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Waiting for closure, injured dog, market offerings and farm happenings

Posted 10/19/2017 9:39pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Typically, by this time of year, we’ve had our first frost.  Yes, the nights are cooler, yes, the air forms crispness in my nostrils, but the days of late October are drenched in warm sunlight. The neglected vegetable garden still holds richly sweet tomatoes and peppers for those willing to pick them.  The stately maple’s leaves have barely begun to turn yellow at the very tip of the tree’s crown. The farm almost feels like it’s in suspended animation; a holding pattern hovering above the bridge between late summer and fall. 

Normally, there’s a sense of urgency.  Normally, we check the forecast for threats of nightly lows dipping into the low thirties.  The threat sends us scrambling to collect the last tomatoes clinging to the vines, green ones and all.  Interestingly, we are complacent and even disinterested in harvesting them when there is no threat of frost.  It feels strange not to have an impending dip below the freezing line any time soon.  There’s decadence to the absence of urgency.    

Blue, our farm dog, has got himself into trouble again.  His cattle dog genes frequently propel him down the driveway when Wes or I leave the farm in a vehicle. Often he’s balancing a 10-foot 2’ X 4’ or a very large piece of firewood in his mouth, while traveling at a clip of 25-30 mph.  Late last week, he chased Wes out of the driveway onto the road and came back limping badly dripping blood from his front paw.  Usually, we can fix his mishaps with a few home remedies, but it was clear this injury was not getting better. When we took him to the vet, early this week, she surmised that his cut was very deep and needed stitching.  He went into surgery and came home with the cone of shame on his head, two sets of stitches and neoprene glove over his paw, strangely reminiscent of the infamous Michael Jackson “glove.” 

He is a terrible patient, and it’s hard to follow the vet’s instructions of limited activity.  So, I take him on little strolls around the farm to check on the goats.  They are alarmed by his head cone. Lentil, one of our breeding bucks, sounds the alarm with a snort, and the does retreat behind him.  The doelings and retired does peer at him over the fence, not sure that there’s the dog they know at the base of the white cone.  Blue, meanwhile, is oblivious to their concerns, laying peacefully in the dirt, soaking up the warmth of the fall sun. 


Farmers’ Market Offerings: We’ll be attending the Urbana Market at the Square this Saturday, October 21st.  Please come visit the market and get some of the bountiful produce before a frost really does come.  We are still quite flush with cheese and gelato. We have a special flavor of chevre this week: chevre with roasted poblano peppers. The peppers have a very mild heat, and they complement the creaminess of the chevre.

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper, poblano pepper
  • Angel Food:  our little “crottin” style bloomy rind; small enough to eat in one sitting; this cheese is perfectly ripe right now.  I’d buy two if I were you.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert; also perfectly ripe with just the right amount of gooey edges
  • Black Goat: our ash-coated bloomy with a hint of yeast on the rind; try our ACS award winning cheese. This batch is young, but has a lovely fudgy consistency
  • 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: Available in both pints and quarts

Gelato: For some strange reason, people don’t seem to buy gelato in the fall. For me, any season is gelato season, even in the depths of winter.  Why not take advantage of our “three pint special”: buy 3, get $3 off the total price! 

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel
  • Masala Chai
  • Fruitti di Bosco
  • Grape two ways Sorbetto
  • Peaches & Cream

Farm Happenings

Farm Open Hours:  We are open only on the weekends through the end of October (Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 PM).  We will be closing the Real Stand temporarily in November to get it ready for the holidays. We will re-open the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so that folks who might have missed the holiday market on Saturday, the 18th can have a chance to purchase cheese, gelato and other farm treats.   

David Bane, of Bane Family Meats is offering his pastured “broad-breasted bronze” turkeys for sale at our farm this year. You must pre-order and then pick up at our farm on Sunday, Nov. 19th 1-3 pm. 

Here are the details: "All turkeys have been raised on pasture with no antibiotics, no GMO's and no pesticides on Bane Family Farm. The size range will be from 12-25 lbs, and the price is $4.00/lb. Orders will be taken by phone (217-722-2188) or by email (davidpbane@aol.com) until we are sold out. "    

In the meantime, The Real Stand is open for business this weekend, offering cheese, gelato, meats, eggs and other farm products through the end of this month.  Check out our fall offerings: pumpkins, gourds and squashes from The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur! You can cook with them or just use them as decorations. They are gorgeous and quirky (and delicious). 

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.

Learn something new! Take our Cheese Pairings Class on Sunday, November 5th—we will wow you with lots of styles of cheese and lots of accompaniments –jams, honey, pickles, wines, beers.  We’ll cover a few basic concepts about cheese styles and how to use all your senses to appreciate what you are tasting. Then, we’ll dive in head first to a fun-filled afternoon of flavor sensations.  $35 covers everything (limited to 30 participants, so don’t delay in signing up). 

LAST CHANCE: If you can’t leave the city for the farm, why not bring the farm to the city? The Café at Local Foods Grocers in Chicago is crafting a five-course meal featuring many of the products raised on our farm. The event will be held at Local Foods on Saturday, October 21st.  The menu is sublime, and they even have optional wine pairings.  Here’s the link to their Eventbrite page where you can make reservations.  

Consider booking your holiday party at our farm. Let us craft a holiday meal with local ingredients.  Our barn dining room is quite cozy and festive when there’s a chill in the air. Email us with inquiries: prairiefruits@gmail.com 

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.