As I write this blog post, we are finally getting a much needed thundershower. We were able to get the last bales of first cutting hay into the barn, just in the nick of time. This little rain will barely make a dent in replenishing the moisture in the soil profile, but it will give the plants a good solid drink. Thankfully, we will put our dreaded plans to irrigate the pasture and the hay field on the back burner for now.
Goat dairy farming and farmstead cheese making are a team sport, and I don't celebrate enough the folks here who are working hard to make it all happen. Today, meet Kato Lindholm, one of our main cheese makers. Kato has been working in the creamery since 2021. A Danish professional ballroom dancer with many international accolades, he came to us with a desire to learn more about sustainable agriculture and alternative farming. His skills as a dancer: strength, endurance, perfection in motion, along with a degree in environmental science, make him well suited to cheese making. I have always felt like ladling curd is like a dance-the bow to the vat, the gentle dip of the ladle, the repetition of movement-sometimes it's a solo performance, sometimes a duet.
Kato has infinite patience and unabashed modesty. He does not mind standing in front of the sink washing cheese molds for hours, and has mastered the art of packing cheese for shipment like no other. As he gains more confidence in understanding the theory of cheese making, he is taking greater responsibility for managing cheese makes. He has become a critical piece of the success of our creamery and our award-winning cheeses.
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.
We have a LOT of cheese for you this weekend, as well as goat milk yogurt. We can set up you up for the perfect cheese board or spread for easy entertaining. Thinking about grilling something? Consider using our yogurt as the base for your marinade. How about an early summer salad with our feta? How about shaving the truffle chevre over grilled asparagus? SO many options await you!
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 rhubarb compote--a dollop of house-made rhubarb compote adorns the plain chevre, resulting in the perfect pairing of sweet-tart-savory-LAST CHANCE for this hyper-seasonal flavor
Fresh chevre with "everything bagel" seasoning-grab some lox and forget the cream cheese!
Truffle chevre--NEW!! an aged/dried chevre ball mixed with olive oil-cured truffles and rubbed with cracked peppercorns. Amazing for grating over pasta or roasted veggies! GIVE THIS little flavor bomb a try! You won't be disappointed.
Angel Food mini-brie-aging beautifully! All goat milk too!
Little Bloom on the Prairie-mixed milk camembert-NEW BATCH
Black goat-ash-ripened goat bloomy rind-starting to get a wee bit soft
Fleur de la Prairie-all-goat bloomy rind with dried herbs and edible flowers-beautiful and delicious! 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner!
Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese
Raclette style cheese-made with cow's milk-great for melting! It makes a killer gourmet grilled cheese!
Feta in whey brine: crumble on a spring greens salad!
Goat milk yogurt (pints and quarts)-all natural, no thickening agents
Farm Open Hours
Come visit us this summer. 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 & cheese flights featuring three cheeses with three wines. It's a great way to try something new.
Special this weekend: Iced Coffee Affogatto! Mad Goat Coffee brewed & chilled with a scoop of goat milk gelato (we recommend vanilla, but there are other flavors from which you can choose!)
Due to the heat expected this weekend, we won't be offering a goat hike. In general, we will try 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 our rock star volunteer, Carol, 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.
Stay tuned for a VERY special Father's Day Cheese Box featuring our "everything bagel" seasoned chevre, black goat, Underground Meats salami and some very fun accompaniments! This box will be available for shipping or in-store pickup. On Farm Cheese & Beer Flights will be offered the weekend of June 17-18th.
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.