For the breeding bucks of Prairie Fruits Farm, the halcyon days of leisurely foraging in the summer pastures have ended. Yesterday evening, just before the rain started to fall, they took their annual fall walk over the alfalfa fields and through the windbreak to get to work. They have been getting themselves ready for a while. They have grown fat in their slovenly summer lifestyle. Their necks, the thickness of linebackers, require longer collars. Lips curled and heads tilted toward the sky, they have picked up the faint scents of does in heat, despite their distance. They have been dousing their bodies with "goat cologne;" Elvis has been especially attentive to his body odor, leaving no dry spots on his shaggy coat. By day break this morning, there are already a dozen does marked with the color from their breeding mate's crayon. Gaston, the new young buck, is still hanging out in the "bullpen," with Pancake (a sterile female) keeping him company and reminding him of his libido. The doe barns resonate with the amorous songs of bucks getting to work.
Farmers' Market Offerings and Farm Happenings
This Saturday, come see us at the outdoor farmers' market, Urbana's Market at the Square. Our location is at the south end of the market in aisle two. Hours are 7 am to 12 noon. Don't forget that the Farmers' Market moves inside Lincoln Square Mall on Saturday November 4th! We have some amazing seasonal chevre flavors and bloomy rind cheeses for you this weekend.
This week's simple, yet show-stopping cheese recipe comes from Laura Trovillion again. It features our newest seasonal chevre flavor "Citrus Chile" chevre. Here's the recipe:
Citrus Chile Chevre Drizzled Sweet Potato Wedges
1- 6 oz. container PFFC Citrus Chile Chevre
1- med. sweet potato per person, washed and cut into ¼ inch wedges
½ T olive oil per potato
Pinch of salt
Pinch of chile flake - optional for those who like heat
Preheat oven to 350F. Bring the chevre to room temperature, while slicing sweet potatoes into wedges. In a mixing bowl, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Lay out on sheet pan. Avoid crowding for crispy wedges. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and tender. Meanwhile, mix PFFC Citrus Chile Chevre with milk by the tablespoon until it's a drizzle consistency. Drizzle over warm sweet potato wedges and garnish with grated lime zest and optional chile flake if desired. Serve with lime wedges and extra drizzle on the side for dipping.
Need some additional cheesy menu ideas for simple eating this fall? With the cooler weather, how about baked feta with olive oil, fresh herbs and spiced honey? What about lasagna with Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese in place of ricotta and homemade tomato sauce from all those tomato "seconds"? How about a tuna melt with little bloom on the prairie camembert-style?
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 and 2023 Bronze Medal winner!
Fresh chevre with dried tomato
Fresh chevre with citrus chile
Angel Food: mixed milk mini brie or large format wheels--you choose--aging nicely
Little bloom on the prairie-mixed milk camembert-sytle bloomy rind-also aging nicely
Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese-it's like a cross between cottage cheese & ricotta-great for sweet or savory applications
Feta in whey brine: crumble on a summer salad! Use the whey brine to marinate chicken or lamb! Put it on a pizza! 2023 ACS Bronze Medal
Goat milk yogurt (pints and quarts)-all natural, no thickening agents-use it as the base of a marinade, a salad dressing or just eat it with fresh fruit.
Introducing PFFC grazing boxes to the farmers' market!
Check out the latest offerings from the creamery: These grazing boxes feature our cheeses and some delicious accompaniments. They can be enjoyed on the go, at the market with a coffee, at a picnic or at home. Simple and satisfying! Come grab a box this Saturday!
Save the Date: Sunday October 29th, 1-4 pm "Goaty Halloween"
Yes, the tradition lives on at Prairie Fruits Farm! Goats in costumes, guests in costumes, hay rides around the farm, fresh cider, pumpkin decorating and so much more. Put this one on your calendars folks!
Farm Open Hours
Fall is a gorgeous time to visit the farm. 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've have some amazing new flights for fall, featuring a luscious italian white (La Coccinelle) and a rich french red (Hermitage de Pic Saint Loup). Our beer flight has a fantastic sour from Polyanna, an easy-drinking belgian style ale and a german-style beer. Both flights features cheeses from Jacobs & Brichford, in memory of Mathew Brichford, the founder/head cheese maker, who was at the forefront of some of the best pasture-based, raw-cow milk cheeses in the US (even internationally). His passing is a huge loss to the artisan cheese community.
Please note: on Saturdays, we offer "build your own" 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. Our goat teenage girls are usually hanging around close to the barns and fences, waiting for your adoration. We have raw goat milk for sale as well as a fantastic selection of cheese accompaniments (crackers, jams, sauces, pickles, wines, beers) as well as Joyful Wren pastured-poultry eggs, our goat milk soap (made for us exclusively by The Wright Soapery), tea towels and t-shirts. Come see the latest new offerings in the farm store. From Divina fruit spreads, to Great Lakes Potato Chips ((the cherry BBQ is the "bomb!") to Central Illinois Bakehouse crackers and a growing array of roasted and seasoned Voss orchard pecans, we have some of the best accompaniments you'll find 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 will postpone until Sunday at 11AM. Not sure if it's happening? Just check in with our staff when you arrive on Saturdays. We plan to offer hikes through October. We may continue into November if the weather remains good.
When hikes happen, join Wes or one of our rock star volunteers 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.
HOLIDAY GIFT BOXES FOR BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS
If you own or work in a business or a non-profit organization that has the custom of giving gifts to your favorite clients/customers/donors, consider a unique and delicious cheesy gift box from Prairie Fruits Farm! We have curated four gift boxes for all budgets. Since this page/collection is password protected, please email me at email@example.com if you would like to check out our offerings and place an order. The deadline for placing orders is November 6th, to give us ample time to get all components in stock to fulfill orders. For those of you who want to order holiday gift boxes for individual gift giving, have no fear! We will be posting those options on our website sometime in early November. Stay tuned.
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. Holiday Gift boxes landing in early November!!