News

Welcome to Leslie's Blog.
Posted 8/18/2015 8:40pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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The carefree days of summer are slowly winding down, but there's still time to visit the farm.  We have one more Wednesday Open House in August next week, BUT NO Open House on Wednesday, September 2nd (we have a private event scheduled for that evening). Depending on interest, we might have a final Open House on Wednesday Sept. 9th, so stay tuned.

This Wednesday's Farm Open House is loaded with seasonal foods that scream "SUMMER."

Plenty of cheese:

chevre, bloomies, Moonglo and Huckleberry Blue

Refreshing gelato and sorbetto by the scoop:

  • Local strawberry
  • Green tea
  • Chocolate
  • Stout Turtle
  • Nectarine Sorbetto

Lots and lots of summer veggies from Tomahnous Farm and Heirloominous Farm.

Breads, bagels, cookies and granola by Stewart's Artisan Breads

Pastured eggs and whole chickens by Seven Sister's Farm

Artisan sausages including our very own goat merguez (North African spiced) sausage by Piemonte Sausage Co.

Knife Sharpening by Laurence the Knife Dude

Come meet the newest arrivals to the farm--Nigerian dwarf twins born last Thursday!

Come out to pick some delicious white peaches (Belle of Georgia variety) too--U-Pick runs from 2-6 PM.  Regular Open House runs from 4-6 PM. 


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 8/13/2015 10:45pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Chino, the orange cat, walked out of a corn field and into our lives 12 years ago.  He appeared on our doorstep not too long after we moved into our house, about a week after I brought home two barn kittens from Wisconsin, Marie and Louie.  Unlike most stray cats I’ve wooed over the years, Chino (his name comes from the masculine version of Puerto Rican speak for “orange” or “china”), took very little coaxing to win him over.  Somehow he sensed he belonged here on this farm, with us. Before long, he was on the couch, in my lap and working his way into my heart. 

He was a great hunter, helping us fight the voles who insisted on eating the roots of our fruit trees.  After a while we noticed that his pupils were always dilated.  I didn’t think much of his lemur-like stare until we started to notice him bumping into things.  This seemed odd for a cat; feline hunters are supposed to have laser sharp vision.  So, I took him to the vet who diagnosed his condition as a congenital degenerative eye disease. Chino was slowly going blind.  Because his loss of sight was gradual, he had time to compensate and build his other senses of touch, hearing and smell.  Even as his condition worsened, he remained a superior hunter to his “partner” in crime with perfect cat vision, Marie.

chino stalking paulie

I like to think that Chino’s dilated pupils were a metaphor for our adventures in farming; eyes wide open to let in all the light, but sometimes unable to focus on the finer details.   At each turn that moved our farm in directions we had never anticipated, the eyes wide open propelled us forward.  Chino was with us for all the twists and turns, frequenting the goat barns to sit atop the hay or catch a mouse, climbing on our backs as we sowed our garden each spring or, more frequently later in life, dozing on the porch on a bale of straw.

chino lounging on straw

He took ill a little less than two weeks ago and died peacefully in my arms early yesterday morning. While we never knew his age exactly, he lived a pretty good long life with us on our farm. We laid him to rest in the shade of the porch corner where he loved to perch and lounge.    True to the cycle of death and life on the farm, Polly (one of our Nigerian Dwarf does who got rebred about 2 months after she kidded in late February—Oops!), kidded with twins early this morning: a dainty little doe less than three pounds and a stocky little buck with a very large head.  I’d like to believe in reincarnation. I’d like to believe that my beloved Chino has come back to us as a sweet little goat. 

Farmers’ Market News and Upcoming Farm Events

We will be attending only ONE farmers’ market this Saturday, August 15th: Urbana’s Market at the Square.  We WON’T be attending Chicago’s Green City Market because of the Chicago Air Show.  We will return to Green City Market on Saturday, August 22nd.  We have some beautiful cheeses for you this week:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Angel Food (limited quantities)
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue—yes it’s back and it’s creamy and nutty and delicious

You say you want something sweet to cool you down? How about gelato:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Cajeta (goat milk caramel sauce) swirl
  • Lemon Balm
  • Fresh Mint
  • Sweet Corn
  • Lavender
  • Peach sorbetto

We'll have a few bags of our goat milk caramels as well as our additive farmhouse crackers too. We’ll also be bringing some delectable baked goods made with our peaches and black berries (gallettes, pies, cookies). 

There are a number of events coming up at the farm in the next few weeks:

Wednesday Farm Open House: we should have U-pick peaches for our white peach variety, Belle of Georgia, but we’ll let you know for sure early next week.

Weed Dating at Heirloominous Farm on August 20th (for more info, visit The Land Connection’s website)

Third Friday Pop-Up on August 21st, featuring heritage pork “porquetta” sandwiches and a whole bunch of summer sides. The menu should be posted to our website some time this week.

Dinners on the Farm—there are still tickets available to several of the fall dinner dates. Check 'em out!

Fork in the Road Tasting Trail—September 13th with KD Wild Game Ranch and Sleepy Creek Vineyard and Winery.  It's a great way to taste your way across central IL on a Sunday afternoon.


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 8/10/2015 9:01pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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We know many of our patrons can't make it to the Saturday farmers' markets, so this week, we have two mid-week opportunities to get your fix of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery products.  

Tuesday August 11th: 4-7 PM: The Land Connection's Downtown Champaign Farmers' Market
We'll have cheese (plenty of fresh chevre, feta, bloomies and raw milk beauties), gelato (pints of vanilla, chocolate, mint, lavender, peaches & cream and peach-raspberry sorbetto for sure) and farmstead crackers. We might even bring some peaches to sell.

Wednesday, August 12th Open House: 4-6 PM (with U-Pick Peaches from 2-6 PM)

Same great cheeses, special gelato flavors by the scoop (check out our Facebook page on Wednesday for the flavors of the week) AND:

Stewart's Artisan Breads: rustic breads, bagels, cookies and granola

Tomahnous Farm: organic veggies, fruits and beautiful flower bouquets

Heirloominous Farm: organic veggies (you can venture out to her plot to see her laying hens and pastured hogs too)

Pastured farm-fresh eggs and frozen whole chickens by Seven Sisters Farm

Sausages (pork, chicken and merguez made with our pasture-raised goat) by Piemonte Sausage.  

Come visit the farm, commune with the goats and meander through the orchard. Summer only lasts so long. 

 


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 8/6/2015 10:48am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

As farmers, we become used to extremes: birth and death, sickness and health, hot and cold, lush and barren, wet and dry. The farm’s pendulum swings brusquely from one extreme to the other.  We become conditioned to working at the edge; the emotional roller coaster that ensues becomes the “normal” mode of operation. When conditions hover in the middle, we’re often at a loss as to how to react. 

This week, the farm continued to dry out, and notes of mellowness pervaded.  Peach harvest season is in full swing; tomatoes are starting to ripen. We’re at that point in the season where going grocery shopping is only for toilet paper and laundry soap. We’re now at a point of wishing for some rain. 

The good side of dry is our ability to clean out barns and stalls laden with manure and bedding.  We did a lot of clean out this week. We even removed the compost mountain behind the doe barn that the goat girls had become so fond of. After milking, they would fight to climb to the top of the pile and bask in being elevated above their peers.  I know how much the goat kids love to climb; this need is really a core essence of being a goat, and it carries through to adulthood and even old age.  The other great thing about no rain is getting the girls back out to pasture on a daily basis. They won’t go outside when just a few raindrops hit their backs.  Once standing waters receded, we had mowed the pasture to renew its growth. It warms to see them wading out into the sea of green once again. 

 goats on compost pile

The bucks are starting to notice their female friends a little too intensely, so it is time to move them down to the north pasture until breeding season begins in October; don’t want any more fence busting and “unplanned” pregnancies.

Farmers’ Market News

We’ll be attending both Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market.  It is National Farmers’ Market week, so come out and support your farmers. We’re even running a little “campaign” on Facebook and Twitter-so check it out.

NOTE TO GREEN CITY MARKET GOERS: WE WON’T BE ATTENDING THE MARKET ON AUGUST 15TH BECAUSE OF THE AIR SHOW. YOU MIGHT WANT TO STOCK UP ON CHEESE AND GELATO THIS WEEK. WE RETURN ON AUGUST 22ND.

This week we have:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs, cracked pepper
  • Feta: whey-brine aged; tangy and crumbly
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie (young but yummy)
  • Black Goat
  • Angel Food (limited quantities)
  • Moonglo

For gelato, we have:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Espresso
  • Caramel Machiatto
  • (only in singles)
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Fresh Mint
  • Thai Basil
  • Lavender
  • Peach-Raspberry Sorbetto

Don’t forget to pick up some our irresistible crackers and salted goat-milk caramels (Urbana only for the caramels). Don’t forget to check out the latest happenings at the farm through our website and our Facebook page. 


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 8/4/2015 10:09pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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We will be open for U-Pick peaches tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon from 2-6PM. This will be the only day this week for U-Pick as the peaches aren't ripening as fast as they were earlier. We have all the tools you need for picking.  We will also be selling firsts and seconds for those who don't want to pick during our Wednesday Farm Open House. 

Our Open House runs from 4-6 PM. We've got cheese:

  • Fresh chevre
  • Feta
  • Black Goat 
  • Angel Food
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Moonglo 
  • Huckleberry Blue

We even have a few bags of crackers to go with the cheese. 

We've got gelato by the scoop and pints too-check out our Facebook page tomorrow for the special flavors this week.  You can also see our special campaign in celebration of National Farmers' Market Month.  

We'll also be selling pastured eggs and chicken from Seven Sisters Garden and sausages from Piemonte Sausage.  We have the first batches of Merguez goat sausage (that's a north african spice blend) made with our very own goat meat. 

The usual "suspects" will be here too:

Tomahnous Farm with summer veggies and gorgeous summer flower bouquets

Heirloominous Farm will have summer veggies too.

Stewart's Artisan Breads will have rustic breads, bagels, cookies and granola.

Laurence. the Knife Dude. will be available to sharpen your knives while you shop and visit the farm.  


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/30/2015 10:12pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Cheese as Art

Late last fall, we received a curious inquiry. A gentleman name Mike Geno was undertaking a “Cheese Map Project,” painting cheeses from every state in the nation.  He wanted to paint a portrait of our Huckleberry Blue to represent the state of Illinois.  Here was his proposition: send him a wheel of our cheese and he would send us a print of the painting.  So, we scanned the shelves in our aging room for a particularly beautiful wheel of Huckleberry—cloaked in apple-brandy soaked sycamore leaves, tied up in twine like a lovely parcel of raw milk rusticity. We sent it off proudly, not really knowing when or if we would ever see its rendition in paint. 

Imagine my surprise today, when a flat package arrived in the mail from a Mike Geno. It had been so long since we sent him the cheese wheel that I didn’t recognize his name or associate it with the package contents.  After slicing the tape to reveal the contents, I was amazed to see Huckleberry Blue’s likeness on canvas.  The artist captured the essence of the cheese so well, I could almost smell it. Want to see more of the Cheese Map Project? Check out his work on Instagram.

Huckleberry Blue painting

Farmers’ Markets—Cheese, Crackers, Gelato AND Peaches

We’re attending both Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market on Saturday.  The secret password into the world of delicious cheese is “bloomy rind.” Ask for Little Bloom on the Prairie, in particular, and we’ll give you a recipe for how to enjoy this cheese with our scrumptious peaches.   

We also have:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh ricotta: this is probably the last batch of the summer, so get it while it lasts
  • Feta Little Bloom on the Prairie: still on sale this week, still more brie like in its gooey deliciousness
  • Angel Food
  • Black Goat: the Geo rind is particularly lovely on this batch
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue

Peaches are everywhere on the farm these days, and they’ve made their way into gelato. Flavors this week include:

  • Peaches & Cream (singles only)
  • Lavender (made with fresh lavender buds from Sharps Crossing Lavender Farm in Urbana, IL)
  • Fresh Mint
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Thai Basil
  • Lemon Chevre
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Frozen Yogurt with Lemon Zest (made with our goat milk yogurt)
  • Plum Sorbetto
  • Sangria Sorbetto

Speaking of peaches, our U-pick this week has been so successful that we have to cancel tomorrow (Friday)’s U-pick. However, we’ll be bringing first and seconds peaches to the Urbana market—Dani will be at Heirloominous Farm’s tent again at the north end of aisle 3 (just ask us at our tent and we’ll point you in the right direction).  She will also have some amazing baked goods made with our peaches:

  • Savory and sweet peach gallettes
  • Peach pie
  • Peach jam bars
  • Thumb print cookies with peach jam and blackberries  

Farm Happenings

The tickets for fall dinner dates go on sale on Saturday August 1st at 12 noon.  If you’re not familiar with our ticket sales platform, “ShowClix,” I recommend you go on the website tomorrow and click through some of the dinner dates. 

We also have a couple of seats that just recently opened up for our dinner on August 8th with guest chef Niall Campbell of Firefly Grill as well as seats to our Cucurbit Dinner with The Great Pumpkin Patch. Stay tuned for future events in August and September including “Third Friday Pop-Ups” and our fall tasting trail with Sleepy Creek Vineyard and KD Game Ranch.   


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/27/2015 8:31pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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We now have the summer we've been asking for--full throttle heat and humidity and no rain for over a week.  The weather is perfect for a cool salad with cheese AND some peach cobbler with gelato for dessert.  Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery can make all that happen for you this week. 
First, Tuesday, July 28th from 4-7PM, we'll be attending The Land Connection's Downtown Champaign Farmers' Market.  We've got cheese:

  • Fresh chevre
  • Feta
  • Ricotta
  • Black Goat--it's ripe and ready to slather on a baguette from Pekara bakery
  • Angel Food
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Moonglo 
  • Huckleberry Blue

We even have a few bags of crackers to go with the cheese.

We've got gelato:

  • Fresh mint
  • Thai Basil
  • Salted Caramel Swirl
  • Vanilla 
  • Chocolate
  • Plum Sorbetto
  • Sangria Sorbetto

We've got organic peaches--they are soooo juicy and sweet. I've been slicing them into a bowl, topping them with a scoop of gelato and giving my mouth a summer version of heaven.  

Wednesday, July 29th: Summer Open House: 4:00-6:00 PM

Of course, we'll have the usual offerings of cheese, gelato (follow us on Facebook to get updates on the flavors by the scoop this week), crackers and caramels. We'll also be selling pastured eggs and chicken from Seven Sisters Garden and sausages from Piemonte Sausage.  

The usual "suspects" will be here too:

Tomahnous Farm with summer veggies and BLUEBERRIES--how about a peach-blueberry crisp for dessert??

Heirloominous Farm will have summer veggies too.

Stewart's Artisan Breads will have rustic breads, bagels, cookies and granola.

Laurence. the Knife Dude. will be available to sharpen your knives while you shop and visit the farm. 

The "peach" de resistence: U-Pick peaches from 2-6 PM.  We will also be selling firsts and seconds for those who don't want to pick.  


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/24/2015 7:58am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

We had planted a lot of different cover crops this spring in our attempts to diversify pollinator habitat and recuperate weedy, tired ground.  One of the areas we planted was our former cane berry area. The Canada thistle had so overtaken, it was impossible to find the berries among the thorns.  Sorghum-Sudan grass is known to smother thistle, so we planted a swath of it.  Over the past month, it has grown close to eight feet tall.  It turns out that this grass has great forage value—do we cut and carry or do we bring the goats to the forage? Solution: build an enclosure and put the retired and non-lactating does in the Sorghum-Sudan grass. 

goats in sorghum sudan grass

Goats, especially old goats, don’t like change; goats on the dole (not producing milk) get lazy too. Moving them from the comforts of the doe barn was not easy, but enticement with grain helped overcome their inertia.  The other thing goats don’t like is wading through vegetation that is taller than them; you never know if a predator is lurking inside the tall grass.  So, we had to cut a few lanes inside the Sorghum-Sudan “jungle” to allay their fears.  After 36 hours, they have already made a pretty good dent in their edible home.  They still whine and complain a bit when they see me, but they have a job to do, and they seem to be enjoying it.

The theme at the farm this week seemed to be livestock on the move.  One of our farmer friends (Cathe Capel of Seven Sisters Farm) had decided to sell some of her older laying hens as her pullets started laying and offered them to us.  We have been without layers since the winter and starting to miss collecting our own eggs, so we said yes.  To receive the layers and settle them into their new home, we had to move our little guinea keets from the chicken coop (their temporary home) into their moveable pen.  Guineas are even more of a challenge to move than goats.  If they escape, they run so fast, they’re nearly impossible to catch.  Small guineas are a bit easier to capture than adults as you can still scoop them up in the palm of your hand. It took four people to catch one guinea during the move.  With Blue’s help (he wanted to eat one so bad), it took me only a few minutes to corner a few that escaped from underneath their moveable pen.  It’s peach season at the farm. 

guineas in moveable pen

The harvest has begun and the long wait to shove chin-dripping peaches in your mouth is over. The Red Havens are especially large this year; one peach weighs almost half a pound! We started our U-pick season too.  Our days and hours are: Wednesdays and Fridays 2-6PM. 

chippy with a red haven peach

We’ll also be selling firsts and seconds both at the farm and at the farmers’ market (Urbana and The Land Connection Markets).  Dani, one of our cheese makers and orchard managers, will be selling firsts and seconds fresh peaches, along with some delectable baked goods (sweet and savory peach gallettes, peach jam bars, thumb-print cookies and more), at the Heirloominous Farm stand at the Urbana Farmers’ Market this Saturday.  If you’re not sure where this is, just ask us at the market tomorrow.

Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market this Saturday.  If you’re looking for some ripe gooey bloomy rind cheeses to eat with your fresh tomatoes, come see us.

  • Black Goat—the rinds are looking gorgeous these days, and the cheese spreads beautifully on a nice crusty bread—be creative with your toppings.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: this batch of our camembert-style cheese is more reminiscent of our old “Angel Food Brie”—flatter and a gooey layer between the paste and rind. The taste is delicate and creamy.  We’re offering them at a discounted price this weekend, so get them while they last. 
  • Angel Food: They are back after a few weeks of summer vacation.  Standing tall with a firm paste, they will stand up to the peach jam you’ll be making with all those seconds peaches we have for sale. 
  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—perfect for a summer salad or to adorn your burger Fresh ricotta: it begs to be joined with fresh berries
  • Goat milk feta: firm, crumbly, tangy—delicious—feta watermelon salad anyone?
  • Moonglo: spring milk batches are now mature and nuanced in flavor; notes of tropical fruits overlay the nutty-meaty flavor of this raw milk cheese.
  • Huckleberry Blue: creamy, raw milk blue; you can taste hints of the Rhine Hall apple brandy used to wash the rind of this cheese.

With all the great fruit available at the markets right now, pie, cobbler and crisp season is HERE. Our gelato is the PERFECT accompaniment:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Fresh Mint
  • Salted caramel swirl
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Lemon Chevre
  • Plum Sorbetto

Are some of the flavors you can expect to find at the markets this weekend. 

Due to some cancellations, we now have a few tickets available to tomorrow’s Mexican Farm dinner as well as our Backyard BBQ dinner on August 15th.  The menu for the Mexican dinner will posted on the website later today, but I can tell you that the kitchen has been busy making tamales and fresh hand-made tortillas.   


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/21/2015 5:07pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Peach harvest time has finally arrived at the farm.  We will start offering U-pick starting NEXT week, but for this week, we'll have first and second quality peaches for sale during our Farm Open House (Wednesday, 4-6 PM).  Try grilling some of our peaches and then stuffing them with fresh ricotta or fresh chevre.  We will have plenty of other delicious cheeses to enjoy with all those summer tomatoes starting to make their appearance:

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Feta
  • Black Goat
  • Angel Food
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue
Of course, there will be gelato by the scoop:
  • Tart-cherry stracciatella
  • Salted Caramel
  • Plum sorbetto 

are some of the featured flavors this week.  There are lots more flavors available in pints as well.

Our guest farmers and food artisan products will be here:

Breads, bagels, cookies and granola by Stewart's Artisan Breads

Organic veggies and blueberries from Tomahnous Farm

Organic veggies and flowers from Heirloominous Farm

Pastured eggs and chicken from Seven Sisters Farm

Sausages from Piemonte Sausage Co

Laurence the Knife Dude will be here to sharpen your knives while you visit with the goats and shop for local foods.  

LAST CALL FOR THE RHINE HALL BRANDY AND SMALL PLATES EVENT!

We still have quite a few tickets available for our brandy-small plates tasting event this Thursday, July 23rd from 6-8 pm. Even though the weather is hot, our food pairings and drink cocktails are perfect for a summer's eve.  If you've been thinking about coming to this unique and tasty event, ACT NOW! Ticket sales will only be available until 10PM TONIGHT as we have start cooking tomorrow, and we need to know how many people are coming. 

 


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. 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.

Posted 7/16/2015 10:00pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

The pock-marked landscape that has been filled with stagnant water is beginning to return to its normal summer colors of brown and green.  We had built a board walk out to the kid’s outdoor play area so they wouldn’t get caked in mud. The standing water was so high at one point, the board walk was submerged. Now, they can run at lightning speed over the boards out to their “jungle gym” with clean hooves. 

The milking does were barn-bound during the torrential downpours. This week, they ventured back out to the pasture to graze.  Their enthusiasm for grazing led them up and over the compost pile into the orchard. Luckily, someone was working in the orchard, and we were able to coerce them back toward the barn with grain before too many peaches were eaten.  They did manage to chow down some blackberry leaves.  Our recovering blackberries will now have to recover again.

Speaking of peaches, the heat and humidity have caused our Red Haven and Sweet Sixteen peaches to swell and blush.  The crop is looking luscious.  We should be close to picking in week or two.  We will let folks know when U-pick season is upon us. 

Farmers’ Market Goodies

We’ll be attending both Urbana’s Market at the Square and Chicago’s Green City Market on Saturday, July 18th.  It will be hot, but don’t let the weather deter your local foods shopping.  We have lots of great cheese on hand. Just bring a cooler or insulated bag (or you can buy an insulated “totes ma goats” from us) to keep your cheese cool. 

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Fresh Ricotta: I’ve made a few copies of a recent NY Times recipe entitled “Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Ricotta and Basil.” Except for the dry pasta and a little lemon zest, you should be able to get all your ingredients at the farmers’ market. I made a version of this with grilled zucchini (and I added some grilled eggplant too) and it was sublime. We’ll have copies of it to give out at both farmers’ markets.
  • Feta: Our whey-brine aged feta is the perfect foil for summer foods—feta & watermelon salad, grilled veggies topped with crumbled feta, feta with mayo on sweet corn
  • Black Goat: This batch is perfectly ripe and ready for enjoying this weekend.  It’s back to its gooey self and is begging to be slathered on a hunk of baguette topped with tomato and basil.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: Our camembert-style bloomy rind works its magic when paired with a tart summer jam and a glass of sparkling rose.
  • Moonglo:  our raw milk tomme made with spring milk—fruity, nutty, complex—it’s that simple
  • Huckleberry Blue: creamy and nutty—it’s a perfect adornment to a summer salad

Don’t forget to pick up some farmstead crackers to go with those cheeses you’ll be buying. And treat yourself to some salted goat-milk caramels too. 

Cool off with gelato; we’ll have most of these in pints and several in single servings (*):

  • Vanilla*
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut)*
  • Strawberry Cheesecake (local strawberries and chevre—a match made in frozen dessert heaven)
  • Thai Basil
  • Fresh Mint*
  • Salted Caramel Swirl*
  • Berry Sangria Sorbetto (loaded with fruits including aronia berry and red currant)
  • Red Currant Sorbetto

Farm Events

We have a lot going on at the farm these days. Mark your calendars or make your reservations now. Don't forget to follow directions to get around the road construction detour to the farm.

Friday, July 17th: Third Friday Pop-Up “Burgers and Brats” and Ryan Groff of Elsinore; 5:30 to 7:30 pm—NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Saturday, July 18th: Author of “Land of Milk and Uncle Honey,” Alan Guebert, will visit the farm, read from his book and sign copies for guests. We’ll give you a little nosh of cheese and gelato while you converse with the author.  4-6PM. Just come on out to the farm--should be VERY entertaining.

Sunday, July 19th: 1:30 to 4:30 Tasting Trail: “A tale of two milks” The tour starts at Ludwig  Farmstead Creamery and ends at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  If you really want to see how each creamery makes their cheeses, this is THE tour for you. Please make reservations NOW so we know how many people to expect.

Thursday, July 23rd: Rhine Hall Brandy Tasting with Small Plates; 6-8 PM. Meet artisan distiller Jenny Soldberg and taste some beautiful brandies alongside dishes prepared by our chef Alisa.  Reserve your spot NOW!

Saturday, July 25th: Mexico on the Prairie Farm Dinner—due to a cancellation, this sold-out dinner now has a few (3) seats left. Better grab them while you can.  We also have four seats open to our Backyard BBQ dinner on August 15th.   


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