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The big farm dry out, Farmers' Markets and Farm Events

Posted 7/16/2015 10:00pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

The pock-marked landscape that has been filled with stagnant water is beginning to return to its normal summer colors of brown and green.  We had built a board walk out to the kid’s outdoor play area so they wouldn’t get caked in mud. The standing water was so high at one point, the board walk was submerged. Now, they can run at lightning speed over the boards out to their “jungle gym” with clean hooves. 

The milking does were barn-bound during the torrential downpours. This week, they ventured back out to the pasture to graze.  Their enthusiasm for grazing led them up and over the compost pile into the orchard. Luckily, someone was working in the orchard, and we were able to coerce them back toward the barn with grain before too many peaches were eaten.  They did manage to chow down some blackberry leaves.  Our recovering blackberries will now have to recover again.

Speaking of peaches, the heat and humidity have caused our Red Haven and Sweet Sixteen peaches to swell and blush.  The crop is looking luscious.  We should be close to picking in week or two.  We will let folks know when U-pick season is upon us. 

Farmers’ Market Goodies

We’ll be attending both Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market on Saturday, July 18th.  It will be hot, but don’t let the weather deter your local foods shopping.  We have lots of great cheese on hand. Just bring a cooler or insulated bag (or you can buy an insulated “totes ma goats” from us) to keep your cheese cool. 

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh Ricotta: I’ve made a few copies of a recent NY Times recipe entitled “Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Ricotta and Basil.” Except for the dry pasta and a little lemon zest, you should be able to get all your ingredients at the farmers’ market. I made a version of this with grilled zucchini (and I added some grilled eggplant too) and it was sublime. We’ll have copies of it to give out at both farmers’ markets.
  • Feta: Our whey-brine aged feta is the perfect foil for summer foods—feta & watermelon salad, grilled veggies topped with crumbled feta, feta with mayo on sweet corn
  • Black Goat: This batch is perfectly ripe and ready for enjoying this weekend.  It’s back to its gooey self and is begging to be slathered on a hunk of baguette topped with tomato and basil.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: Our camembert-style bloomy rind works its magic when paired with a tart summer jam and a glass of sparkling rose.
  • Moonglo:  our raw milk tomme made with spring milk—fruity, nutty, complex—it’s that simple
  • Huckleberry Blue: creamy and nutty—it’s a perfect adornment to a summer salad

Don’t forget to pick up some farmstead crackers to go with those cheeses you’ll be buying. And treat yourself to some salted goat-milk caramels too. 

Cool off with gelato; we’ll have most of these in pints and several in single servings (*):

  • Vanilla*
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut)*
  • Strawberry Cheesecake (local strawberries and chevre—a match made in frozen dessert heaven)
  • Thai Basil
  • Fresh Mint*
  • Salted Caramel Swirl*
  • Berry Sangria Sorbetto (loaded with fruits including aronia berry and red currant)
  • Red Currant Sorbetto

Farm Events

We have a lot going on at the farm these days. Mark your calendars or make your reservations now. Don't forget to follow directions to get around the road construction detour to the farm.

Friday, July 17th: Third Friday Pop-Up “Burgers and Brats” and Ryan Groff of Elsinore; 5:30 to 7:30 pm—NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Saturday, July 18th: Author of “Land of Milk and Uncle Honey,” Alan Guebert, will visit the farm, read from his book and sign copies for guests. We’ll give you a little nosh of cheese and gelato while you converse with the author.  4-6PM. Just come on out to the farm--should be VERY entertaining.

Sunday, July 19th: 1:30 to 4:30 Tasting Trail: “A tale of two milks” The tour starts at Ludwig  Farmstead Creamery and ends at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  If you really want to see how each creamery makes their cheeses, this is THE tour for you. Please make reservations NOW so we know how many people to expect.

Thursday, July 23rd: Rhine Hall Brandy Tasting with Small Plates; 6-8 PM. Meet artisan distiller Jenny Soldberg and taste some beautiful brandies alongside dishes prepared by our chef Alisa.  Reserve your spot NOW!

Saturday, July 25th: Mexico on the Prairie Farm Dinner—due to a cancellation, this sold-out dinner now has a few (3) seats left. Better grab them while you can.  We also have four seats open to our Backyard BBQ dinner on August 15th.   

Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.