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Erecting a pavilion, farmers' market news and farm happenings

Posted 8/17/2017 10:51pm by Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.

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Farm News

This week, we built a pavilion.  I should clarify. We erected the timber frame, the bones of a pavilion.  The timbers, cut with precision by Trillium Dell Timberworks, arrived on a flatbed trailer. Like Lincoln logs on steroids, the pieces were laid out in sections, each with numbers corresponding to a detailed assembly drawing.  After the unload, measurements were made and remade.  As we poured over the drawing, the work crew captain gave us the basic game plan for assembly.  I tried to make my brain connect the dots between the giant timbers before us and the beautiful building on paper, but alas, my brain is not wired to make these connections easily.  As such, I was relegated to simple tasks: shoveling piles of dirt off the patio, staining the timbers with oil, helping to move the large pieces of wood into place and taking lots and lots of pictures. 

The more nimble and agile among us set to work erecting scaffolding and securing the main beams in place once erected.  The crew leaders marveled at the skill and strength of the mostly female work crew we had assembled.  As the high-wire work ensued, they climbed the scaffolding without fanfare, hard-hats and security straps in place and got to work aligning the cross-beams, drilling in the screws and pounding in the wooden pegs.  After two and a half very long days, and lots of sweat and sunburned skin (and lots of water and gelato breaks), the skeleton was in place.  The structure is tall and majestic in its simplicity.  Take a look at some of the pictures we took: https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipO9hgQIAs6Ovwpn9HRsdF2Qg0jZSSJ9Qjy__b-a

Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending one market this Saturday, Urbana’s Market at the Square. The weather should be perfect again for shopping, and the market is brimming with amazing summer produce. Our cheeses go well with the savory and sweet

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-grab some heirloom tomatoes and basil and make yourselves a goat caprese salad
  • Raw-milk Feta: Packed in whey brine for flavor and preservation, this cheese is perfect for a summer “Greek” salad. With watermelon in season, how about feta & watermelon salad??
  • Angel Food: our little compact bloomy rind—firm paste, mushroomy rind
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert, it’s pretty gooey this week-try some on a burger
  • Black Goat: our ash-coated bloomy with a hint of yeast on the rind; this latest batch perfectly ripe!
  • 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 spring batches have a lighter, fruitier flavor profile than our rich & decadent fall batches.  In addition to the picture perfect wedges, we are selling some discounted wedges that have some rind imperfections.  These are strictly cosmetic cracks that occurred when we had some temperature fluctuations in our aging room this spring.

No crackers or yogurt this week

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

  • Pineapple Sage with Fresh Pineapple
  • Chevre with Sea Salted Dark Chocolate
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Red Currant
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Salted Caramel Swirl

Farm Happenings

Farm Summer Hours:  Summer is almost over (man, did it go by fast), so if you haven’t made it out to the farm during our open hours, don’t delay. Our week-day AND weekend hours are a great way to visit the farm when there aren’t lots of people here.  Take in the tranquility of the landscape and enjoy a scoop of gelato in the shade.

Shop the Real Stand Farm store for cheese, meats, eggs, and gelato.  We still have Babb Farms, sweet corn! It’s tender and sweet, and it’s grown just up the road from our farm (this weekend is probably going to be the last opportunity to get their delicious bi-colored corn). We also have local honey by “Two Million Blooms.” It’s spring honey, so the color is a light golden. It’s really delicate and floral.  We also have Autumn Berry Jam—this tart jam will go splendidly with any of our bloomy rind cheeses.  We have a brand new batch of goat milk soaps for sale too. 

Peaches are done for the season (late varieties succumbed to insect damage and brown rot), but stay tuned for apple picking. 

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.

Family Friendly Happy Hour on the Farm: Friday August 18th 5-7 PM. 

This is the second to last summer happy hour of the season (last one is September 1st).  The weather should be perfect for an early evening outing at the farm. We’ve got a great new selection of small-batch regional microbrews from Pollyanna, Middle Brow and Unity Vibration.  We also scored the last few cases of Triptych’s Prairie Peach Picnic farmhouse ale (made with last year’s PFF peaches), so try some as peach beer float (with vanilla gelato).  We have an amazing portfolio of organic and biodynamic wines if beer isn’t your thing.

Chef Raquel Ritz will be standing over a hot grill to serve up some fried fish and pulled cabrito sandwiches.  This week’s cheese boat features angel food, house-made crackers and a dollop of autumn berry jam.  Of course, we’ll have pickle plates, popcorn and DIY cheese and charcuterie options as well. Guest musicians,

Chickadee Sermon, will be here to serenade you.   Finish the night with a scoop of gelato or a root beer or Prairie Peach Picnic ale float. 

You can even come out and do some shopping-cheese, gelato, veggies grown at the farm by Deux Chevaux Farm (our incubator veggie growers).  They’re featuring vine-ripened tomatoes and basil to put with a tub of chevre for an instant caprese-style salad!! The hot dry weather is giving the tomatoes the richest flavor!!

We’ll be doing a drawing for TWO FREE TICKETS to our Pizza Night Out Pop-Up dinner on October 14th.  You must be present to enter (one ticket per person please). 

Dinners on the Farm

The opportunities for reserving a seat at one of our farm to table meals are dwindling. We now have two dinners with seats open: September 30th “Celebration of Squash” with guest chef Nicole Pederson of Found Restaurant, Evanston, IL and guest farmer, Mac Condill, of The Great Pumpkin Patch.  If you attended one of our dinners with Mac in the past, you know you’re in for an entertaining AND scrumptious evening.  The Pop-up Pizza Night Out” with Sunday Dinner Club Chefs is the last of their series with us (October 14th). This casual meal will feature chef Josh Kulp’s famous ‘square pizzas,’ made with love and plenty of local-ingredient toppings.  They’ll be cooked to perfection on our wood-fired grill. 

Fall on the Farm: We’ve been scheming about a few fall special events for the farm. Apple picking and cider pressing are definitely on the docket. Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks.  

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.