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A long day in the spring life, farm happenings and events

Posted 3/15/2018 9:40pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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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.