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A farmer's take on Thanksgiving, Market Offerings, Farm Happenings

Posted 11/15/2018 7:17pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

I awoke to three inches of snow on the ground this morning; another sign of seasons short-changed.  Blue, the dog, can’t hide his glee with the white stuff; he lies in the middle of the driveway, ears erect, immune to the cold. The does, on the other hand, huddle in the barn doorway, reluctant to trot the short distance to the milking parlor. 

As we approach the thanksgiving holiday, I reflect on what has given me cause for thanks this year. I am thankful for the beautiful goats who give us luscious milk day in-day out. I am thankful for their rich manure that we turn into compost that fertilizes our prairie soils.  I am thankful for the creative and hard-working people who have called Prairie Fruits Farm their place of employment this year (and in years past).  Their dedication to a job well done makes the farm hum.  I am thankful for the seasonality of work, especially this time of year as the pace slows down.  I am thankful for the community that sustains us, in more ways than one. 

A Note about the Newsletter: Since next week is a holiday, I will not be sending out my weekly newsletter. I will be sending out a brief email reminder next Friday with updates about farm open hours and offerings.

Market Offerings

Our Urbana Market in the Square attendance is as follows:

  • November 17th 
  • December 22nd

Our booth is located in the south hall of Lincoln Square Mall, between Blue Moon Farm and Illinois Willows. The market hours are 8 am to 1 pm (we will be there until 12:30 so we can get back to the farm to open the store at 1 pm.).  

If you would like to get our cheeses and other farm products from November 24th through December 15th, please come to our farm store during our open hours (see details below).

Here’s the cheese line up for this Saturday:

Fresh chevreplain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late summer/early fall milk is making some rich chevre-start stocking up and throw some in your freezer for winter

Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in a whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chili.  

Spiced Feta in Extra Virgin Olive Oil-just in time for the holidays, this ready-made appetizer is perfect with some crusty bread and a jar of fancy pickles.

Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch is has achieved that perfectly gooey ripe stage. Pick up one of our “baked brie kits” featuring little bloom and impress your holiday guests.

Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  It is ripening nicely. This cheese pairs well with sliced pears and a drizzle of local honey or try with reduced balsamic vinegar syrup. 

Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a lighter, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.

Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower.

Gelato: If you’re looking for a perfect accompaniment to pie, try our gelato. We only have pints of vanilla and red currant sorbetto left. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops of several other flavors at the farm during open hours.

Other Market Treats: 

  • Spiced Candied Pecans
  • Jarred Goat Milk Cajeta (a Mexican style caramel sauce with cinnamon)

Farm Store Fall Hours

Currently, we are open: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm.  

During Farm Open Hours you can visit with the goats and shop in our farm store “The Real Stand.” In addition to our cheese and gelato, we’ve got pasture-raised meats and poultry from Bane Family Meats, frozen artisan sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co. (Bernie’s Classic Sweet, Cantalupo and Chicken Apple are back in stock as well as bulk chorizo sausage), jams and pickled veggies by Sarah (our former gelato maker), locally-grown and milled flours by The Mill at Janie’s Farm and much more.

Stay awhile and "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, our own house-made jams or pickled veggies, grab some Central IL Bake-house or Bread Co. baguette bread and we’ll provide the board. Enjoy with a glass of wine or local micro-brew.

In addition to the regular offerings, we now feature warm cafe drinks.

Goat Cajeta Latte
Goat Cajeta Affogato
Goat Cajeta Steamer
Goat Milk Mocha
Goat Milk Hot Chocolate

OTHER FEATURED ITEMS IN THE STORE

Delight Flower Farm Tulsi Tea-Tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.

PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 

Eggs from Pastured Hens (Bane Family Meats)

Apples from Red Crib Acres: Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 

Two Million Blooms Honey: we have 1 lb. squeeze bottles and 4 oz. and 1 lb. fancy bottles for sale.  Their honey is beautiful and sweet.

Farm Dinners

I encourage you to book your tickets now for the remaining date (December 8th). There are only six seats left. It will be an early winter holiday celebration themed meal.  The chef’s inspiration for the menu is the classic foreign (Danish) film “Babette’s Feast.” We’ll be showing the film (silently) during the dinner.

Fall Weeknight Classes

We’ll be offering a series of evening classes in November and December: wine, spirits & cheese, beer & cheese, cheese basics and cheese board building. Registration is now open and seating is limited to 30 people per class (Wednesday evenings, 6-8 pm): November 28th and December 12th. Sign up NOW! We need at least 10 participants to hold a class.

Holiday Time on the Farm

Once again, we will be transforming our farm store for the holidays. We’ll have locally-made gifts and delicious foods fresh from the farms. We will try to create a tranquil environment for those of you seeking a place to get some reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

The “Holiday Goat Photo Booth” returns on the following dates, 1 to 4 pm each date:

November 24th

December 1st

December 8th

Bring your friends, your family or just yourselves and have your pictures taken with our festive holiday goats. This year, we will be taking high quality digital photos (using digital cameras, not phones) for visitors and charging $5/photo. We’ll get your email address before we take the picture and then email you the pictures to craft your holiday cards or digital holiday photo greetings.

Saturday December 1st and 8th we will also be offering a special holiday pop-up café. Stay tuned for hours, menu items and other 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.