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Pressing apples and other lazy fall pursuits, market offerings and farm news

Posted 9/14/2017 7:06pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm news

At the risk of plagiarizing Garrison Keillor, “it’s been a quiet week here at Prairie Fruits Farm.”  Sometimes, quiet is good; sometimes routine is good enough.  We focused on the quotidian: the daily rituals of milking, herding the goats to the prairie, feeding all the critters, making some cheese, harvesting some vegetables and prepping for our upcoming CSA members’ farm dinner.  We watched the mid-week skies darken with rain clouds, only to be utterly disappointed with the spit-like consistency of the paltry precipitation we received.  The soil is so dry, that there are fissures in the orchard.  While we secretly hoped for some of the hurricane remnants to migrate northward and soak our parched ground, these pipe dreams don’t seem to be in the cards for our region.   

The silver lining of the drought is that the fruits taste sweeter.  We started harvesting our apples for cider this week-just a few Winesaps, just to affirm it’s fall.  While most of our apples are riddled with insect damage, they make some mighty fine cider.  As we wait for more to ripen, we’ll take a little respite and sip some fresh-pressed cider.  

Farmers’ Market Offerings:

We’ll be attending the Urbana Market at the Square this Saturday, September 16th.  Summer’s last gasp will be returning, so come early and beat the heat.  There are still loads and loads of great fresh produce to be had, and most of it goes splendidly with our cheeses.  Dried tomato chevre is scrumptious and hyper seasonal. We will have it available at the market tomorrow, but don’t wait until the last minute to get some. It might be gone by the time you there. This is our last week of selling raw milk feta at the market, so stock up (it lasts a really long time in the whey brine). 

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper, dried tomato  
  • Raw-milk Feta: Packed in whey brine for flavor and preservation, this tangy cheese is perfect for salads, grilled corn or topping a quick pasta dish. 
  • 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: It’s BACK! Available in both pints and quarts

Crackers are on a semi-permanent hiatus as our cracker maker is busy with several other enterprises.

Gelato: take home a few pints this week (try our “three pint special: buy 3, get $3 off the total price!  We have a nice selection of “flavors of summer” mixed with comforting fall flavors:

  • Watermelon-Mint Sorbetto
  • Red Currant
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Fresh Mint
  • Stracciatella (chocolate ganache chip)
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut)
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Espresso

Farm Happenings

Farm Open Hours:  Please note that we shortened our open hours for the month of September.  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. 

We are planning a “fall event” tentatively scheduled for Sunday October 8th (3-6 pm)—hay rides, cider pressing, cider drinking; stayed tuned for details, but SAVE THE DATE for now. 

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.

Delight Flower Farm Retreat on the Farm The talented women who own Delight Flower Farm are hosting an all-day retreat on the farm, Saturday October 7th.  Events will include: yoga, a plant walk, a farm tour, flower arranging, an herbalism class, an introduction to Ayurveda, campfire rituals, and plenty of time to take in the healing properties of nature.  Local-farm-sourced and professionally prepared meals are included. Here's the link: http://delightflowerfarm.com/natural-medicine-a-farmstead-retreat/ They have drastically reduced the price of this event to sweeten the pot.  You’ll be in great hands with these talented women.  

Farm Dinners:  We still have tickets available for the “Celebration of Squash” farm dinner from guest chef Nicole Pederson (Found Kitchen). She has crafted a menu that truly captures the delicious diversity of the family Cucurbitaceae.  You won’t want to miss it.   

First Course Roasted Squash and Tomato Soup
Second Course Squash Mezze Thinly sliced squash spread with walnut/pepper paste Squash borani, pff goat yogurt, saffron water- with Squash blossom paratha Braised Goat, PFF Feta Cheese and squash  
Third Course “Cider can” Guinea Fowl with Grilled Squash and Squash bbq sauce Simple mashed squash with butter and warm spices Squash Slaw
Fourth Course Selection of Prairie Fruits Farm Cheese with Squash moraba (preserves with cardamom and rosewater- Persian) Squash membrillo Squash Seed Cracker
Dessert Squash cake, apple cider icing, crab apple butter, goat's milk gelato  

We also have tickets to both seatings of the October 14th “Pizza Night Out” dinners-more casual fare. Check them out too.   First Seating and Second Seating

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.