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Cover cropping in a drought

Farm News

The soil is bone dry. A dust cloud trails the rotovator as we lightly till the soil in preparation for seeding. We have chosen crimson clover, a summer cover crop that will produce gorgeous deep red flowers. Why plant cover crops on the cusp of the summer solstice in the midst of one of the worst droughts central Illinois has seen in nearly 30 years? We do it because it is so important to have all of our ground in vegetation at all times. Yes, we had to till the soil to prepare the seed bed. Yes, it will take frequent irrigating until the seed germinates and the plants take root. Yes, we will be using ground water. Yet, the benefits outweigh the negatives: crimson clover is a pollinator's dream! We can fresh chop some of the crop to feed to our goats! It grows fast once established and will keep our beautiful prairie soils in place (and not allow them to get airborne!!!). When it is killed by a frost in the fall, it will decompose and contribute to the soil organic matter pool, thereby storing carbon.

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.

As usual, we have a LOT of cheese for you this weekend, as well as goat milk yogurt. We have some favorites back into the lineup: Pelota Roja and Moonglo . We have a limited offering of some gooey & ripe black goat and angel food--buy either one, get the second for 50% off! LIMITED OFFER!!

Need some cheesy menu ideas for this weekend? How about a slice of little bloom melted on a burger? How about a Greek-style summer salad of cucumbers and tomatoes with our feta? How about shaving the truffle chevre over grilled zucchini or oven-roasted tomatoes? What about Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese with pan-seared green beans and fresh mint? How about our yogurt with fresh berries or early season peaches??

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 "everything bagel" seasoning-grab some lox and forget the cream cheese!

  • Truffle chevre--an aged/dried chevre ball mixed with olive oil-cured truffles and rubbed with cracked peppercorns. Amazing for grating over pasta or roasted veggies! Try it in place of parmesan cheese for a wilted kale salad!! GIVE THIS little flavor bomb a try! You won't be disappointed.

  • Angel Food mini-brie-super ripe ones are part of the BOGO offer! Mixed milk batch is super young but melts in your mouth!

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie-mixed milk camembert-all goat batch! Aging beautifully!!

  • Black goat-ash-ripened goat bloomy rind-older batch is part of the BOGO offer (really perfect for a dip with Great Lakes Potato Chips which you can buy in our farm store--I am OBSESSED with these chips and our gooey cheeses!!), young batch is firm, tangy and yeasty.

  • 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-great for sweet or savory applications

  • Moonglo: raw goat milk tomme style semi-hard cheese--slightly nutty and fruity--perfect for slicing or melting

  • Pelota Roja: raw goat milk "Spanish-style" hard cheese with guajillo chile-olive oil rub--sharp, slightly spicy and just plain scrumptious-slice it, shave it! Serve it with your favorite summer red wine!

  • Feta in whey brine: crumble on a summer salad! Use the whey brine to marinate chicken or lamb! Put it on a pizza!

  • 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/beer & cheese flights featuring three cheeses with three wines or micro-brews. It's a great way to try something new.

In general, we plan 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 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.


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.


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