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Legacy in the genes, Babies & Brunch and Other Farm Happenings

Posted 4/12/2018 7:19pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

One of our two-year old first-fresheners (freshening refers to giving birth and coming into milk) kidded this past weekend, just before our “Babies & Brunch.”  Couscous, the great-grand-daughter of our foundation doe, Chippewa (the namesake for our farm logo-mascot “Chippy”), gave birth to twin does.  One of these little does may well continue the legacy of high butterfat milk, longevity and matronly manner on our farm. When your memory is stretched to push back into the great or great-great grandmother lineages, you know you’ve been in the goat business a long time. 

We have several genetic lines like this one. They harken back to the early days when we had no idea what we were doing with breeding. We did our research, tried to buy foundation stock from reputable breeders who we thought understood our goals, put unrelated purebred bucks in with random groups of does, and hoped for the best. 

Some of our best breeding outcomes came from accidental crosses of a wild & crazy La Mancha buck we named “Little Ritchie” (‘cause he had this great Buffon-style hairdo reminiscent of “Little Richard”) and a very modest Nubian milker named Penny.  We have many does that trace their lines back to their daughters: “Boots and “Gidget,” “Elaine and Shelly” and “Stevie.”  

Over the years, our herd has developed a unique genetic fingerprint, a blending of the best of the two main breeds in our herd-Nubian & La Mancha. When people come to our farm to buy their own “starter” herds, they often ask for purebreds only.  Most fall for the floppy-eared puppy-doglike Nubians. I try to convince them that the gems in our herd are the hybrids; the serendipitous blends with the awkward dangly elf ears that give us the most delicious milk and worm their way into our hearts.  

Fundraiser Campaign Update:  

The donations keep rolling in. Our campaign will  be ending at the end of April, so if you’ve been thinking about donating (small or large, all are much appreciated), don’t delay.  If you aren’t yet familiar with our “Raise the Roof” campaign, please CLICK  HERE, you can read all about it—our projects, our goals, our donation levels. 

As we’ve stated before, this community has been very good to us over the years. You can either donate online or send a check. We will also have a donation box out at the farm during spring open hours if you’d prefer to donate that way.

Babies and Brunch: Full Brunch on BOTH Saturdays and Sundays is FINALLY here! Come out to the farm this weekend—we’re open from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.  Check out the NEW fabulous menu that Chef Raquel and Sarah of Feast Catering have crafted for this week as well as the details of how these brunches will be run. 

The format is different than our “Spring Open Houses,” which have featured mostly grab and go type foods and beverages.  We’re calling it a “Pop-Up Café,” where you can sit at tables, order your food and enjoy a more substantial meal.

Cheese and Gelato Offerings

We have a really great line up of cheeses to offer you this weekend, still featuring the lovely and lemony spring chevre:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—these are our regular flavors available all year round
  • Fresh chevre special flavors: cinnamon sugar, caramelized onion—these are limited edition flavors, so get them while they last!
  • Goat milk Feta in Olive Oil: a late fall batch of raw-milk feta bathed in extra virgin olive oil and select dried herbs—perfect for early spring salads or on top of a hearty stew. Very limited availability.
  • Moonglo: fall-milk, tomme-style cheese; the texture of this semi-hard cheese is supple like gouda, but the taste is sharp and fruity. Ask for a taste if you’ve never had it before. Makes a killer-good 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)
  • Jams and Honey: We have a limited selection of jams from Autumn Berry Inspired, house-made jams and some beautiful bottles of fall honey from Two Million Blooms. These make great accompaniments to our cheeses.
  • Gelato: We just have gelato by the scoop this weekend—salted caramel swirl, tart-cherry stracciatella and coffee. Gelato by the pint should be available next week.
  • NEW in the Farm Store: Green Meadows Farm Goat Milk Yogurt. Our friend, Meryl Kauffman, in Arthur, IL raises mostly La Mancha goats (some of whom came from our herd). His goat milk products are delicious, and we're excited to carry his plain goat milk yogurt in quart size only. He has made a special batch for us that is JUST goat milk and live cultures (no added thickeners). Come try some this weekend.

Other Farm Products: David Bane of Bane Family Meats will be here to offer you farm-fresh eggs, chicken, beef, pork and lamb products We also have a selection of Piemonte Sausages: several styles of pork sausage, a new chicken-basil-tomato sausage as well as our goat merguez.

Goat Stew Meat and Cabrito Halves—we have a few packages of lean and tender goat meat available in our farm shop freezer. If you’ve never tried goat meat, you should. It’s very mild and lean (lends itself to slow cooking techniques)

Prairie Fruits Farm Merch: While you’re here, take home a memento from the farm—t-shirts, hooded sweat shirts, batik aprons, tea towels, onesies, note cards, cheese boards and goat milk soaps. 

Mother’s Day Brunch: We have two seatings for brunch on May 13th, Mother’s Day. These brunches are by reservation only.  Check out the menu for this special mother’s day 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. Maggie Taylor has decided to host yoga with baby goats again this year at the farm.  Right now, she has a few dates in late April and some 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: We still have openings for our 2018 season.  If you’re not familiar with how our “CSA” works, I encourage you to check out the details.  We have pick up locations in Champaign Urbana and Bloomington-Normal.  We treat our CSA members like royalty. Come join our special club. 

Dinners on the Farm: Our 2018 season is 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.  We have a great diversity of dinner themes this year from Italian to Oaxacan.  We’re excited to host you on our farm for a memorable farm to table experience.   

Looking for a goat for a family milker? How about for brush control or rural pet? Goats are wonderful working animals and affectionate companions too. We have great breeding stock with excellent health and milk records.  Check out what's available and contact us if interested. 


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.