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Blushing peaches, market offerings and farm happenings

Posted 7/19/2018 9:44pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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 Farm News

As we took stock of the fruit set and the sizing of the peaches a couple of weeks ago, it was hard to hold down the disappointment.  Our Red Havens, usually flush with pinking peaches, barely had any fruits. Our Harrow’s Beauty, another robust variety with soft-ball sized peaches, had none.  The Reliance (aptly named) have a respectable crop, as do the Belle of Georgia (a later ripening white variety). 

ripe peaches

This week, as the confluence of heat and humidity swirled around the ripening globes, their color went from pale yellow-chartreuse to reddish yellow.  Their vibrancy against the back drop of the shiny green peach leaves is eye popping.  As we enter into the season of peach harvest, I am drawn back to a poem one of our patrons sent me a few years ago.  I thought I would share it.

From Blossoms”

From blossoms comes This brown paper bag of peaches

we bought from the boy

at the bend in the road where we turned toward

signs painted peaches.

from laden boughs, from hands,

from sweet fellowship in the bins,

comes nectar at the roadside, succulent

peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,

comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,

to carry within us an orchard, to eat

not only the skin, but the shade,

not only the sugar, but the days, to hold

the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into

the round jubilance of peach.

These are days we live

as if death were nowhere

in the background, from joy

to joy to joy, from wing to wing,

from blossom to blossom to

impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

By Li- Young Lee

Text Message Customer Loyalty Program:  Given that we basically got rained out at the market last week, I am running the gelato special again for our text fans. To get the message with the special info, you’ll need to sign up: text either “GOAT” or “URBANA” or “FARMSTORE” to 30500 to sign up. 

Farmers’ Market Offerings –Cheese is an easy meal in the hot weather

This Saturday’s forecast for Urbana is cool (relatively speaking), with a slight chance of showers. Let’s hope the second part of the forecast holds off for the morning. Even if we get a little of the wet stuff, just don your raincoat or carry an umbrella. The silver lining to those cloudy skies is that you won’t have to wait in long lines to get all that peak of the summer produce!

Here’s the cheese line up for Saturday:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Goat Milk Feta: Summer is “feta season!” We are now making our feta with pasteurized milk. It’s still aged in whey brine, imparting all the wonderful complex flavors you’ve come to expect from our feta.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch is perfectly ripe, bordering on gooey this weekend.  Nice delicate rind with hints of mushroom.
  • Angel Food: our little “mini-brie” or crottin style bloomy rind; this batch of Angel Food is still young, but has nice flavor.  It could be sliced into rounds, lightly breaded and pan-fried for topping a bed of fresh greens.
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This batch is perfectly ripe, and it has a sublime fudgy consistency, a slight goat tang and a hint of yeastiness on the rind. 
  • Moonglo: fall-milk, tomme-style cheese; the texture of this semi-hard cheese is soft and supple like Gouda, but the taste is sharp and fruity. Ask for a taste if you’ve never had it before. Try melting it for a gourmet 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). This cheese is great crumbled on a salad, sliced and warmed on a steak or burger OR served on baguette with a fig jam or walnut balsamic vinegar reduction (this is an amazing combination).

INTRODUCING a new cheese: “Blushing Goat” This little washed rind cheese is bathed in wash of kombucha beer for a little over one month.  The result is a vibrant rind, slightly sweet & salty paste with a hint of beer on the finish.  Try a slice on a baguette drizzled with honey OR a perfectly sliced heirloom tomato drizzled with olive oil. 

Gelato: We’ve got a good quantity of with gelato and sorbetto this week.  I encourage you to bring a cooler with ice packs to the market to keep your gelato in tip top shape as you travel from the market to your home.

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Fresh Mint
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Buttered Pecan (made with Voss Orchard Pecans)
  • Thai Basil
  • Nectarine Sorbetto (with nectarines from Milleur Orchard)
  • Peach Sorbetto (with peaches from Milleur Orchard)
  • Lemon Sorbetto

DON’T FORGET: we have a new spot at the farmers’ market--Urbana Market at the Square. We are in spot #20 on the south-west (along Illinois Street) end of the market. We are right next to Moore Family Farm.

Farm Store Summer Hours Now through the end of August, we are open Wednesdays-Fridays, 3-7 pm, as well as Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm.

The farm is a tranquil green space where you can come after work to unwind. During our open hours, you can savor a scoop of gelato or “build your own” cheese boards—pick out your cheeses, add a stick of salami (Underground Meats) or a jar of jam from Autumn Berry Inspired or pickled veggies, grab some Lucky Pierre bagel chips and we’ll provide the board. You can sit outside under our new pavilion roof and enjoy a glass of wine or beer with cheese! We have lots of shades spots to get you out of the hot sun.  Want to go the total sweet route? How about a root-beer float with a scoop of our gelato?

Need to de-stress? Come visit with the goats. They love to be petted, even in the warm weather.  Shop in our farm store: “The Real Stand.” We’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co., pickled veggies and pestos by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more. 

NEW in the Store! Fresh sweet corn from Babb Farms. Their corn is tender and sweet, and ready for your grill or stock pot. 

 U-PICK: We have enough peaches to offer some U-pick opportunities this weekend. You can come out to the farm during our regular farm store hours, and we’ll show you where to pick.

Farm Dinners: Believe it or not, we still have a few seats left for our “Southern Style Seafood Boil” and our “Summer Vegetarian” farm dinners.  The menus are posted on our website; I encourage you to book your tickets now. To sweeten the pot (the boiling pot that is), we're teaming up with Moon Grove Farm (a new farm B&B) to offer out-of-town guests special rates for the July 21st Farm Dinner. Check out their deals. The farm is gorgeous in the summer, there usually is a breeze and it’s a magical place to enjoy a hyper-local farm-to-table meal.   

Back by Popular Demand (by ME!): Night of the Living Farm Tuesday, August 28th 7:30 or 8:00 pm start time (will depend on sunset)

Join entomologists Dr. Michael Jeffords, Susan Post, and Dr. Joe Spencer from the Illinois Natural History Survey, for a unique exploration of the insects and other creatures that call Prairie Fruits Farm home. As the skies darken, Michael will give a short program on creatures of the night, followed by black-lighting to attract insects from the surrounding landscape. Insects from mayflies to moths are likely to make an appearance. As soon as the sky is sufficiently dark, we will explore the surrounding forest and prairie with miniature spotlights to see and experience Arthropod activity seldom witnessed. Everything from giant wolf spiders to munching caterpillars to charming tree frogs will likely appear in our flashing beams.

We will charge a nominal fee of $10/person (includes a scoop of gelato).  We will be creating an event page on Facebook and a registration page. For now, just save the date.   

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.