It’s been a quiet slide into our season of repose. No storms to whip through our now unprotected pastures; no goat breakouts into the naked tree orchard; no major protests against leaving the evening milkings behind and milking a little bit later in the mornings. Everyone is ready for a break-the goats and the humans who care for them alike.
The vets came out to ultrasound the milking herd this week, confirming the impending season of “March madness” that will overtake the barns. We had over a 95% conception rate this year; most of them with at least twins. The does seem non-plused by the news of their expectings; just chewing their cud and listening casually to the soft country music in the background.
This is the week of “lasts;” tomorrow is the last milking and the last cheese making. Saturday will be the last ladle and Sunday will be the last pack of the season. We have a couple more weeks of selling to do, but soon, that too will cease. My mind has drifted to winter breaks and all the books I’m pining to read.
Market Offerings and Farm Happenings
This Saturday, December 14th, we’ll be slinging the cheese at Urbana’s Market IN the Square. We will be there from 8 am-12 noon (even though the market runs until 1 pm). We’re bringing a great selection of cheese, including the latest (and very young) batches of Cow-Goat Eclipse. Although they’re less than two weeks old, they will be perfect to serve to your holiday guests in another couple of weeks. We will also be bringing some jarred products, PFFC “merch,” as well as our cheese & salami gift boxes (featuring charcuterie from Piemonte Sausage Co.).
Here is the line-up of cheeses:
Fresh chevre: plain, herbes de Provence, cracked pepper-our chevre is so rich and creamy right now; it’s perfect to slather on some crusty bread or dollop on a casserole or cream up your soups or stews. Serve as an appetizer with crudité or some of our new “Potter’s” Crackers or Crisps (available in our farm store only).
Pickled-Spiced Ramp Chevre—this is a “spring meets winter” spin—ramps (wild leeks foraged this past spring) pickled with assorted spices (cinnamon stick, clove, star anise, bay leaf and more) are chopped and blended into the fresh chevre—this has so many flavors going on, it’s hard to describe. Ask for a taste. It’s the perfect ready-made dip for holiday guests. LIMITED AVAILABILITY.
Cow-Goat Eclipse Our new mixed milk (75% jersey cow milk from Kilgus Farmstead and 25% goat milk) bloomy rind cheese! This bloomy has the same crinkly (and yeasty) white mold as our black goat and fleur du prairie). We’ve done a few variations with this cheese—some with or without edible flowers and dried herbs from our herb garden.
Midnight Cow-Goat Eclipse: made in squares with a thin veneer of charcoal ash, this version of “Eclipse” has a lovely yeasty-bread dough flavor with hints of butter. We’re running a special on the squares—take $1/off the full price!
Give the gift of local cheese & charcuterie:
Cheese & Salami Gift Boxes featuring artisan charcuterie from Piemonte Sausage Co., our chevre and house-made pickled green cherry tomatoes. NOW just $79.95 feeds 10-15 guests (individual components would cost over $100).
Can’t make it to the market on Saturday? Fear not: our farm store “The Real Stand” is open Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4 pm this weekend and December 21st-22nd. We will be taking a break for winter, but stay tuned for news about special events in 2020.
During open hours, you can:
--Visit with the goats
--Enjoy some local food “snacks”—we’ll have some warming foods for sale)
--If you’re like me (and you enjoy ice cream any time of year), you can get a scoop of gelato or an “affogato” (espresso with a scoop of gelato)
--Savor a cheese board—select your cheese & charcuterie, and we’ll put it all together with accompaniments and a warm baguette. We’ve streamlined our “build your own cheeseboard.” You still get to pick out the cheeses and cured meats, but our staff will compose the board for you with a warmed demi-baguette (and/or crackers) and three sweet & savory accompaniments (think jam, pickles, nuts, relish and artisanal mustard) for a small fee.
--Peruse our farm store for unique holiday gifts, edible and otherwise (local meats, flour, honey, maple syrup, jams, t-shirts, tea towels, note cards, self-care products and more).
NEW in the farm store: Delight Flower Farm self-care products! We are super excited to carry these locally made salves, tinctures, salts and more.