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A new season begins

Farm News

For farmstead goat dairies like ours, the new “year” begins in March. As we transitioned from February to March, the weirdly premature signs of spring were evident: tornadoes touching down on the outskirts of Champaign, abundant robins scavenging for worms in the soft wet soil, red-wing blackbirds setting up territories on desiccated stalks of cattails, early spring snowdrops in full bloom and fresh green chives pushing their stems toward the warm blue sky.

The very pregnant does have started to give birth. Like so many mammals, the pressure changes from frequent waves of rain and wind have stimulated labor. As of last evening, we have 11 does kidded with over 26 kids born-Cannellini kicked off the season with quads (3 does and 1 buck), a good omen. Today’s rainstorm will likely result in more births and baby catching. Kidding season is both wonderous and exhausting. Over the years, we have opted for a tighter fall breeding schedule, choosing to endure stress and sleep deprivation for a shorter window of time in spring. As the dairy crew scuttles around raindrops from barn to nursery, the rains will replenish the soil profile, setting the stage for verdant pastures to thrive.

Farm Happenings and Beyond

Spring babies bring fresh goat milk and goat milk cheeses. We hope to begin goat cheese production in the next week or so. In the meantime, we have been making some fabulous cheeses from Kilgus Farmstead’s Jersey cow milk and we want to share them with you in as many outlets as possible.

This Saturday, March 4th, we are attending the Champaign-Urbana Indoor Farmers’ Market inside Lincoln Square Mall (8 am to 12 noon). The weather should be clear and perfect for an outing to the market tomorrow. We’re bringing LOTS of cheese, so come out and show us some love:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper

  • Fresh Mozzarella: Perfect for a home-made pizza or melted over a fried egg

  • Halloumi-Grilling Cheese-this cheese is mild and really comes to life when you slice it, pan fry in light olive oil and serve it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and + fresh herbs-LIMITED OFFERING and last chance until summer.

  • Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese: try serving it on toast with your favorite jam or a drizzle of honey

  • Angel Food: (all cow milk mini-brie)

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie (all cow milk camembert-style)

  • Moonglo: raw goat milk tomme (semi-hard cheese) perfect for slicing and eating or indulging in a grown-up fancy grilled cheese sandwich

  • Pelota Roja: raw goat milk “Spanish” style cheese with guajillo chile-olive oil pasted rind. Sharp, nutty-great for grating, shaving or slicing

  • Feta in Whey Brine: currently made with all cows’ milk-creamy and mellow but perfect for a winter salad of greens and a citrus vinaigrette

  • All Natural Yogurt (made with 100% Jersey Cow Milk)-no additives, no thickeners-just milk and probiotic cultures—both pints and quarts available.

If you can’t make it to the market, why not order from our online store for farm pick up. We have the full selection of cheeses available PLUS a variety of cheese-friendly accompaniments, EGGS from Joyful Wren Farm and ORGANIC CARROTS from Blue Moon Farm. If you’re not local, you can always order from our online store for shipping. We ship nationwide Tuesdays and Wednesdays either 1-2 ground or 2nd Day Air (depending on your location).

Save the DATE: Saturday, March 11th “International Women’s Day” Celebration! Celebrate all the amazing women who make Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery the Animal Welfare Approved Dairy and Award Winning Creamery that it is! Hours: 11 am to 4 pm.

We’ll be releasing our first batch of Raclette-style cheese made by our Ukrainian Cheese Maker, Tetyana. We’ll be serving up some special cheesy dishes alongside mimosas and special drinks. The farm store will be open and baby goats will be available for viewing and petting. Stay tuned to our website for upcoming details!

Babies and Brunch! Yes, Yes!

We will be hosting four “Babies & Brunch” events this spring—two in March and two in April (all on Sundays). We’ll feature locally made pastries, goat milk hot chocolate and Mad Goat Coffee Roasters Coffee. We will be taking reservations for these events, so stay tuned for details in the coming week or two. The Farm store will have limited open hours on Saturdays starting in late March or early April, and we will resume our regular weekend open hours (Saturdays and Sundays, 11-5) starting May 6th.

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