Sometimes, the best way to celebrate a holiday is to sit on a dock overlooking the most gorgeous serene body of water and just stare. Stare at the cattails that now nearly surround the pond; stare at the baby small-mouth bass circling around my toes; stare at the barn swallows skimming gracefully along the water's surface, snatching insects on the fly.
When you own and run a small dairy farm and farmstead creamery, time off is fleeting.
Finishing the day's chores early so that you can done your swimsuit and set out for a swim on a hot summer's day feels almost decadent. No matter that the cumulonimbus clouds darkened the sky to the east and rumbled threats of rain. The sun shone fiercely on my back facing westward and the water was the perfect temperature for a swim. Our dog blue hugged the narrow shoreline, preferring to wade rather than dog paddle. The pond is deep and clear; the bank is steep and the soft squishy muck underfoot is brief before deep soft water envelops your gliding body. Stay up late to watch the cascade of local towns' fireworks? No thanks; especially when the fireflies have revived after the rains to put on their own show of lights.
Farmers' Market and Farm Happenings
This Saturday, come see us at the outdoor farmers' market, Urbana's Market at the Square. Our location is the same as last year: on the south end of the market at the south end of aisle two. Hours are 7 am to 12 noon. The weather should be gorgeous and the market is flush with summer produce like eggplants, beans, squash, berries and peaches!
As usual, we have a LOT of cheese for you this weekend, as well as goat milk yogurt. We have a couple of cheese specials for you this weekend including a smoked paprika dusted fleur de la prairie Kato has named "Prairie Fire" (somewhat in "honor" of the Canadian wildfires whose smoke adorned our skies last week. We have a very special seasonal chevre flavor: chevre with sweet elderberry flower. We have another round of our gooey black goat special-buy one, get the second for 50% off!
Need some cheesy menu ideas for simple summer entertaining? How about a slice of little bloom melted on a burger? How about a Greek-style summer salad of cucumbers and tomatoes with our feta? What about Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese with pan-seared green beans and fresh mint? How about our yogurt with fresh berries or early season peaches?? What about gooey black goat with potato chips???
If you want raw goat milk or gelato, you will need to come out to our farm store during open hours. You can also order from our online store for farm pickup. We'll be bringing the following cheeses to market:
Fresh chevre--plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner!
Fresh chevre with elderberry flower (simple syrup infused with elderberry flowers mixed into the plain chevre-suble but divine!)
Angel Food mini-brie-aging nicely
Little Bloom on the Prairie-mixed milk camembert-all goat batch! Aging beautifully and burger worthy!
Black goat-ash-ripened goat bloomy rind-get in on the BOGO offer (really perfect for a dip with Great Lakes Potato Chips which you can buy in our farm store--I am OBSESSED with these chips and our gooey cheeses!!)
Fleur de la Prairie-all-goat bloomy rind with dried herbs and edible flowers-beautiful and delicious! 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner!
Prairie Fire: our fleur dusted with smoked paprika and topped with dried marigolds
Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese-great for sweet or savory applications-we are doing our former Ukrainian cheese maker, Tetyana, proud by continuing to make this popular fresh cheese.
Moonglo: raw goat milk tomme style semi-hard cheese--slightly nutty and fruity--perfect for slicing or melting
Pelota Roja: raw goat milk "Spanish-style" hard cheese with guajillo chile-olive oil rub--sharp, slightly spicy and just plain scrumptious-slice it, shave it! Serve it with your favorite summer red wine!
Feta in whey brine: crumble on a summer salad! Use the whey brine to marinate chicken or lamb! Put it on a pizza!
Goat milk yogurt (pints and quarts)-all natural, no thickening agents
Farm Open Hours
Come visit us this holiday weekend. We are open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm. You can visit with the goats, taste our raw milk (and buy some to take home), shop our farm store for cheeses, accompaniments and unique gifts, enjoy a cheese board under our pavilion or grab a scoop of gelato. We are also offering wine/beer & cheese flights featuring three cheeses with three wines or micro-brews. We're continuing to offer our patriotic themed wine & cheese flight- a white, red (rose) and blue (well, deep red) with three cheeses. Our beer and cheese flight highlights some unusual regional microbrews alongside our cheeses and Great Lakes Potato Chips as the eating vessel--fun and delicious!
Please note: on Saturdays, we offer cheese boards and flights starting at 12:30 pm until closing. On Sundays, they are available from 11-5.
Our farm is great place to unwind, enjoy some great cheese and gelato and take in the natural surroundings that are so scarce in central Illinois.
In general, we plan to offer hikes every Saturday at 11 am. If it is too hot or if it's raining, we won't be able to offer the hike. Just check in with our staff when you arrive on Saturdays to see if the hike is happening or not.
When hikes happen, join one of our rock star volunteers (or Wes) on a stroll along the eastern edge of our farm. It's a gorgeous part of the farm. The hike lasts for about 30-40 minutes and then we take you on a brief tour of the dairy. It ends with a scoop of gelato. $18/person includes the hike, a farm tour and a scoop of gelato at the end.
NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. HIKE STARTS PROMPTLY AT 11:00 am. SUITABLE FOR AGES 8 AND OLDER. WEAR STURDY SHOES FOR UNEVEN TERRAIN AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING/HATS FOR THE WEATHER. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO BRING A WATER BOTTLE AND SUNSCREEN TOO.
Want to order for farm pick up during the weekend? Need some raw goat milk? Eggs from Joyful Wren? Cheese? Just order from our Online Store for Farm Pick-Up. It's super easy!! Not local? You can still support us! You can order from our online retail store. We ship nationwide Mondays through Wednesdays every week. You can choose from one of our gift collections or just mix and match a la carte.