This is the spring of abrupt transitions. From cold and raw one week, to hot & steamy with a dose of frequent thunder storms the next. Wes’ attempts to get our new pasture seeded were laid waste by wet seed sprouting and clogging the no-till drill. The pop up thundershowers left standing water in parts of the field, making tractor work impossible. The goats’ coats, still lined by winter fleece, can’t shed fast enough to provide relief from the sudden swell in temperature. We have started to shave a few of the really “furry” girls, and we offer them cool goat gator-aide in their water troughs.
They relish their mid-morning prairie walks. We’ve even started taking the younger milkers out into the orchard to browse. They’re under strict supervision during these orchard forays; they’re allowed only so much tree climbing time, while bark chewing is strictly prohibited.
In an instant, the hot humid air has sparked a flush of weeds in the herb garden. Their prolific growth has forced our hand to act. The season of pulling, mulching and planting has begun. Wes relishes his weekly lawn trimming on the riding mower; it’s one of the few times he can sit down and still accomplish something. The purple martins have returned to the farm, just in time to reclaim their newly cleaned house (good riddance to those English sparrow interlopers!) and take up their work of eating insect pests.
Urbana’s Market at the Square-The list of delicious seasonal foods grows each week
We’re looking forward to some clear skies on Saturday, the perfect weather for an early morning outing to the farmers’ market.
As you know, the market is open with some restrictions to ensure the safety of farmers and patrons alike. If you haven’t already reviewed the markets rules for operation under “COVID 19 restrictions, please check them out on the “Market at the Square” website. We will be taking your orders at one section of our stand and fulfilling them in another. We will 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).
We have a fantastic selection of cheeses for you this weekend, including TWO seasonal chevre flavors and young batches of black goat and fleur du prairie. We’ll also be providing a recipe for
Here’s the line-up for this week:
Fresh Chevre $8/each
--herbs de Provence
—Pickled Ramp & Onion $9—sweet & sour pickled alliums added to our fresh chevre—the perfect foil for rustic bread or a bagel with a slice of smoked salmon—LIMITED AVAILABILITY.
--Rhubarb Compote $9-this week’s visiting chef from Acadia made a beautiful rhubarb compote from our abundant rhubarb stalks. We added a generous dollop to the plain chevre. Mix it in and enjoy on a slice of dark bread (or just eat it with a spoon!)
Angel Food-our little “crottin” style bloomies—aging nicely with a luscious gooey layer next to the rind $9/each
Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert style cheese-just a few wheels left, and they are big! $12/each
Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy; when young, the rind has a flavor reminiscent of bread dough and the paste is tangy and fudgy $11
Fleur du Prairie-bloomy rind cheese adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers $11/each
Goat Milk Feta—aged in whey brine, tangy with a creamy-crumbly texture $7 each (pick up our recipe for "Lisa's famous Greek salad with PFFC goat milk feta")
If you don’t want to come to the market, no worries. You can order online by 10 AM Saturday for Farm Pick-Up between 1-4 pm.
Other Opportunities to Purchase Our Products
If you can’t make it to the Urbana Farmers’ Market or our Saturday Farm Pick Ups, you can order online for shipping. We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. There are also a growing number of retail establishments throughout central IL and the Chicagoland area. New to the list this week are Publican Quality Meats in Chicago and Carnival Foods in Oak Park. Café Cancale Marche just joined the list too. We’ve got some other exciting partnerships in development. Stay tuned for details soon.
As restaurants reopen in limited capacity, several are featuring our cheeses-shout outs to Vie Restaurant (Western Springs, IL) and Sunday Dinner Club (Chicago).
If you’ve been thinking about ordering a Girl & The Goat-ceries Meal kit to pick up at the farm this Saturday, don’t delay. These kits are selling fast!! Chef Stephanie Izard is preparing a meal kit exclusively for our central Illinois customers (and featuring a cheese plate with our little bloom on the prairie no less!!). Not only that, she’s going to deliver the meal kits to our customers right here on the farm! We are excited to host her.
Girl & the Goat-ceries (of Girl & the Goat and Chef Stephanie Izard) is headed to Prairie Fruits Farm for one time only! We heard you and we’re bringing a limited amount of our Goat Restaurant favorite dishes via these meal kits (cooking required) for pick up on Saturday 5/30 from 3:30-6pm! Menu includes delicious proteins to grill out or make on your stovetop, such as pork sausage satay, herb marinated shrimp, fun sides like a Gotham Greens grilled salad, house made pita and cookies from Little Goat Bakery! Best of all- this meal kit features a special Little Bloom on the Prairie cheese plate!
Every curated meal kit includes exclusive photo/video recipes by Stephanie Izard! To view the full menu and pre-order for pick up, click here.
Reopening the farm
As the state slowly relaxes the restrictions on businesses and social gatherings, we will be working on plans to re-open the farm to visitors. We are hoping to open the farm by mid-June, and we hope to offer opportunities for visitors to experience the farm safely. We are still hoping to host a few “Dinners on the Farm,” but these probably won’t happen until later in the summer or early fall.