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Passing of a matriarch and closing of a road

Posted 9/26/2014 8:28am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

The passing of a matriarch

We sustained another major loss this week with Chippewa (Chippy)’s passing. Intellectually, I know that death is part of life.  Rational thought leads me to understand that we all age over time and that the aging process can be more or less harsh to living beings.  Despite these fundamental truths, I would often whisper into Chippy’s long Nubian ears that she had to live forever.  Her skeleton frame had been telling me otherwise for the past year, but I kept up the pep talks nonetheless. Her upbeat attitude contradicted the wasting image before me.

Just like some people get “under your skin,” Chippewa got under mine.  She was a doe who made you believe she was a person reincarnate.  Most goat herds have a dominant female and for most of her eleven years, Chippy was the obvious matriarch.  She strutted the pastures with an air of confidence reminiscent of a politician (a benevolent leader, I’d like to believe, although she was subject to head butting).  She was one of most humanly social goats; always the first to rush to the fence to greet newcomers, always the first to seek me out when I walked out into the pasture.  She practically commanded you to rub her face, frequently closing her eyes with pleasure.  She exuded empathy, seemingly sympathetic to herd mates in trouble or humans feeling down.  Earlier this summer, I watched her intervene in a tiff between two younger does.  Their “argument” was clearly escalating, and Chippy inserted herself between the rival parties to break up the fight.  Her body finally gave out earlier this week, and we buried her alongside Hershey in our prairie. She lives on in our hearts and in our logo. 


Rumbling of the earth movers

The hulking earth movers arrived this week in the field south of our farm. The assault on the beautiful farmland that surrounds us will begin on Monday, September 29th.  While they are excavating dirt and moving it across the road, North Lincoln Avenue will be closed just south of our driveway for an indefinite period of time.  We will have detour signs put up along the detour route so you will still be able to come out to the farm.  I have also spelled out alternate directions from both Urbana and Champaign on our website

Farmers’ Markets and Other Farm Happenings

We’re attending one market this Saturday, September 27th: Urbana’s Market at the Square.  The butterfat is starting to go up in our milk, so our chevre is taking on that extra creamy texture.  We’ll have plenty of chevre, along with a full lineup of our other cheeses:

  • Plain, herbs de Provence and cracked pepper
  • Angel Food Brie
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue (last of the spring batches)

The gelato flavors just keep coming:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Thai Basil
  • Lemon Balm
  • Peach Pie (chunks of peach pie folded into vanilla gelato-YUM!!)
  • Ginger
  • Espresso
  • Peach-Raspberry Sorbetto
  • Nectarine Sorbetto

The weather should be perfect for market going, so come on out and stock up on fall's bounty.

Don’t forget to sign up for a very special event on the farm: Botanical Illustration with local artist, Cara Cummings. Come spend a day on the farm to learn about botanical illustration, start a painting, tour the farm, eat  lunch prepared on the farm with local ingredients, and end the day with a fun discussion of everyone’s work while tasting artisan cheeses and, if you choose, sip some wine (byob).  

When: Sunday, October 12 2014 — 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Where: Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

What: A botanical illustration workshop

Price: $55.00

Register: www.carasgarden.com   You will receive an e-mail within 24 hours of registering that will include a supplies list, agenda, and other supporting materials for the class.
botanical illustration workshop



Copyright 2014 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2014. 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.