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Blue is the color of my true love's hair, Market offerings and Farm happenings

Posted 10/5/2017 10:18pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

The planned chaos that is breeding season is in full swing at the farm.  This year’s nuptial arrangements are a bit complicated.  We have four breeding groups—the two Nubian bucks, Nate and Rik, have a dozen or so partners each, while the two La Mancha bucks-BJ (our new guy from Iowa) and Lentil have somewhere between 12-25 betrotheds. We also have a group of retiring does still in milk who are not being bred.  Normally, the kid barn is spared from the mayhem of goat mating rituals, but the doe barn just isn’t big enough to handle all these groups. 

Milking and feeding chores now take almost twice as long as normal.  Moving groups to and from their breeding pens without “incident” is a gift. Invariably, a doe in heat decides she’d rather be with a buck other than her chosen one, making a beeline for the lusty boy, instead of sauntering up the ramp to the milking parlor.  While they’re being escorted to and from the kid barn, if there’s a chink in the “armor” keeping does from a grain bin, they will find it. 

In an attempt to minimize confusion and monitor the progression of breeding, we’ve given each buck a breeding harness, complete with a marking crayon. The crayon is inserted into a holder on the chest so that when the buck mounts the doe, he leaves a color marking on her back side.  Each caprine cassanova has a different color-orange for BJ, green for Lentil, blue for Nate and yellow for Rik.  Lentil, in his first season as a breeder, has been a busy boy, based on the number of green-butted does in his pen. I’ve caught him napping soundly on a couple of afternoons this week (his slumber was so sound, I actually had to check to make sure he was breathing); no doubt exhausted from his single-minded job. 

Not only can we track how productive each buck has been, the colors let us know who has been with whom. If a sneaky doe ends up with an unintended partner, her backside color will be betray her dalliance.  Girls being girls, especially girls in heat, the color markings don’t always stay where they first land.  We seem to have a lot of blue-faced goats making their way to the milking parlor. 

Farmers’ Market Offerings: We’ll be attending the Urbana Market at the Square this Saturday, October 7th.  This is the last week for dried tomato chevre-it’s now or never.  All flavors of chevre can be frozen for enjoyment later.

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper, dried tomato
  • Angel Food:  our little “crottin” style bloomy rind; small enough to eat in one sitting; paste is firm (it’s young) and this cheese is perfect with a tart jam
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert; perfect served with local honey
  • Black Goat: our ash-coated bloomy with a hint of yeast on the rind; try our ACS award winning cheese
  • 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
  • Moonglo: our raw-milk tomme-style cheese, aged for about 4 months.  Semi-firm texture, fruity and sharp flavor notes.  Ask for a taste and you’ll be smitten.
  • Goat Milk Yogurt: Available in both pints and quarts

Gelato: take home a few pints this week (try our “three pint special: buy 3, get $3 off the total price! 

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel
  • Stracciatella
  • Fruitti di Bosco
  • Turtle
  • Grape two ways Sorbetto
  • Red Currant
  • Pineapple sage

Farm Happenings

Farm Open Hours:  We are now open only on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 PM).  We know that fall is a busy time, with kids back in school and work demands beckoning. If you need a little break from the hustle and bustle, come out to the farm.  It can be a very tranquil place in the early fall. There are still lots of things growing, and the goats love visitors any time of the year.

The Real Stand is open for business, offering cheese, gelato, meats, eggs and other farm products.  Check out our fall offerings: pumpkins and squashes from The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur! We also have a few of their gorgeous potted mums. 

Fall Festival: Come out to the farm this Sunday, October 8th (3-6 pm)—hay rides, cider pressing, cider drinking, light snacks, including a special appearance by Lucky Pierre bakers-doughnuts and muffins.  You can find all the details on our Facebook events page.

We are planning to offer several classes and workshops later this fall (November)—cheese pairings with wine and beer and demystifying cheese for sure.  Stay tuned for details and dates.

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. The detour is in effect until November.  

Farm Dinners: Tickets to both seatings of the October 14th “Pizza Night Out” dinner are still available but they’re going FAST.   

NEWS FLASH: two new farm to table events featuring Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery:  

Brunch on the Stage at the Virginia Theatre—SUNDAY OCTOBER 15TH.  We’re so excited to partner up with the Virginia to offer a farm to table brunch, complete with music by Sam Payne and select readings by yours truly.  There’s not much time to sign up, and seating is limited, so check out the menu and book your reservations now.  You’ll also get a behind the scenes tour of the historic theatre.   

If you can’t leave the city for the farm, why not bring the farm to the city? The Café at Local Foods Grocers in Chicago is crafting a five-course meal featuring many of the products raised on our farm. The event will be held at Local Foods on Saturday, October 21st.  The menu is sublime, and they even have optional wine pairings.  Here’s the link to their Facebook event page where you can get all the details: https://www.facebook.com/events/146892029254488/ 
You can also just go directly to their ticket purchasing page.


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.