Welcome to Leslie's Blog.
Posted 12/28/2014 12:59pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Greetings and Happy New Year (it's getting close):

I'd like to remind folks that the deadline is approaching for two very special offers we have going on that connect you to the farm:

Our elegant, slow-food, farm-to-table "Dinners on the Farm" pre-sale ends this Wednesday, December 31st at 5pm.  We have discounted the tickets by close to $20 each (when you include tax and booking fees under normal circumstances). In addition, pre-sale ticket holders get first pick of dinner dates BEFORE the 2015 season tickets are released to the general public.  If you're a farm dinner "frequent flyer" or you just want to get a jump start on the 2015 season, this is your final chance.

The 15% discount on our Cheese Bread and Gelato CSA will go down to 10% after December 31st at 5pm.  If you're a returning OR new member, this is a great price for a season's worth of delicious cheese, gelato and Stewart's Artisan Breads. CSA members also get to sign up for an EXCLUSIVE farm dinner at close to half the price of our regular farm dinners.  Don't delay.  


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.

Posted 12/18/2014 9:50pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

This week we welcomed four bred Nigerian Dwarf does to the farm.   Like the Nigerian Dwarf breeding bucklings we acquired in October, the does hailed from White Lotus Farms in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  We had arranged a goat swap earlier in the fall: yesterday, they brought us four Nigerian Dwarf does and then picked up four of our La Mancha doelings.   Their dairy’s goal is to increase milk production by adding standard breed does, while ours is to increase our milk solids (protein and butterfat) by adding Nigerian Dwarfs to our lineup.  After showing our dairy farmer guests around our farm, we unloaded the does from the stock trailer and ushered them to their quarantine pen.

 I always marvel at the contrasting goat cultures from herd to herd when we bring new animals onto our farm.  These stout Nigerian girls walked orderly with us from the trailer to their pen and barely uttered a sound.  Even as they realized that they were in a new land and they likely weren’t going back onto the trailer, they just looked at us in silence with quizzical eyes. They also seemed to stare in horror at their very noisy new neighbors across the barn aisle.  I imagine what must have been running through their little caprine heads: “OMG, do you hear how LOUD those goats are?? What a bunch of whiners and complainers!!!” 

Meanwhile our homegrown La Mancha girls were screaming at the tops of their lungs as we escorted them from the doe barn to the trailer.  Once they were settled in the trailer with some fresh hay, they were distracted from their anxiety and calmed down.  Maybe they will adopt the quiet customs of their new farm home once they settle in.  Maybe these tranquil Nigerian does will teach our girls some manners. One can only hope. 

On the milk front, the does remaining on the milk line are being to rebel.  Tonight we started the transition to once per day milking to ease them into their dry period.  We plan to milk them a few more days and then pull the proverbial plug (really, in this case, it would be “insert the proverbial plug”) on milking for the season. 

As we and the goats begin our winter slumber, we want to take this opportunity to thank you, our friends and patrons, for another wonderful season at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  We will be starting our tenth season in 2015, and we attribute so much of our continued success to our dedicated patrons.  We will be in communication from time to time throughout the winter as events and opportunities arise at the farm.  We wish everyone a VERY HAPPY winter holiday season.

Holiday Markets

This Saturday, December 20th is the FINAL Holiday Market of the Season at Urbana’s Holiday Market and Chicago’s Green City Market. We will be attending both markets this Saturday.  The weather should be perfect for holiday shopping, so please come out and see us.  Both markets are held from 8AM to 1PM.  We have many great treats to offer you.


  • Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-stock up and freeze them to use over the winter hiatus.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert.  This batch is perfectly gooey and super delicious—perfect with a tart jam or drizzled honey and our spiced pecans.
  • Angel Food Brie “dip”:  we decided to “dress up” our angel food for the holidays and have turned them into a delicious herbed dip.  We recommend serving the dip warmed with our spiced pecans. Serving instructions are already on the container.  Green City Market patrons will also have a few Angel Food brie rounds on hand to pick up as well.
  • Moonglo: our raw goat milk tomme: fruity, nutty, creamy—you can enjoy a generous slice with either sweet or savory (think pickles) accompaniments.
  • Huckleberry Blue:  this batch of our raw milk blue is lightly veined and super creamy—it’s perfect for those holiday guests who think they don’t like Blue cheese.


Normally, we don’t make gelato this late in the season, but due to intense customer demand, we made it happen.  We’ll be bringing gelato to both markets, but only those flavors with an asterisk will be going to Green City Market:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Espresso
  • Sugar Plum Swirl*
  • Honey Holiday Spice*
  • Buttered Pecan*

Other Holiday Treats

  • Spiced Pecans from Voss' Pecan Orchard in Southern IL*
  • Chocolate-Goat Cheese Truffles
  • Salted Goat Milk Caramels*
  • An assortment of crackers (Whole wheat, oat-chevre biscuits, Olive oil flatbread)

Unique Gifts

  • Chippy the Goat “tea(t)” towels—made with organic cotton flour sacks
  • Chippy the Goat TEE-shirts (all sizes including kids)—American made
  • Goat milk soaps made for us (with our goat milk and other farm ingredients) by Red Barn Farm-long lasting, pure and really good for your skin.
  • Credibles Gift Cards: You can select varying amounts to put on the card and then the recipient can use the card “as cash” to purchase products and services from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery at ANY TIME (no expiration date!!)—this is the perfect gift for the foodie in your life who likes to be in charge of their food purchases.

Farm Open Hours and Catering Needs

The Farm will be open Sunday, December 21st from 12-4PM and Monday-Tuesday, December 22nd and 23rd from 10AM to 5PM.  We will also be open from 9-12 on Wednesday, December 24th for those last minute shoppers.  Thereafter, we will be closed until further notice.  We are still taking orders for holiday cheese boards, but the deadline for placing those orders is Saturday, December 20st at 5PM. You can pick up your orders until noon on Wednesday, December 24th.  Please don’t delay if you think you would like a cheese board or gift basket.  Please call Sarah at 217-840-4097 or send her an email at

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.

Posted 12/14/2014 9:58am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

I'll be brief. For those of you who didn't get chocolate-chevre truffles or goat milk caramels, we still have a few left for sale at the farm.  We also have lots of crackers, cheese (chevre, bloomy rinds, Moonglo), jams, honey and unique pickled veggies.  Some of other farmer friends have brought out beautiful items for sale too (yarn, note cards).  Come out to the farm TODAY 12-4PM or during the week (M-F 10-6).  

Also, don't forget to sign up for our "Cheese Pairings Demystified" Class to be held this Wednesday, December 17th from 6:00-7:30 pm.  Deadline for sign up is TODAY at 5pm.  

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.

Posted 12/11/2014 9:56pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

They’re starting to peel off the milk line; eight does two weeks ago, five does last week, and a group of ten this morning.  Yes, our girls are very pregnant and have decided it is time to turn off their built-in milk spigots; they’re drying themselves off.  How do they let us know it’s time?  They squirm with sensitivity when the teat dip goes on for pre-dipping. The consistency and color of their milk is more like heavy cream when we strip out the teat milk before milking. The inflations ride up on their udders and milk stops flowing within 30 seconds after the inflations have been put on.  These are the most obvious signs. Another hint is that the reward of grain on the milk stand can no longer coax them from their lounging position in the doe barn. 

And so goes the attrition of milkers.  From close to 70 does to less than 40, the end of their lactation is in sight. What I always find interesting is that the decline in milk volume in the bulk tank is not at all proportional to the number of does we dry off.  This too reaffirms our decision to dry off those does producing so little milk. 

As the dip stick measures lower and lower milk volumes in the bulk tank, so go the number of batches of cheese we make each week.  The milk is so creamy right now that our chevre tastes like a solidified crème fraiche.  I always have bittersweet feelings about this time of year.  I love the off-the-charts butterfat for making chevre and raw milk cheeses, and I want to make sure we have enough cheese for the holidays.  I also want to make sure we stockpile away enough frozen chevre to keep our wholesale customers happy during our “dry season.” But, I can’t deny that I, like my pregnant goat girls, have trouble getting up from my warm bed in the morning to face the cold winds of the winter day. 

Holiday Markets, Classes and Gifts OH MY!  

Alisa and Sarah have been VERY busy in the kitchen these days making jams and crackers and holiday sweets.  We received a “big bad” bar of dark chocolate as a gift, so why not make some goat cheese truffles with all that beautiful chocolate? 

big bad bar of chocolate

It's really big, isn't it?

making truffles

Better get to the market early if you want some of these!

goat milk caramels

It wouldn’t be December if we weren’t stealing a bit of precious goat milk to make Alisa’s mouth-melting goat milk caramels too. 

We will have all of these holiday delectables, along with our cheeses, our famous Goat Tee’s and goat milk soaps to purchase as gifts at TWO Holiday Markets this Saturday, December 13th:  Urbana’s Holiday Market in Lincoln Square Mall (8AM to 1PM) and The Allerton Mansion’s Holiday Market in Monticello.  We will also be bringing Credibles Gift Cards for you to purchase for the Prairie Fruits Farm fans in your life. 

For those of you who have never been to Allerton, it is one of the treasures of central Illinois—a historic mansion nestled in beautiful woodlands in rural Monticello (only 30 minutes’ drive west of Champaign off I-72).  For details about their holiday market, you can go to their website. Although their market will be held Saturday-Monday, December 13-15th 10AM to 4PM daily, I will be there only on Saturday.

Looking for some unique gifts?  Come visit our farm shop.  We’re open week days from 10 to 6 and Sundays from 12 to 4.  You can also call us to pre-order cheese boards and custom-made holiday gift baskets too. Call or email Sarah at 217-840-4097 or We can even ship your order to any destination in the US. 

We’re offering a special class on Wednesday, December 17th from 6:00-7:30 PM.  “Cheese Pairings DeMystified” will give you the confidence to pair a variety of cheeses with interesting jams, pickles, preserves, fruits and nuts.  Of course, we will be eating lots of cheeses along with their pairings during the class. You can even bring your own wine or beer to enjoy.  The deadline for sign-up is SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14TH AT 5PM.  We need at least ten participants to hold the class, so don’t delay. 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, we’re offering the ultimate gift for the local food lovers in your life: Tickets to our 2015 “Dinners on the Farm.”  We have a limited number of seats that we will be selling at a discounted rate.  You can buy as many as you like now and then select the dates you want to attend once our 2015 dates and themes have been determined.  It’s a great gift or a great way to guarantee a seat at our long dinner table. 

We have one final weekend of holiday markets on December 20th—Urbana and Chicago’s Green City Market. Stay tuned for details on what we’ll be bringing (yes, there will be gelato) next week.   

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.

Posted 12/4/2014 9:22pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

 Farm News Thanksgiving is one of the few days of the year that the farm belongs just to Wes, me and the goats.  We give all of our staff the day off, leaving us responsible for all the chores. Thanksgiving temperatures this year felt more like New Year’s Day rather than the end of November. 

A cold heavy air hung over the farm, when Wes rose early to feed the goats some hay.  Normally, they would be milked at 5:30 in the morning, but we decided to milk them once that day, later in the morning, so we could enjoy our Thanksgiving feast with friends later that afternoon.  The goats were bewildered by the stray from routine, lining up by the gates and vocalizing their dismay. Jemimah the donkey brayed loudly in protest over the change in schedule because it meant she would not get her “senior” horse feed at her allotted time.  Sleeping in isn’t really part of their consciousness.

I was allowed to linger in my warm bed for a few more hours.  However, by 8AM, I was taking my farm-raised Bronze turkey out of its brine and getting it ready for a slow roast on our big-daddy smoker-grill.  Wes made me a beautiful fire with oak logs, and after stuffing the cavity with carrots, apples, lemons, herbs and celery, we placed the 22-pound bird on the grill. By 9:00 AM, I was making my way into the cheeserie to ladle chevre.  Listening to “Turkey Confidential” on the “Splendid Table” public radio show, I readied the cheese cloths and the baskets and began the rhythmic process of scooping curd out the vat.  After nearly ten years of ladling chevre, I still find it sends me into a Zen-like state. 

All of the radio talk of stuffings and sides and family traditions made me curious about how our very own bird was doing on the grill.  Although Wes was milking, he would periodically pop out of the parlor to check on the fire and rotate the bird.  Since it was so cold outside, we were worried that the temperature inside the grill would not stay hot enough to cook the turkey properly.  Despite the snow that had started falling from the sky, the fire was burning strong and the turkey had taken on a dark golden hue.

We probed the flesh to check the temperature and after a couple hours of slow roasting, it was progressing nicely.  After four hours, the temperature indicated that the bird was done.  We removed it from the grill, and I hurried to make gravy out of chicken stock and roasted turkey parts. 

At some point in the late morning, I envisioned a slow peaceful day on the farm. I even fantasized about taking a walk down to the prairie with our dog Blue.  But, there I was close to our scheduled departure time, with gravy barely done and kale salad barely marinated.  Wes gave the goats a very large helping of holiday hay, we covered the bird with foil and put it gently into the back of our car, and away we went onto the snow-covered streets to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast with friends.

Farmers Market, Farm Holiday Foods, Happenings and More!

We’re attending the Urbana Holiday Market inside Lincoln Square Mall on Saturday, December 8th.  We have lots of great cheese, but no gelato this week. Get your bloomy rind cheeses while they last. We have stopped making new batches of bloomies since our milk is so rich right now.

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Angel Food
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat
  • Moonglo

To accompany our cheeses, we’ll have house-made crackers (herb salt and sesame-wholewheat) and jams for sale.  We also have great holiday gifts: goat milk soap and Chippy the Goat Tee Shirts.  Carry it all home in our insulated “Totes Ma Goats” tote bag. 

Don’t forget to sign up for Credibles too. You can gift Credibles dollars to someone special or use them yourself whenever you like.  The great thing about Credibles is the more you spend, the bigger the perks AND you don’t need to spend your cold hard cash with us.  

If you can’t make it to the Market on Saturday, you can come out to the farm to shop. We won’t be open on Sunday-Monday, December7-8, but our Holiday Hours will resume on Tuesday, December 9th.  Also, check out our holiday food offerings, including our All Illinois Cheese Boards. 

Speaking of cheese boards, we’re holding a special class called “Cheese Pairings Demystified.”  On December 17th from 6:00-7:30 PM you’ll learn about the major styles of cheese and what best to pair with themCheck out the details and sign up today. Class is limited to 20 participants and should be informative AND lots of fun (as well as delicious!). 

During the holiday season, we often generate lots of food waste. If you’re looking for a sustainable way to deal with all that waste, The Land Connection has the perfect workshop for you.

Join The Land Connection Monday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m. in Urbana for a "wormshop" on vermiculture at home. Vermicomposting is the science of composting with worms, and is a great way to keep vegetable scraps out of the trash. Led by Wes King, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, you will go home with 500 worms, a fully assembled vermiculture bin, and plenty of knowledge on the care and feeding of your new composting friends.  The workshop will be held in the classroom at Common Ground Food Co-op, 300 S. Broadway, Urbana, IL. Enrollment is limited so sign up today! Registration is $45 and includes all materials. All ages are welcome - two adults per bin maximum.


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.

Posted 11/28/2014 8:51am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

As your stomachs continue to digest your thanksgiving holiday feasts, consider a visit to Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery this weekend.  You can walk around the farm, do a little holiday shopping inside our warm barn or just get some lovin’ from the goats.  Our holiday weekend hours are as follows:

Friday November 28: 10AM to 6PM

Saturday, November 29: 10AM to 4PM

Sunday, November 30: 12 noon to 4PM

Starting Monday, we’ll resume our regular winter holiday hours of M-F 10AM to 6PM and Sundays, 12-4PM.  If you’re hosting a holiday gathering at your home or office, consider ordering an “All Illinois Cheese Board” from us.  They offer unique selections of Illinois artisan cheeses, house-made jams, farmstead honey and our very own selection of crackers and spiced nuts.

We will also be at Urbana’s Holiday Market THIS Saturday (inside Lincoln Square Mall) from 8AM to 1PM.   We'll have cheese, a limited offering of gelato, goat milk soaps, Prairie Fruits Farm Goat Tee-shirts and more.

Also, don't forget about our signing up for our Credibles campaign.   You can also purchase credibles as a gift for others.  

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.

Posted 11/24/2014 7:30pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

As many of you prepare for your Thanksgiving feasts and then fall right into the holiday season, consider giving the greatest gift of all, the gift of sharing the food you love with others.  We have several ways that you can buy Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery products this year.

This season, we are offering a "buy it forward" campaign through an organization called "Credibles."  This campaign will help us realize our dreams of enhanced sustainability and greater accessibility to our community at large.  The process is similar to an electronic gift card.  You can purchase credibiles in varying dollar increments and then use them whenever you like to buy our farm products. You can even use them to buy farm dinner tickets for the 2015 season.  To sweeten the pot and to thank you for your support, you get extra dollar credits, when you buy a certain dollar amount of credibles.  To learn more about credibles, visit our campaign's website.

Attention CSA members new and returning,: Signup for our 2015 Season is now open.  For those of you not familiar with CSA or Community Supported Agriculture, ours features bi-weekly offerings of cheese, gelato and artisan breads from May through October.  If you sign up before December 31st, 2014, you'll get a 15% discount off regular retail prices. If you sign up from January 1st-March 1st, 2015, you'll get a 10% discount off regular retail prices. So, if you want to lock in your seasonal supply of our products, don't delay.  

Holiday Shopping at the Farm

Looking for unique gifts and a unique holiday shopping experience?  Come visit us at the farm. We're open Monday-Friday (not open on Thanksgiving Day, however): 10 AM to 6:00 PM and Sundays: 12-4PM.  Cheese, gelato, jams, hand-made goat milk soaps, Chippy the Goat T-shirts, and more.  Peruse "the shop" and visit our pregnant goats. What could be better.  We're less than five miles from downtown Urbana and Champaign and ONLY TWO MILES off either I-57 or I-74.  


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.

Posted 11/20/2014 10:45pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

It’s easy this time of year to fix my mind toward next season.  I’m already thinking about January slumbers and March kids. I’m thinking about all the repairs that need to be made, all the changes I’d like to make in our cheese production schedule, all the things we can do better next year to make even better farmstead products.  The seasonal rebirths that go with farming make it easy to just move on to the next season without really taking stock of the season at hand.  So, at this time of year when we sunset fall and move into winter, I want to be more present in my reflections and to give deliberate thanks for what we have before us. 

I am thankful for the does that have given us such wonderful milk this year and for the legacy their grandmothers and great grandmothers are leaving in their wake. I am thankful for our black prairie soils that put out pounds and pounds of produce with just a little goat manure compost. I am thankful for our staff, their perfectionist tendencies and their dedication to craft.    I am thankful for our enthusiastic customers who come out to the farm even under threat of inclement weather.  The Thanksgiving Holiday often gets buried under turkey and stuffing and pie. This year, I will remind myself of the things just under the surface, the roots of things, the reason why we keep doing what we do.  

 Farmers’ Markets

We’re attending two markets this coming Saturday, November 22nd: Urbana’s Holiday Market and Chicago’s Green City Market.  Urbana’s Holiday Market takes place inside Lincoln Square Mall and Green City Market is held inside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (on Canon Drive). Both run from 8AM to 1 PM. 

We have been busy making lots of bloomy rind cheeses for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Here’s the lineup:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Angel Food
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie
  • Black Goat—these rounds are young, but they should be great by Thanksgiving
  • Red Dawn—we made this smoked paprika-dusted bloomy rind just for the holidays.  The smokiness of the paprika is reminiscent of bacon. It should be a great addition to your holiday cheese board. 
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue: we decided to cut just a couple of wheels of our first fall batch of this raw goat milk blue for the holiday. It is young and mild, but has a nice creamy texture.  I recommend stuffing dates with this cheese and serving them to your guests when they arrive. It would also be good lightly melted on roasted squash. 

Sarah has made some outrageously good crackers to accompany our cheeses this holiday season: Olive Oil and Sea Salt, Whole Wheat & Sesame, Fruit and Nut Crisps and Chevre-Oat. We’ll be selling bags of crackers at the Urbana Farmers’ Market. Alisa has made some delicious jams and we’ll have a limited number of jars on hand for you to purchase as well. 

Our gelato supply is limited in quantities and flavors, so we will only be bringing pints to the Urbana Farmers’ Market.  If you want some, I recommend getting to the market early.

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Pumpkin
  • Cardamom

Last call for Thanksgiving Catering Orders and Farm Holiday Hours

If you ‘ve been mulling over our catering menu trying to decide what you’d like to order, time is running out.  We must have all orders in hand by Saturday November 22nd at 5:00 PM so we can have all of our local ingredients on hand and start cooking for you early next week.  We are very excited about this new venture, and we hope you’ll give some of these treats a try.  If you’re  looking for last minute gifts to bring your Thanksgiving Holiday hosts, I recommend our “All-Illinois” cheese boards.  These are ONE of a KIND!! Check them out along with the other foods offered on our holiday menu.

The farm is OPEN during the holiday season: Weekdays from 10AM to 6PM and Sundays from 12-4PM. If you can’t make it to the farmers’ markets, come out to the farm. We’ll have cheese for sale as well as other farm products.   


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.

Posted 11/17/2014 2:58pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Although it feels like February outside, Our Pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Sale will be held this WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH FROM 4-6 PM.  We have a great selection of cheeses, a limited supply of gelato and a lot of great jams, crackers, pickles and more.

We'll be loading up the wood stove to make our barn dining room nice and cozy for shopping.

If you want to get a jump start on holiday gifts, we'll have Chippy the Goat T-shirts and hand-made goat milk soaps (made by Red Barn Farm for us with our goat milk, our cheese whey and our flowers, herbs and honey).  

Stewart's Artisan Breads will be here with an assortment of beautiful breads, bagels, rolls, cookies and chocolate babka (if you haven't tried this yeasted rich cake, you don't know what you're missing).  

Heirloominous Farm will have fall greens (kales, chard), squashes and other seasonal vegtables.

Seven Sisters Farm will have fresh, pastured-eggs and a few scans of yarn.

Caveny Farm will be here for those who have pre-ordered their Thanksgiving turkeys

Laurence, the knife dude, will sharpen your knives so they are perfect for slicing and dicing and carving the holiday bird.  

THE KITCHEN AT PRAIRIE FRUITS FARM IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS. If you're waiting to place your orders for cheese boards or other holiday foods, don't delay! These are one-of-a-kind, locally-sourced foods made with love in our farm kitchen. Sarah would love to talk to you about all the options we have!  Check out the menu and then give Sarah a call (217-840-4097) or an email (  

You can pick up your order at the farm open house or during our holiday hours (M-F 10AM to 6PM--starts Wednesday, the 19th; 12-4pm on Sundays).  



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.

Posted 11/13/2014 9:59pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

Shock and awe of a frozen nature descended from the frigid skies today: snow!  Having lived here almost 12 years, I have never seen snow fall so early in November.  It wasn’t even a few flurries mind you; at times, the sky was more white than grey, and snowflakes started to pile up on car windows and even to skiff the ground.  We rushed to cover up the garlic bed with straw mulch and batten down the goat barn hatches.  We laid down extra bedding, plugged in the water bucket heaters and put up the side windows.  All the while, the does puffed up their fur and snuggled to stay warm. 

Tonight, during milking, I went out to the barns to check on them.  Nate and Mocha were busy chasing after Habanero, who amazingly, has decided to come into heat during this turn of frigid weather.  The yearlings were nestled in a large pile underneath the hay feeder, cozy and protected from the sharp chill in the air.  The senior does were huddled in a tightly knit pile too, perfectly interwoven to maximize rumen- to-rumen contact. It’s the active rumen, digesting its hay contents, which will generate heat to stave off the unexpected cold. 

Having been lulled into a false sense of never-ending autumn, I am totally caught off guard by this sudden rush of arctic air.  The goats, too, are scrambling to cope; surely their winter coats will grow a little faster so they can better shield themselves from winter’s lashings. I’ll have to settle for layers, mittens and a brand new Carhart fleece-lined jacket. 

Farmers Markets and Holiday Sales News

We are attending the Urbana “Holiday Market” this Saturday, November 15th.  It will be cold, but we’ll be inside Lincoln Square Mall from 8AM to 1PM.  For those of you in Chicago wondering if we will be coming back to attend the indoor Green City Market, fear not. We will be there next Saturday, November 22nd for the pre-Thanksgiving holiday market.  For this Saturday, we have a nice selection of cheeses to keep you warm:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: perfectly ripe for eating this weekend; you could even pop it in the oven for a few minutes and serve it with honey and toasted nuts.
  • Black Goat: also perfectly ripe for eating this weekend; this cheese is tasting beautifully with pickled berries (maybe grapes or gooseberries) or a nice tart jam.
  • Moonglo: think fancy grilled cheese
  • Huckleberry Blue: I might have a few pieces of this piquant goat milk blue available—come early if you want some.

You might think it’s too cold for gelato, but it’s never too cold if you plan to serve it with warm pie:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Ginger—made with southern Illinois ginger!!
  • Cardamom
  • Salted Caramel
  • Pumpkin

Holiday Farm Foods and Sales

Mark your calendars for November 19th for the start of our holiday market hours.  We will be open from 10 AM to 6PM, but our “Open House” will be held from 4-6PM that day. During the open house, we’ll have cheese, gelato and other PFFC treats available for sale. Stewart’s Artisan Breads will be here with his breads, bagels, holiday rolls and other goodies. Heirloominous Farm will be here with a nice selection of fall greens, winter squash and tubers.  Caveny Farm will be here delivering pre-ordered Bourbon Red turkeys.  We may even have a few other special guests (stay tuned for more details early next week). 

It’s not too early to start placing your orders for Thanksgiving cheese boards, pies and savory dishes.  Our cheese boards feature “all Illinois” Artisan farmstead cheese makers including yours truly (PFFC), Ludwig Creamery, Marcoot’s Creamery and Jacobs and Brichford (Matt Britchford was raised in Urbana, even though their farm and creamery is in southern Indiana).  With house made crackers and jam, you won’t find this delicious and unique offering anywhere else!  To peruse the menu options and place your orders, visit our website.

Farm will be open for the Holidays

Starting November 19th (that’s next Wednesday), we will be open weekdays (Monday through Friday) from 10 AM to 6 PM.  On Saturday’s you can find us at Urbana’s Holiday Market from 8AM to 1 PM. On Sunday’s we’ll be open at the farm from 12 noon to 4PM.  Come pick up your holiday food orders, buy some cheese, gelato or other farm goodies and say hi to the goats.   

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.