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Yoga with goats, june is purple with lavender and other farm happenings

Posted 6/15/2017 11:03pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

This week we hosted the second “Yoga with Goats” class on the farm.  It so happens that Maggie, one of the women who owns Delight Flower Farm (they rent land from us), happens to be a yoga instructor.  She approached us about offering yoga classes on the farm, and, with the viral social media postings of goat yoga from other parts of the country, we decided we had to try it for ourselves. 

On the surface, yoga and goats are seemingly incongruent. Yoga practice encourages us to focus inward: breath, posture, mindfulness and intention.  Goats, especially baby goats, are free-spirited, extremely social, completely NOT mindful and mostly mischievous.  With a slight threat of thunderstorms, baby goats pranced on the patio, skipping to and from practitioners on mats forcing folks to engage outward. Most of the class members vacillated between poses and petting; some were jolted out of self-reflection as goat kids nibbled on toes, climbed on downward dog posers or chewed on child’s pose hair.  The ultimate distraction came when a few of the goats decided to relieve themselves on the yoga mats (nothing a little wipe couldn’t clean up). 

 goat yoga

Yet the contradictions between goats and yoga practitioners brought levity to the class.  I could see their desire to connect with such playful engaging creatures was their form of relaxation and intention. I realized that I need to be more mindful of this bond that I have come to take for granted. 

June is lavender season.  Lavender is not a crop typical of our climate or landscape, yet I have come to relish the time when the purple buds burst open and the little lavender farm nearby (Sharp’s Crossing) lets us know it’s time to pick lavender for gelato.  This year, Sarah, our gelato maker, got to experience the joy of cutting stems, buds barely opened, tranquilizing aromas wafting from the beds.  Fresh lavender washed and plunged into warm gelato base; steeped to extract the subtle flavor, local honey added to sweeten the mix.  Honey Lavender gelato is ready for prime time.

Farmers’ Markets

This week, we’re attending both the Urbana Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market. We have a full house of our goat milk cheeses, but yogurt is on vacation this week.

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—summer deliciousness on a salad
  • Fresh Ricotta: mild, soft and sweet-use it for savory and sweet dishes alike.
  • Raw-milk Feta: Packed in whey brine for flavor and preservation, this cheese is perfect for summer salads, grilled veggies and home-made pizzas!
  • Angel Food: our little compact bloomy rind—firm paste; great with some homemade rhubarb jam
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert. Our favorite chefs love to put this cheese on the grill to give it a light smoke. OMG
  • Black Goat: our ash-coated bloomy with a hint of yeast on the rind; it is perfect on a baguette with a drizzle of local honey; some of these are really ripe and gooey, so if you like them that way, just ask.
  • Moonglo: these raw-milk tomme wedges are the last of the late fall-milk batches. Get ‘em while they last. The spring batches won’t be ready for another 2-3 weeks.
  • Magia Negra: our nod to a Manchego style cheese, sharp nutty notes with hints of tart berries. Rind is rubbed with an olive oil-black currant & aronia berry paste. 
  • Huckleberry Blue: the last of the raw-goat-milk blue made last December. This cheese is creamy, sweet & salty—the most flavorful blue in central IL.

We will have crackers for you to accompany those cheeses- oat chevre, whole wheat-buckwheat and herbed flatbread.

If you bring an insulated bag or a small cooler, you’ll be able to take home several pints of gelato without worrying that they’ll melt. We have a GREAT selection this week (* are flavors for both Urbana and Green City Market-GCM):

  • Honey Lavender*
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Fresh Mint (GCM only)*
  • Salted Caramel Swirl*
  • Espresso
  • Local Strawberry (made with fresh strawberries from Meyer Produce)* VERY LIMITED
  • Mint Stracciatella (fancy for “chocolate chip”; chocolate is from Ethereal Chocolate-an IL bean to bar chocolatier in Woodstock IL)
  • Blueberry-Lemon Balm Swirl*
  • Blueberry-Meyer Lemon Sorbetto (GCM only)*

CU Farmers

Online Farmers Market with two outdoor pick up locations; weekly ordering opens Friday (6/16) at 8:00 AM through Monday, 6/19, 10 PM)

Blue Moon Farm, Bane Family Meats and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery have teamed up to offer the CU Community an online farmers’ market.  If you can’t make it to the markets on Saturday, or you just don’t want to fight the crowds, consider CU Farmers.  It is simple, convenient and comprehensive (veggies, meats, eggs, cheese and gelato).  You won’t find a better deal on some of the highest quality local foods around. Here’s how it works:

1) Go to the website and set up an account or log in if you have one already

2) Order products from Friday (8AM) through the following Monday (10 PM). Select your pick up location (one in Champaign, one in Urbana) before you check out.  Pay online with a credit card.

3) Farmers fulfill your orders and bring them to two pick up locations on Wednesdays for you to pick up (5-6 PM for both locations)

4) Pick up locations are either Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign on Prospect Avenue OR the east parking lot of Lincoln Square Mall in front of Common Ground Food Co-op.   

Farm Happenings

Farm Summer Hours: Summer hours are a great way to see the farm without the crowds.  We are open for you to purchase cheese, gelato (pints and single servings both), local farm products and PFFC “merch.”  NEW in the shop: edible flowers from Delight Flower Farm. Open hours are:

  • Wednesdays, 3-6 PM
  • Fridays, 11 AM to 6 PM
  • Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 PM

Don't forget to follow directions to the farm from our website. This will ensure easy travels during the road construction on N. Lincoln Avenue.

June Dairy Days-Saturday, June 17th 2-5 PM

June is National Dairy Month, and central Illinois’ dairies will be well represented at the farm. Hosted by Champaign County Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Leaders and organized by our cheese maker, Lynn Doran, there will be something for everyone. Check out all the details on Facebook.

Friday, June 23 (5-7 PM) will be our third Family Friendly Happy Hour on the farm. Come out to enjoy a summer evening at the farm-bring yourself or your whole family. NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. We’ll have local microbrews available as well as wines by the bottle or glass (all of our wines are either organic or biodynamic and our prices are VERY reasonable).  For the non-alcohol drinkers, we’ll have Homer Sodas available and iced mint tea. Grab some cheese, a wedge of Pekara Bakery baguette, charcuterie from Smoking Goose, a jar of Autumn Berry Jam and farm-made treats (pickled asparagus, ramps and mushrooms anyone?) and you’ve got some delicious local food snacks to accompany your beverages.  Sarah will be making her highly addictive popcorn made with Serverson Farm organic popcorn, nutritional yeast and truffle salt.  Other foods and music will be announced next week. 

Twin Silos Farm “Second Annual Lavender Festival (June 24-25; 9-5 each day). The festival features 10 varieties for U-Pick lavender ($5 small and $7 large bundles), a bee presentation at 2 p.m., Saturday. A special treat will be "Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery" honey/lavender gelato made with Twin Silos Farm's honey. Admission is free. The farm is located at 1090 Bucks Pond Road, Monticello, IL, just off of interstate 72, (take exit 172, IL 10/Clinton exit, head west toward Clinton, left on 1100 E/Bucks Pond Road, third house on the right). If you are using your GPS, satellite coordinates see the farm driveway as 1090 Randy’s Road and the house as 1090 Bucks Pond Rd, Monticello, IL. Visit us on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/TwinSilosFarm.MonticellsIL/

Farm Dinner Updates July dates feature the best burger you’ll ever eat (courtesy of the chefs from Sunday Dinner Club) AND a very special fish & chips fry featuring invasive species (cooked to perfection by Chef Raquel Aikman-Ritz)-curious? Check them out

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.