they last!
  • Goat milk Feta in Olive Oil: a late fall batch of raw-milk feta bathed in extra virgin olive oil and select dried herbs—perfect for early spring salads or on top of a hearty stew. Very limited availability.
  • Moonglo: fall-milk, tomme-style cheese; the texture of this semi-hard cheese is supple like gouda, but the taste is sharp and fruity. Ask for a taste if you’ve never had it before. Makes a killer-good grilled cheese
  • Huckleberry Blue: our limited late fall goats’ milk blue cheese—it’s a gateway to blue cheeses. Creamy texture, not overly blue-veined (or sharp in a blue way)
  • Jams and Honey: We have a limited selection of jams from Autumn Berry Inspired, house-made jams and some beautiful bottles of fall honey from Two Million Blooms. These make great accompaniments to our cheeses.
  • Gelato: We have limited pint flavors (chocolate, fruitti di bosco and nectarine sorbetto) and gelato by the scoop (pistachio, salted caramel and coffee for sure). 
  • Other Farm Products David Bane of Bane Family Meats will be here to offer you farm-fresh eggs, chicken, beef, pork and lamb products We also have a selection of Piemonte Sausages: several styles of pork sausage as well as our goat merguez
  • Goat Stew Meat and Cabrito Halves—we have a few packages of lean and tender goat meat available in our farm shop freezer. If you’ve never tried goat meat, you should. It’s very mild and lean (lends itself to slow cooking techniques)
  • Prairie Fruits Farm Merch: While you’re here, take home a memento from the farm—t-shirts, hooded sweat shirts, batik aprons, tea towels, onesies, note cards, cheese boards and goat milk soaps. 

Special Graduation Dinner & Mother’s Day Brunch: We are offering a special farm to table dinner for graduates and their families on Saturday May 12th AND a local-foods brunch buffet for Mother’s Day. Check out the menu for dinner and/or mother’s day brunch and book your tickets now! They’re going fast.  

Goat Yoga and Delight Flower Spring bouquet shares: Delight Flower Farm has a lot going on this year. Maggie Taylor has decided to host yoga with baby goats again this year at the farm.  Right now, she has a few dates in late April and some in May for goat yoga classes. You can registration on their website:  http://delightflowerfarm.com/shop/

They are also offering a limited time “spring bloom bouquet CSA” Check out all the details as well all the other great things they offer here: DelightFlowerFarm.com

Cheese and Gelato CSA: We still have openings for our 2018 season.  If you’re not familiar with how our “CSA” works, I encourage you to check out the details.  We have pick up locations in Champaign Urbana and Bloomington-Normal.  We treat our CSA members like royalty. Come join our special club. 

Dinners on the Farm: Our 2018 season is now posted on our website and ticket sales are LIVE for the entire season.  Take a look at the dates and themes, and book your reservations NOW.  These tickets go fast, so don’t delay.  We have a great diversity of dinner themes this year from Italian to Oaxacan.  We’re excited to host you on our farm for a memorable farm to table experience.   

Looking for a goat for a family milker? How about for brush control or rural pet? Goats are wonderful working animals and affectionate companions too. We have a few retired milkers and great breeding stock with excellent health and milk records.  Check out what's available and contact us if interested. 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. 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 3/29/2018 5:01pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

We’ve had a mini-baby boom this week as March draws to a close.  Most of the does decided that evening was the best time to go into labor, leaving me lingering in the doe barn after feeding chores, patiently waiting for signs of progression, hoping that they would deliver before 9 pm.  The faraway stare and lack of interest in feed (especially really good alfalfa hay) are the first signals that babies will come.  These segue into pawing at the ground (we call this nesting behavior) and emergence of a mucus plug (birth fluid discharge). If the stars are aligned well, the next phase is active pushing and the bulge of the birth sac.  The birth sac reminds me of the bubble that encased Glenda, the good witch of the North, as she descended into the land of Oz in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz." It’s opaque and it delivers goodness and beauty into the world.  After all these years witnessing birth, I am always impressed by the repeatability of the process. I am also humbled when the process doesn’t follow the normal course, and I need to intervene.  

If the kid is presented properly, you can see the front hooves first, followed by the head.  Once the head is visible, the body follows in short order and the baby is delivered.  If we’re there to watch the process unfold, we have clean towels ready and waiting to catch the baby as he/she exits the birth canal. This way, we can clean the birth fluid off the face right away and make sure he/she is breathing.

We hand off the sticky newborn to its mother to do the bulk of the cleaning.  Some first time mothers are baffled by the alien before them, and refuse to clean their baby. Since our pregnant does are in a communal pen that they share with some of our older retired does, I am always heartened by the motherly instincts of does with no hormonal or genetic reasons to clean off the kids of another doe. Yet, there they are, Elaine and Shelly, two 10-year old sisters, pushing their heads into the warm gooey mess of the newborns, tongues vigorously licking off birth fluid, working their way from head to tail. The ties that bind us mammals are strong.

Fundraiser Campaign Update: The support for the farm is humbling! Thank you SO MUCH to those who have contributed to our campaign thus far. This week, we hit the $10,000 mark.  With these funds, we can definitely finish the roof on the pavilion.  We still have other needed projects, and additional funds raised will go toward all the special projects we hope to accomplish this spring.  If you aren’t yet familiar with our “Raise the Roof” campaign, please CLICK  HERE, you can read all about it—our projects, our goals, our donation levels.  As we’ve stated before, this community has been very good to us over the years. We hope you’ll consider making a donation (small or large) to help us “Raise the Roof” and take the farm to whole new level.  We will also have a donation box out at the farm during spring open hours if you’d prefer to donate that way.

Spring Open House: Our second spring open house (aka babies and breakfast) is this Saturday March 31st.  Come on out to the farm from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Although we officially cancelled last week (because of that crazy spring blizzard), a number of you braved the elements to come out—THANK YOU!! So, this Saturday, the forecast is a bit iffy with possible rain, but a lot warmer than last week.  Most activities—food, beverages, farm store, baby and momma goats-are indoors, so we will host the event, rain or shine.

Here’s the menu:

  • Goat Milk Hot Chocolate $3.50/cup
  • Hot Coffee from Columbia Street Roastery $2.50 cup

All pastries and baked goods by Lucky Pierre Bakers:

-hand-rolled doughnuts made with locally milled flour—cardamom vanilla, ginger, lemon, lamington $3/each
-NY style bagels: plain, sesame, everything—buy a couple of bagels and pick up one of our chevre flavors to go with them (see chevre flavors below) $2.75 each bagel
-scones: chocolate pecan, lemon ginger, fig & honey, peach and Moonglo cheese (savory) $3 each
-cinnamon rolls $4 each
-cinnamon-roll ‘bread pudding’ $4/each
-fig/walnut and Huckleberry Blue cheese rolls $4/each

Cheese and Gelato Offerings

We have a really great line up of cheeses to offer you this weekend, featuring the lovely and lemony spring chevre.  If you're hosting guests this holiday weekend, make sure you pick up two or three of our cheeses for a holiday cheese board. We also have two NEW chevre flavors. These were the voted the most popular in a little survey we did on Facebook:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—these are our regular flavors available all year round
  • Fresh chevre special flavors: cinnamon sugar, caramelized onion—these will go great on those Lucky Pierre bagels (of course our regular flavors will too).
  • Goat milk Feta in Olive Oil: a late fall batch of raw-milk feta bathed in extra virgin olive oil and select dried herbs—perfect for early spring salads or on your holiday roast leg of lamb. Very limited availability, so grab a container while they last
  • Moonglo: fall-milk, tomme-style cheese; the texture of this semi-hard cheese is supple like gouda, but the taste is sharp and fruity. Ask for a taste if you’ve never had it before. Makes a killer-good grilled cheese
  • Huckleberry Blue: our limited late fall goats’ milk blue cheese—it’s a gateway to blue cheeses. Creamy texture, not overly blue-veined (or sharp in a blue way)
  • Jams and Honey: We have a limited selection of jams from Autumn Berry Inspired, house-made jams and some beautiful bottles of fall honey from Two Million Blooms. These make great accompaniments to our cheeses.
  • Gelato: We have limited pint flavors (chocolate, salted caramel, fruitti di bosco and nectarine sorbetto) and gelato by the scoop (pistachio, vanilla, chocolate and coffee for sure). 
  • Other Farm Products David Bane of Bane Family Meats will be here to offer you farm-fresh eggs, chicken, beef, pork and lamb products We also have a selection of Piemonte Sausages: several styles of pork sausage as well as our goat merguez
  • Goat Stew Meat and Cabrito Halves—we have a few packages of lean and tender goat meat available in our farm shop freezer. If you’ve never tried goat meat, you should. It’s very mild and lean (lends itself to slow cooking techniques). It would be a great alternative to lamb for the holidays.
  • Prairie Fruits Farm Merch: While you’re here, take home a memento from the farm—t-shirts, hooded sweat shirts, batik aprons, tea towels, onesies, note cards, cheese boards and goat milk soaps. 

Build your own cheese board for the holidays-Grove Stone Class:  Tonight--Thursday, March 29th, 6:30-8:30 pm, I will be teaching a class at Grove Stone in Champaign, IL on how to craft the perfect spring cheese and accompaniments board for the holidays. Whether you’re hosting guests for Easter or Passover, or just celebrating spring with some friends, this class will cover basic cheese styles and how to pair them with simple accompaniments (jams, vinegars, nuts, etc) and wine.  Check out the details. You can sign up on the spot tonight.

Babies and Brunch: Starting April 7th and running through May 12th, we’ll be serving brunch-Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30-1:00.  Check out the fabulous menu that Chef Raquel and Sarah of Feast Catering have crafted as well as the details of how these brunches will be run.  The format will be different than our “Spring Open Houses,” which have featured mostly grab and go type foods and beverages. More details to come next week.

Special Graduation Dinner & Mother’s Day Brunch: We are offering a special farm to table dinner for graduates and their families on Saturday May 12th AND a local-foods brunch buffet for Mother’s Day. Check out the menu for dinner and/or mother’s day brunch and book your tickets now! They’re going fast.  

Goat Yoga and Delight Flower Spring bouquet shares: Delight Flower Farm has a lot going on this year. Maggie Taylor has decided to host yoga with baby goats again this year at the farm.  Right now, she has a few dates in May for goat yoga classes. You can registration on their website:  http://delightflowerfarm.com/shop/ They are also offering a limited time “spring bloom bouquet CSA”  Check out all the details as well all the other great things they offer here: DelightFlowerFarm.com

Cheese and Gelato CSA: The deadline to get our pre-season discount on Cheese and Gelato Shares ends this SATURDAY March 31st.  If you’re not familiar with how our “CSA” works, I encourage you to check out the details.  We have pick up locations in Champaign Urbana and Bloomington-Normal.  We treat our CSA members like royalty. Come join our special club. 

Dinners on the Farm: Our 2018 season is now posted on our website and ticket sales are LIVE for the entire season.  Take a look at the dates and themes, and book your reservations NOW.  These tickets go fast, so don’t delay.  We have a great diversity of dinner themes this year from Italian to Oaxacan.  We’re excited to host you on our farm for a memorable farm to table experience.   

Looking for a goat for a family milker? How about for brush control or rural pet? Goats are wonderful working animals and affectionate companions too. We have great breeding stock with excellent health and milk records.  Check out what's available and contact us if interested. 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. 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 3/24/2018 7:51am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Good morning farm fans:


I am sorry to announce that we will be canceling the spring open house scheduled for this morning. We had thought that the weather would just be rain, but we've got a thick layer of slushy snow on the ground, and the forecast isn't look good for the remainder of the morning. In the eight years that we've been welcoming folks to the farm in the spring, we've never had to cancel our spring open house. We apologize for any inconvenience.  


If folks do venture out, please take care driving. The roads are not good.  We will have hot beverages and food ready, just in case. The goats are tucked inside the barns, and will welcome visitors, regardless of the weather. 



Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. 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 3/22/2018 8:17pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

 Farm News

It’s cold still. The water buckets have a layer of ice every morning that requires use of a blunt instrument to get to the frigid water underneath.  The goats drink the cold water reluctantly; they’re thirsty after eating their hay and grain.  The sun shines, but the pasture is in suspended animation.  The pseudo warmth lures the goat girls out to graze, only to find them back in the doe barn within ten minutes rooting for hay.  The chilled air bites our hands and faces, and as much as I’d like to take off my Carhart jacket while doing chores, it’s not coming off any time soon.  

The frenzy of goat births has slowed to a trickle, and we’re getting caught up on the spring tasks that had to be put on hold—trimming hooves, vaccinating baby goats, cleaning out barns, composting waste hay, filling in tractor tire ruts.  We’ve hit the 100 kids born on the farm mark, but it seems to have happened at a much more leisurely pace compared with last year’s record of 100 kids in 10 days. The edginess of kidding season anxiety is giving way to a more predictable routine of spring: milking, cheese making, kid feeding and cleaning when there’s time.  The orchard trees are getting pruned, the flower farm’s green house has early spring blooms, the daffodils inch their heads ever higher toward the sky each day.  The vernal equinox will be fulfilled; spring will come, winter coat or not. 

Fundraiser Campaign Update:  Thank you SO MUCH to those who have contributed to our campaign thus far. We have already raised over $2000. While we have a ways to go, we are grateful for the funds received that will go toward the special projects we hope to accomplish this spring.  If you aren’t yet familiar with our “Raise the Roof” campaign, please CLICK HERE, you can read all about it—our projects, our goals, our donation levels.  As we’ve stated before, this community has been very good to us over the years. We hope you’ll consider making a donation (small or large) to help us take the farm to whole new level. 

Spring Open House: Our first spring open house (aka babies and breakfast) is this Saturday March 24th.  Come on out to the farm from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. The forecast isn’t looking super great to be outdoors, but rest assured, we will keep you warm with hot beverages and heart-warming baby goats. 

Here’s the menu:

  • Goat Milk Hot Chocolate $3.50/cup
  • Hot Coffee from Columbia Street Roastery $2.50 cup

All pastries and baked goods by Lucky Pierre Bakers:

-hand-rolled doughnuts made with locally milled flour—cardamom vanilla, ginger, lemon, lamington $3/each
-NY style bagels: plain, sesame, everything—buy a couple of bagels and pick up one of our chevre flavors to go with them (see chevre flavors below) $2.75 each bagel
-scones: chocolate pecan, lemon ginger, fig & honey $3 each
-cinnamon rolls $4 each
-fig/walnut and Huckleberry Blue cheese rolls $4/each

Cheese and Gelato Offerings

We have a really great line up of cheeses to offer you this weekend, featuring the lovely and lemony spring chevre. We’re rolling out two NEW chevre flavors. These were the voted the most popular in a little survey we did on Facebook last week:

Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—these are our regular flavors available all year round

Fresh chevre special flavors: cinnamon sugar, caramelized onion—these will go great on those Lucky Pierre bagels (of course our regular flavors will too).

Goat milk Feta in Olive Oil: a late fall batch of raw-milk feta bathed in extra virgin olive oil and select dried herbs—perfect for early spring salads or on top of a hearty stew. Very limited availability, so grab a container while they last

Moonglo: fall-milk, tomme-style cheese; the texture of this semi-hard cheese is supple like gouda, but the taste is sharp and fruity. Ask for a taste if you’ve never had it before. Makes a killer-good grilled cheese

Huckleberry Blue: our limited late fall goats’ milk blue cheese—it’s a gateway to blue cheeses. Creamy texture, not overly blue-veined (or sharp in a blue way)

Jams and Honey: We have a limited selection of jams from Autumn Berry Inspired, house-made jams and some beautiful bottles of fall honey from Two Million Blooms.These make great accompaniments to our cheeses.

Gelato: We have limited pint flavors (chocolate, salted caramel, chai tea and maybe a few others) and despite the cold weather forecast, we will offer gelato by the scoop (as a New Englander who’s accustomed to eating ice cream in the dead of winter, I see no problem with enjoying a scoop of gelato when it’s below freezing outside). 

Other Farm Products

  • David Bane of Bane Family Meats will be here to offer you farm-fresh eggs, chicken, beef, pork and lamb products
  • We also have a selection of Piemonte Sausages: several styles of pork sausage as well as our goat merguez
  • Goat Stew Meat and Cabrito Halves—we have a few packages of lean and tender goat meat available in our farm shop freezer. If you’ve never tried goat meat, you should. It’s very mild and lean (lends itself to slow cooking techniques)
  • Prairie Fruits Farm Merch: While you’re here, take home a memento from the farm—t-shirts, hooded sweat shirts, batik aprons, tea towels, onesies, note cards, cheese boards and goat milk soaps. 

Build your own cheese board for the holidays-Grove Stone Class:  Thursday, March 29th, I will be teaching a class at Grove Stone in Champaign, IL on how to craft the perfect spring cheese and accompaniments board for the holidays. Whether you’re hosting guests for Easter or Passover, or just celebrating spring with some friends, this class will cover basic cheese styles and how to pair them with simple accompaniments (jams, vinegars, nuts, etc) and wine.  Check out the details and reserve your spot before they’re sold out.

Babies and Brunch: Starting in April and running through May 12th, we’ll be serving brunch-Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30-1:00.  Check out the fabulous menu that Chef Raquel and Sarah of Feast Catering have crafted as well as the details of how these brunches will be run.  The format will be different than our “Spring Open Houses,” which have featured mostly grab and go type foods and beverages. More details to come in the next couple of weeks.

Special Graduation Dinner & Mother’s Day Brunch: We are offering a special farm to table dinner for graduates and their families on Saturday May 12th AND a local-foods brunch buffet for Mother’s Day. Check out the menu for dinner and/or mother’s day brunch and book your tickets now! They’re going fast. 

Goat Yoga and Delight Flower Spring bouquet shares: Delight Flower Farm has a lot going on this year. Maggie Taylor has decided to host yoga with baby goats again this year at the farm.  Right now, she has a few dates in May for goat yoga classes. You can registration on their website: 

http://delightflowerfarm.com/shop/ They are also offering a limited time “spring bloom bouquet CSA”  Check out all the details as well all the other great things they offer here: DelightFlowerFarm.com

Cheese and Gelato CSA: The deadline to get our pre-season discount on Cheese and Gelato Shares ends on March 31st.  If you’re not familiar with how our “CSA” works, I encourage you to check out the details.  We have pick up locations in Champaign Urbana and Bloomington-Normal.  We treat our CSA members like royalty. Come join our special club. 

Dinners on the Farm: Our 2018 season is now posted on our website and ticket sales are LIVE for the entire season.  Take a look at the dates and themes, and book your reservations NOW.  These tickets go fast, so don’t delay.  We have a great diversity of dinner themes this year from Italian to Oaxacan.  We’re excited to host you on our farm for a memorable farm to table experience.   

Looking for a goat for a family milker? How about for brush control or rural pet? Goats are wonderful working animals. We have great breeding stock with excellent health and milk records.  Check out what's available and contact us if interested.


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. 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 3/15/2018 9:40pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

The dark circles have re-appeared under my eyes.  The nightly routine of checking the doe barn for signs of labor and the kid barn for sleeping baby goats spread evenly under their heat lamps has returned.  The indulgence of watching a late night movie is over, and if it’s satiated, there’s hell to pay the next day.  The mornings of pulling the covers over my head to garner another hour of sleep are fleeting.  We are well in the thick of kidding season, and we don the familiar habits of early spring without much thought these days.

Spring has come reluctantly this year. Despite winter’s strong desire to grip our temperate landscape a bit longer, the signs of change are all around us. Tiny little crocuses are poking their blooms just above the soil line, lest the cold winds knock them over.  The pasture hue is transforming slowly from dull brown to pale green.  The chickens are laying eggs more reliably. 

I must make an effort to observe these subtle changes. The routine of intensity takes over. The patterns have become so deeply etched in my psyche over time. Up before dawn (especially with day light savings time-cruel), turn on the coffee pot, climb into my coveralls and waddle out to the barns to see who has kidded and who’s in labor. New kids are cleaned off and put under heat lamps; sometimes it’s hard to sort out who belongs to whom, especially if multiple does have kids on the ground and the more motherly ones have “adopted” someone else’s kids.  Once we sort out parentage, we move to milking out the mothers’ colostrum to feed to the hungry babies.  If we’re lucky, we get a little break to eat some breakfast before the next wave of labor signs ensues. 

During the height of kidding season, the steps run together in an endless loop: contractions, birthing, kid cleaning, kid feeding, repeat.    Sometimes, the kids are stuck in the birth canal and I must intervene. I put on the OB gloves, lube and iodine sanitizer, and gently enter the birth canal to untangle heads and limbs and ease them out of the womb into the world.  These movements too have become second nature to me after all these years.  There’s not much time for thinking, just moving and repeating the motions until temporary stability sets in. Then, it’s time to catch some precious sleep.

Fundraiser Campaign: It’s hard for farmers to ask for money.  We are a proud and mostly self-reliant bunch.  Sometimes, though, changes need to happen and improvements need to be made to make the farm grow and be a better place for more people to enjoy.  So, we’re hosting a “raise the roof” fundraiser campaign this spring.  If you CLICK HERE, you can read all about it—our projects, our goals, our donation levels.  This community has been very good to us over the years. We hope you’ll consider making a donation (small or large) to help us take the farm to whole new level. 

Farm Yard Sale: It’s time for spring cleaning at the farm. We’ve got all kinds of stuff we’re ready to part with: fencing, used equipment, a couple of milk bulk tanks without compressors, kitchen stuff, etc.  Come out to the farm this weekend to peruse our stuff—Saturday and Sunday, March 17/18, 11-4 each day.  Everything must go, so we’re making lots of deals.

We have a free-cycle pile too. The farm shop will be open for cheese and gelato sales and we’ll sell some of our well-aged goat manure compost if you bring your own container ($5/5 gallon bucket). 

Spring Open House: Our first spring open house (aka babies and breakfast) is March 24th.  The second one is March 31st (Easter weekend). More details forthcoming next week.  Mark your calendars now.

Babies and Brunch: Starting in April and running through May 12th, we’ll be serving brunch-Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30-1:00.  Check out the menu and the details. 

Special Graduation Dinner & Mother’s Day Brunch: We are offering a special farm to table dinner for graduates and their families on Saturday May 12th AND a local-foods brunch buffet for Mother’s Day. Check out the menu for dinner and/or brunch and book your tickets now! They’re going fast. 

Goat Yoga and Delight Flower Spring bouquet shares: Delight Flower Farm has a lot going on this year. They already have a few early season blooms in their high tunnel!  Maggie Taylor has decided to host yoga with baby goats again this year at the farm.  Right now, she has a few dates in May for goat yoga classes. You can registration on their website: http://delightflowerfarm.com/shop/  They are also offering a limited time “spring bloom bouquet CSA”  Check out all the details as well all the other great things they offer here: DelightFlowerFarm.com

Cheese and Gelato CSA: Want to be a member of a very special club? Consider joining our Cheese and Gelato CSA. CSA stands for "Community Supported Agriculture." This translates to a special relationship between patron and farmer. We provide you with bi-weekly (twice/month) shares of cheese and/or gelato for about 6 months.  Our special discounted pricing is available through the end of March, so if you want to learn more and then sign up, don't delay.  

Dinners on the Farm: Our 2018 season is now posted on our website and ticket sales are LIVE for the entire season.  Take a look at the dates and themes, and book your reservations NOW.  These tickets go fast, so don’t delay.   


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. 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 3/11/2018 7:59pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

In between birthing goat babies, we've been busy finalizing a few more farm to table events for the season.  We've added a special "Graduation Dinner on the Farm-May 12th," a Mother's Day Brunch Buffet and several more "Dinners on the Farm" fall dates. 

Our first spring open house is only a couple of weekends away (March 24th). I'll be back in touch with more farm news and details about spring open house, but I wanted to make sure you all know about these upcoming events, so you can get your tickets now


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. 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 2/23/2018 8:59pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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 Farm News

The winter has been long and true.  The pervasive greyness seems to blanket the entire landscape, from the soggy slumbering soil to the far-off horizon.  Since early January, amidst the backdrop of arctic blasts and northwest fogs, the farm has been on a slow simmer of incubating baby goats.  The first doe kidded this morning---twins.  Artemis (we call her Artie) nonchalantly separated herself at feeding time and dropped her kids in quick succession between pitch-fork loads of haylage being placed in the mangers.  The drip of kidding season has begun, as much as I try to will it to hold off a little longer.  In the next few weeks, the drip will quicken to a torrent. I’m bracing myself for joy and sleep deprivation alike. 

Erica with Artie twins

Erica with the "artie" twins. Blue, our dog, loves to clean the newborns!

Farmers’ Market Sales

We’ve decided to share our first batch of Huckleberry Blue (a special one we made by washing the rinds with a local barley wine) and a few other cheeses aging in our caves.  We’ll be attending Urbana’s Market in the Square tomorrow, Saturday, February 24th from 8:00-12:00.  Defy the late winter gloom and doom and come support your local farmers (Blue Moon Farm will be there too, and we’ll be right next to them). We’ll have:

  • Chevre (frozen): plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Moonglo: late summer/early fall milk makes this batch particularly flavorful
  • Huckleberry Blue with Barley Wine Wash: this raw-goat-milk blue is creamy, slightly sweet, salty and tangy—pretty darn delicious!
  • Pelota Roja: the special “manchego” style cheese we make for Rick Bayless’ restauarants-the rind is rubbed with a guajillo-chili paste. The cheese is sharp and nutty; excellent for grating over warm stews or pasta
  • Gelato: pints of vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel, pistachio and masala chai tea
  • Meats: goat stew meat, goat Merguez sausages
  • PFFC merch: select t-shirts, tea towels, aprons and totes

CSA Sign-Up

Today is National #CSA sign-up day. Since the day is almost over, I’m proclaiming the whole weekend as National CSA sign-up day. If the idea of being a member of a special cheese and gelato club sounds enticing, check out our CSA. We’re running a special discounted price through March, but sign up now to show your love of farmstead and artisan goat cheese!

We’re attending the Champaign-Urbana CSA Fair next Friday, March 2nd, so if you want more details come see us just behind Common Ground Food Coop from 5-7:30 pm.

2018 “Dinners on the Farm” select tickets on sale NOW! We’ve been busy scheming for the upcoming dinner season, and we have several late spring/summer dates and themes fleshed out. We’re pretty excited about the line-up this year! You can visit our website to see all the descriptions and then book reservations through our ShowClix page.

2018 Spring Open Houses and “Goat Babies and Brunch” Goat babies bring milk which brings cheese which brings you our patrons back to the farm. This year’s spring open houses and “babies and brunch” will be run differently than in recent years. Click here to get all the details.   


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. 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 1/10/2018 9:57pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Stasis, maintaining equilibrium with minimum effort; this is our modus operandi in winter.  Subzero temperatures, snow storms, floods and high winds try to push us off our low-energy program. Goats must be fed and watered, hay must be moved from the loft to the barns, water buckets must be cleaned, chicken eggs must be collected, electricity must continue to run, water must continue to flow in pipes, wholesale customers must be satisfied and aging cheeses must be tended.  Thoughts of the season to come emerge, but are pushed back into temporary recesses. 

While the farm is mostly closed to visitors this time of year, we’re breaking hibernation a bit this coming Saturday (January 13th, 8AM to 12 noon), to attend the Urbana Market in the Square.  We have a limited repertoire of cheese:

  • Plain, herbs de Provence and cracked pepper chevre (all frozen)
  • Moonglo

But we also have pints of gelato (yes, you can eat gelato in winter):

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Pistachio
  • Masala Chai Tea
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Salted Caramel
  • Local Ginger

We will also bring some goat stew meat and goat merguez sausages and a few other goodies from the farm.  Blue Moon Farm will be there too. It’s a great way to fight back the doledrums of winter. 

Sign Up for our 2018 Cheese and Gelato CSA Season

Consider signing up for a season’s worth of cheese and gelato.   Our CSA is customizable and flexible—you choose how many pieces of cheese or pints of gelato you want per pick up and then select the types of cheese or flavors of gelato during the season. We have a 3% discount off the total price through the end of February.  Become a member of an exclusive and pampered club and help the farmer too! 


Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. 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 12/21/2017 7:53pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Happy Holidays to All. Thank you for supporting the farm. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Apollo's helping himself to the beverage cart! Time to party!

The winter solstice is upon us. All of our goats are dry and almost all are pregnant.  We're almost ready to begin our own winter "chill," but we're opening the farm up ONE more time for any last minute holiday shoppers or anyone who needs a break from the holiday madness.  The goats are master de-stressers, and who wouldn't love a cup of hot mulled cider.

Farm Open House-Saturday December 23rd 11AM to 3PM

We still have some cheese (limited repertoire) and LOTS of gelato. 

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-better stock up now for the winter—you can freeze our chevre and enjoy it throughout the winter
  • Moonglo: our raw-milk tomme-style cheese, aged for about 4 months.  Semi-firm texture, fruity and sharp flavor notes.  Make yourselves a “fancy” grilled cheese with Moonglo and our onion jam (or caramelized onions). 

Gelato Pint Flavors: Our gelato flavors are the perfect accompaniment to your holiday sweets and desserts! Buy three pints and get a discount:  HOLIDAY SPECIAL—we made a very special batch of pistachio gelato with pure Sicilian pistachio paste. This is a premium flavor ($12/pint versus $10/pin for our regular flavors), but it’s totally worth it! There are only a few pints o pistachio left, so come early.

  • Pistachio
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel
  • Masala Chai Tea (limited)
  • Local Ginger
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Hazelnut
  • Lemon Verbena  

The Real Stand is stocked to the brim with sustainably-raised farm products and local artisan crafts.  In addition to our cheese and gelato, we have pickled veggies jams, meats, sausages, eggs, etc.

To sweeten the pot, we're running a special 10% discount on all PFFC "Merch" (t-shirts, onesies, sweatshirts, cheese boards, notecards, tea towels-anything with our logo).  

 NEW IN THE STORE—locally milled organic wheat flour (2 lb. bags) from “The Mill at Janie’s Farm!” We’re so excited to offer this product to our customers.  The wheat is grown and milled in central IL, right in our own farming backyard. 

Want to get a PFFC gift card for that hard to please person on your gift list? Check out our Credibles card program. 

2018 Cheese and Gelato CSA Season is Open for Sign-Ups--5% discount ends at the end of December-ACT NOW. We welcome returning and NEW members alike.

We’re already planning ahead for next year. If you’re not familiar with the concept of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), think of it as a private farm club. Patrons (CSA members) support the farmer by buying a season’s worth of farm products ahead of time—in our case, cheese and gelato-- and members get treated like royalty with special cheeses and gelato flavors throughout the season. 

If you sign up now or before the end of December, you’ll get a 5% discount off the total price.  Become a member yourself or consider buying a CSA membership for the cheese lover in your life.

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is Hiring

After four glorious seasons, one of our cheese makers is leaving to pursue her own dreams of a small farm. We are looking for a cheese maker to start in early March 2018.  Check out the position description and application details if you’re qualified and interested. 


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 12/14/2017 10:19pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Last Sunday, a lone black and grey pigeon appeared at the entrance to the farm shop, seeming to have dropped randomly out of the sky.  The sight of a pigeon on the farm is incongruous.  It’s like a visit from mid-town Manhattan socialite in heels and a slinky black evening dress.  He/she (we don’t know how to identify the gender of a pigeon but let’s assume it’s a “she” for now) acts as if she knows she is out of place. She is calm yet cautious and stays close to the barn, sifting and pecking at the ground for stray grains of wheat from fallen straw. 

She seems content but lonely. She doesn’t seem to be fearful of humans (or dogs for that matter), causing us to wonder if she is someone’s pet. She isn’t banded, so we’ve ruled out the homing pigeon hypothesis.  We suspect that maybe she was blown in on the fierce winds we’ve been having these past few days and that maybe her wings are damaged.   She seems to be able to fly short distances, but doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get back to wherever she came from.  Her silence deepens the mysteries around her. 

I am beginning to wonder if her sudden appearance has some deeper underlying meaning.  Was she sent here to remind us to care for the stranger among us? Does this urban bird symbolize the encroachment of the city on the farm? Is her loneliness a reminder to keep tabs on the folks who are on their own during the holidays? I have no answers to these questions.  If she decides to stay, we’ll start giving her some chicken feed and welcome her into the rest of the farm family of strays and stragglers. 

Holiday Markets-The Final Push 

There’s not much time left before the holidays descend upon us.  We’re doing our part to keep you and your guests in high-class cheese and gelato. We also have some fantastic local artisan gifts and Prairie Fruits Farm “merch” that make wonderful and unique gifts for the special folks on your lists.  Please come visit us either at the market or at the farm this weekend.

Saturday, December 16th, we’re attending the Urbana “Market in the Square” from 8-12 noon (we are leaving early to head back to the farm). This is our last appearance at the market for the season. Stock up on chevre for the winter or get the perfect trio for your holiday cheese board. We’re running an end of season special on Angel Food: buy one, get a 2nd at 50% off! We’re also bringing our famous (and delicious) spiced pecans to accompany these cheeses:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-better stock up now for the winter—you can freeze our chevre and enjoy it throughout the winter
  • Angel Food:  our little “crottin” style bloomy rind; small enough to eat in one sitting; great warmed with a drizzle of honey; perfect for holiday entertaining
  • Pelota Roja: we saved a wheel of this Rick Bayless cheese exclusive to offer to those patrons who get to the market early enough to snag a wedge. It’s made in the same style (manchego) as our Magia Negra, but the rind is rubbed with a guajillo chile-olive oil paste, giving the cheese a slight piquant flavor from the chiles.
  • Moonglo: our raw-milk tomme-style cheese, aged for about 4 months.  Semi-firm texture, fruity and sharp flavor notes.  Make yourselves a “fancy” grilled cheese with Moonglo and our onion jam (or caramelized onions). 

Gelato Pint Flavors: Our gelato flavors are the perfect accompaniment to your holiday sweets and desserts! Buy three pints and get a discount:  HOLIDAY SPECIAL—we made a very special batch of pistachio gelato with pure Sicilian pistachio paste. This is a premium flavor ($12/pint versus $10/pin for our regular flavors), but it’s totally worth it!

  • Pistachio
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel
  • Masala Chai Tea (limited)
  • Fruitti di Bosco (limited)
  • Local Ginger
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Hazelnut
  • Lemon Verbena  

Farm Happenings-The Real Stand

The farm is OPEN—weekends, 1-4 pm now through Sunday December 17th.  Depending on our mood, we might also be open on Saturday, December 23rd, and we’ll let you know next week if that’s the case. The Real Stand is stocked to the brim with sustainably-raised farm products and local artisan crafts.  We have cheese, gelato, lots of pickled veggies, jams, meats, sausages, eggs, etc.

In addition to the unique and beautiful gifts you’ll find, we are also selling holiday wreaths by Delight Flower FarmNEW IN THE STORE—locally milled organic wheat flour (2 lb. bags) from “The Mill at Janie’s Farm!” We’re so excited to offer this product to our customers.  The wheat is grown and milled in central IL, right in our own farming backyard. 

Saturday, the 16th, we’ll be offering winter holiday hay rides—1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 (20 person capacity per ride).  The weather should be mild, but we have blankets to cover you up and keep you warm.  We take folks to a part of the farm that most seldom get to see-the eastern edge of our property where the goats browse on the restored prairie and riparian hedge.  It’s quite beautiful. Hay ride costs: $5/adult and $3/children (children less than 1 yr. old are free).  After your ride, come into the farm shop and warm up with a cup of mulled hot cider (thank you Curtis Orchard).  Check out all the details on our FACEBOOK events page. 

If you can’t make it out on Saturday, no worries-we’re open Sunday, December 17th 1-4 pm too! Come out to join Delight Flower Farm for one of their workshops (herbal salve making workshop OR final wreath making workshop) and then grab some warm mulled cider or a cup of espresso and gelato and RELAX at the farm for a while.  The goats will be happy to get some extra lovin’ before the season ends. 

2018 Cheese and Gelato CSA Season is Open for Sign-Ups

We’re already planning ahead for next year. If you’re not familiar with the concept of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), think of it as a private farm club. Patrons (CSA members) support the farmer by buying a season’s worth of farm products ahead of time—in our case, cheese and gelato-- and members get treated like royalty with special cheeses and gelato flavors throughout the season.  If you sign up now or before the end of December, you’ll get a 5% discount off the total price.  Become a member yourself or consider buying a CSA membership for the cheese lover in your life.

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is Hiring

After four glorious seasons, one of our cheese makers is leaving to pursue her own dreams of a small farm. We are looking for a cheese maker to start in early March 2018.  Check out the position description and application details if you’re qualified and interested. 


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.