A few years ago, I celebrated Independence Day by reflecting on our dependence as a small farm. Despite the independent nature of most farmers; we embrace our farm’s dependence on our rich prairie soils, the plentiful and clean ground water supply beneath our feet, the adequate rain that keeps our pastures lush and green and our goats’ good graces in offering their daily milk. We have always acknowledged our dependence on our community-our fellow farmers, the local businesses who patronize us and vice versa and our community of supporting patrons.
In this era of pandemic and social isolating, I find the celebration of dependence on Independence Day even more poignant. The pandemic has highlighted the complexity of the web of inter-dependence our farm represents, and the unintended consequences that have ensued when we are forced to isolate and distance from those relationships. In celebration of our country’s Independence, let’s rejoice in our mutual dependence: farmstead creamery-cheese lovers-we need each other.
Victory Cheese-Choose it OR lose it!
Celebrate the dependent-independent spirit of farmstead creameries by purchasing our “All Illinois Victory Cheese Box.” Time is running out to get this special Rick Bayless-curated Victory Cheese Box! The box features three Illinois farmstead cheeses (Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery chevre, Marcoot Jersey Creamery sharp cheddar and Ludwig Farmstead Creamery Kickapoo). You can add a “More Mexican Cooking Everyday” cookbook signed by Chef Rick Bayless himself! You can either pick up your box at the farm (please pre-order through our online store) on Saturdays, 1-4 pm OR you can have it shipped. We only have a few copies the signed cookbook left, so grab them before they’re gone.
Urbana’s Market at the Square-Come early to get the best selections!
This weekend, we’re debuting our “washed rind” beauty we call “Blushing Goat.” Rounds or Squares are washed with a culture-infused cocktail including Unity Vibration’s Bourbon-Peach Kombucha Beer. With sequential washings, the rind develops, it takes on a lovely pink-yellow hue, and the cheese becomes soft and supple. The cheese has that lovely funky aroma you’d expect from a wash rind cheese, but the flavor is VERY approachable. It’s got a great gooey layer going on with a firm paste in the center. The cheese has great umami with hints of peach and yeast from the beer wash.
This cheese would be fantastic on its own sliced onto a warm baguette round. If you want to get fancy, grill or sauté some onions and put on top of the cheese/bread. Since everyone wants to be grilling for the 4th of July, try Blushing Goat on a Burger (meat or veggie).
As you know by now, 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 take your orders at one section of our stand and fulfill 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 haven’t been experiencing the long lines of our fellow produce farmers, so come get your cheese FIRST and then stand in line for veggies. Gelato pints are ONLY available through online farm store sales/farm pick up.
Available in two sizes—rounds weighing approximately 7 oz. for $13 each; squares weighing approximately 8-9 oz. for $15 each
Fresh Chevre $8/each
--herbs de Provence
Angel Food-our little “crottin” style bloomies—$9/each (a few ripe ones left; rest are quite young)
Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy; it’s aging nicely with a lovely yeast aroma $10—VERY LIMITED this week
Fleur du Prairie-bloomy rind cheese adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers; beautiful AND tasty $11/each-VERY LIMITED this week
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-limited flavors this week (Vanilla—only 2 pints left, Chocolate and Fresh Mint for sure).
We will be open this Sunday afternoon, July 5th 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 Blushing Goat for sale during open hours. Consider getting a simple cheese board with blushing goat, warm baguette and a Unity Vibration Peach-Bourbon Kombucha beer!!
A lot of folks are wondering about farm tours, events and dinners on the farm. We have decided to put those on hold for the next few months to keep everyone safe. 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, most likely, there will 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.