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Roller coaster ride into winter, market at the farm, pop up cafe, photo booth and more

Posted 11/29/2018 9:28pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

It’s been a roller coaster ride out of and into winter this week.  From balmy mud and pasture-grazing goats one day to snow-covered frozen tundra the next day, it’s a challenge for the body to adapt. It felt like I boarded a plane in autumnal Georgia and landed in mid-winter Alaska.  The goats’ response to the brusque drop in temperature—stay very still.  Mostly pregnant, they protest ever louder over their twice daily milking duties.  Their dwindling milk, ever richer, ferments into curd so dense and massive, it hurts my forearms to ladle it out of the vat. 

The farm is getting ready for the rest that winter will provide. Four wagon-loads of grass hay arrived this week, some bales stacked so precariously, they teetered on the brink of falling over.  One by one, they were hoisted onto the bale elevator to ascend to their temporary resting place inside our hay loft.  Soon, the milkers’ diet will shift from rich alfalfa bailage to dry grass hay; the leaner forage will fuel their rumens and keep their bodies warm as their babies grow inside them.

The Farm Store is Open for the Holidays

Beat the holiday shopping crowds—come shop at our farm store! Remember: We won’t be back to the Urbana Market in the Square until Saturday, December 22nd. SO, come out to the Farm and shop. If you think our farm is far from town, in fact, we are REALLY close to Champaign-Urbana—literally 5 miles from each downtown. We are also within two miles of both I-74 and I-57.  Follow direction on our website if you’re not familiar.

Holiday Pop-Up Café

Chef Raquel and her trusty kitchen assistant Sarah are rolling up their sleeves for two Saturdays in December.  Join us December 1st and December 8th, 11 AM to 2 PM for heart-warming old-world inspired holiday foods and drinks: 

making mustard--Moonglo Fondue en Baguette

--Seasonal Soups using local veggies

--Grilled Piemonte Sausage with house-made mustard on toasted baguette

--Baked brie with apples and candied pecans

--Beet Hummus with house-made chips (12/1) or Cashew "Queso" with carrot sticks (12/8)

--Chevre cheese cake, cinnamon buns and other baked goods

--Mexican style goat-milk hot chocolate

--Warm Glugg (Scandinavian-style mulled wine)

--Special espresso coffee drinks

--Roasted chestnuts, pecan turtles and more....

Price range for most food items is $6-10/item.  No reservations required.

Stay for the Holiday Goat Photo Booth 1 to 4 pm each date (Dec. 1st and 8th)

Bring your friends, your family or just yourselves and have your pictures taken with our festive holiday goats. This year, we are taking high quality digital photos (using digital cameras, not phones) for visitors and charging $5/photo. We’ll get your email address before we take the picture and then email you the pictures to craft your holiday cards or digital holiday photo greetings. Please note it takes us several days to download and organize the pictures. We try to send pictures no later than the Wednesday following picture taking.

While at the Farm, try some cheese! Here’s the current cheese line up:

  • Fresh chevreplain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late fall milk is making some super-rich chevre-stock up now and throw some in your freezer for winter
  • Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in a whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chili.  Try it on a home-made pizza too.
  • Spiced Feta in Extra Virgin Olive Oil-just in time for the holidays, this ready-made appetizer is perfect with some crusty bread and a jar of fancy pickles. It’s all dressed up and ready to go home with you.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: This batch is has achieved that perfectly gooey ripe stage. It’s perfect for a “brie en croute” or baked with your favorite cheese accompaniments—sliced apples or pears, one of our savory sauces (pear chutney, salsa verde), chopped nuts, local honey—the possibilities are endless. These rounds are the last ones in the house, so get them while you can.
  • Black Goat: an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  It is ripening nicely. Try serving it with one of our house-made jams (red currant or rhubarb are my favorites). 
  • Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a more mild, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower or beets. These are the last wedges of the season, so come out if you really love this version of Moonglo

Gelato: If you’re looking for a perfect accompaniment to your decadent holiday desserts, try our gelato. We only have pints of vanilla and red currant sorbetto left. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours.

Other Treats and Cheese Accompaniments: 

  • Spiced Candied Pecans
  • Jarred Goat Milk Cajeta (a Mexican style caramel sauce with cinnamon)
  • Fudgy Cajeta (caramel sauce with chocolate ganache!!)
  • House-made jams-seckel pear, red currant, rhubarb
  • House made savory sauces—caponata, pear chutney, salsa verde

Other Farm Products

  • Meats, Poultry and Eggs from Bane Family Meats, Sidney IL
  • Artisan Sausages by Piemonte Sausage Co, Urbana, IL (Bernies Classic Sweet, Cantaloupo, Apple-Pecan-Cranberry and bulk Chorizo)
  • Locally milled wheat flour from the Mill at Janie’s Farm, Ashkum, IL
  • Honey from Two Million Blooms, Champaign-Urbana, IL
  • Artisan Cured Salamis from Underground Meats, Madison, WI
  • Tulsi Tea from Delight Flower Farm-tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.
  • Fire Cider a special brew to keep those winter colds at bay
  • PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 
  • Apples from Red Crib Acres (formerly Wolfe Orchard, Monticello, IL) Winesap (one of my favorite late fall varieties) and Galarina (a French Gala variety). 
  • Holiday Wreaths made to order by Delight Flower Farm- http://delightflowerfarm.com/product-category/products/
  • NEW in the store: Folkmanis mountain goat hand puppet. This award-winning design is the perfect gift for the aspiring goat herder in your life. $36 each.

Weeknight Classes It’s not too late to sign up for our final cheese-centric class of the season-Wednesday, December 12th, 6-8 pm. Bring some friends and enjoy an evening of cheese, accompaniments and wine & spirits. We’ll show you how to craft an eye-popping holiday cheese board and pair with wines and spirits. You’ll learn something AND have a lot of fun. Registration is required and seating is limited to 30 people per class. Sign up NOW!  

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.