The signs of climate change are soaking our clothes this year. According to our state climatologist, central Illinois has received as much rainfall in July as we did in April, May and June. We are learning how to live in this warmer & wetter world. The lushness of the vegetation is astounding. We are working on fencing and portable shade structures. If we can convince the goats to stay out in the pasture with a few sprinkles, or venture out, even when they might get their feet wet (oh my!), they would find themselves in a chlorophyll-rich all-you-can-eat (and more) buffet.
The growth of the weeds in the garden and orchard is both blessing and bane. The towering weeds, left to flourish in neglected parts of the farm, hide the forgotten farm implements. The tall grasses that ring the garden provide perfect cover for the rabbits. They frolic with impunity in the vegetable garden; Blue, getting on in age, seems unenthusiastic to give them a chase. Once the wetness burns off, Wes will hop on his mower, move into his Zen mowing state and begin to tame the greenery.
Victory Cheese-Choose it OR lose it!—GIRLS AND THE GOATS TO VICTORY
We’re SOO excited to launch our next Victory Cheese Box collaboration with grass-fed, raw cows’ milk cheeses from Jacobs & Brichford, bloomy rind cheeses from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery and accompaniments by Chef Stephanie Izard and her “Girl & the Goat-ceries” team. This DELUX box features two cheeses from each farmstead creamery, house-made crackers, several kinds of pickles, jam and mixed nuts. We will be launching sales either sometime later today or over the weekend. You can either pick up your box at the farm (please pre-order through our online store) on Saturdays OR Sundays, 1-4 pm OR you can have it shipped. We are limiting sales to 50 boxes this week, but more will be on offer in the coming weeks. Online sales should be live either later today or tomorrow.
Psst: We still have a few more of the Rick Bayless Victory Cheese Boxes available if you want to order one of those as well, both with and without the signed cookbook.
Urbana’s Market at the Square-Come early, shop often
The Urbana farmers’ market is brimming over with fresh fruits & veggies, meats and eggs. We are thrilled with the outpouring of support for our local farmers from our community. There are so many amazing ingredients with which to prepare simple meals. Our cheese can either be an accompaniment to those dishes or the highlight of the dish itself. You decide. While Angel Food (crottin) and Little bloom (goat camembert) are on vacation this weekend, we still have a great selection to offer you.
The Urbana Market has modified it’s COVID-19 related restrictions. They still require social distancing, and both patrons and farmers must wear masks at all times. The main difference is that patrons will now be able to select their own produce. Our market stand practices remain the same. We have a Square card reader set up for you to swipe your card for payment. If you bring cash, we will give you change (and sanitize our hands between transactions). Gelato pints are ONLY available through online farm store sales/farm pick up.
Here’s the cheese line up for this weekend:
Pelota Roja—raw milk “Manchego style” hard cheese with a guajillo chile-olive oil rub on the rind $7/wedge-consider shaving this cheese over grilled zucchini or eggplant!
Blushing Goat- washed rind with a Peach-Bourbon Kombucha beer; gooey, oozy and delicious
Available in two sizes—rounds weighing approximately 7 oz. for $13 each; squares weighing approximately 8-9 oz. for $15 each; We’ll have a few half-squares available too for $8 each. This cheese is perfectly ripe right now and is limited in offering!
Fresh Chevre $8/each
--herbs de Provence
Seasonal chevre flavor of the week: Chevre with local honey! We love to feature ingredients from other farmers, and this week’s chevre has honey from Goldsberry Farm in Watseka (you can buy their honey at the Urbana Farmers’ Market) $9/each-Very limited this week!
Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy; aging nicely $10
Fleur du la Prairie-bloomy rind cheese adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers; beautiful AND delicious $11/each-
Goat Milk Feta—aged in whey brine, tangy with a creamy-crumbly texture-PERFECT for salad season! $7 each
Other Opportunities to Purchase Our Products
If you’re not able to buy our cheeses in person, you can order online for shipping. We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. There are also lots of retail establishments throughout central IL and the Chicagoland area that carry our cheeses.
Farm Open Hours and Offerings this Summer
If you can’t make it to the farmers’ market, no worries. You can order online by 10 AM Saturday for Farm Pick-Up between 1-4 pm. Gelato pints are available for farm pick up ONLY-new flavors this week include Vanilla, Fresh Mint, Anise Hyssop, Salted Caramel Swirl and Nectarine Sorbetto (made with Mileur Orchard Nectarines).
New items in the online farm store (and in the farm shop “The Real Stand”):
**Raw Milk! Yes, finally, we have a permit from the Illinois Department of Public Health to sell our raw milk. You can either order online (for Saturday Pickup, 1-4 pm) OR come out to the farm on Sundays, from 1-4. We’re selling milk in half gallon jugs for $9 (competitively priced compared to conventional goat milk found in the grocery store). NOTE: RAW MILK SALES ARE ON HOLD THIS WEEK, AS WE NEED IT FOR CHEESE MAKING
**”Wash Your Hands! In Style”—new gift item (or just buy it for yourself!) featuring goat milk soaps made exclusively for us by the Wright Soapery. We’re offering a large bar of goat milk soap (tea tree oil, lemongrass, fresh mint or chamomile-oatmeal) with a “Three Chippys” tea towel for $15.
We will be open this Sunday afternoon, August 2nd to visitors, with some restrictions. From 1-4 pm, you can peruse our farm store, enjoy a cup of gelato or a cheese board with wine/beer/other beverages under our pavilion, visit with the goats (no petting, just viewing) and just enjoy the rural outdoors. All visitors must wear masks and practice social distancing while visiting the farm. We’ll be featuring ALL OF OUR CHEESES for sale during open hours. Consider enjoying a simple cheese board with a glass of wine or beer!
Can you see yourself (with family or friends) enjoying this cheese board? Sure, you can!
Regarding farm dinners and farm tours, they are on hold until we feel that we can host them safely and in the spirit of our normal farm conviviality. We hope things will be better in the fall, and if so, we plan to schedule a couple of special cheese tastings and farm dinner events then. Regarding our orchard, there is not be enough fruit for u-pick this year, but you will be enjoying whatever fruit we get either through the farm store or in the forms of jam or gelato.