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Dilemma of the lingering tomato vines

Farm News

This is the time of year when the trees begin their gradual transformation to winter repose. I can see the slight hints of yellow, orange and brown hues in the tops of the tree canopies. Nonetheless, our herb garden is still ablaze with the colors of summer—flaming reds of the pineapple sage flowers, majestic purples of the Mexican sage-both teaming with anxious pollinators gathering the remnants of their fall food sources.

Shorter days are finally catching up with the tomatoes and the vines are beginning to wither. Yet, they are still producing tomatoes, ever more gradual to ripen. The thrill of harvesting ripe tomatoes has begun to lose its luster; yet the feelings of obligation to keep picking linger. In the timeline of the tomato enthusiast, the first ripe tomatoes are celebrated and sacred; those harvested during the heat of summer are relished and preserved. The tomatoes of late fall experience ambivalence; you want to keep eating them, the vines are still working for you. Yet, you have had your fill. Your guilt wanes and you let them rot on the vines. You want them to hold on a little bit longer, but you’re secretly hoping for that October frost to put an end to the season. Soon, you will be satisfied to enjoy the handiwork of your tomato preservation projects.

 

Farm Open Hours—VISIT THE FARM, CHECK OUT OUR “FARM BAR”—ENJOY SOME OF THE BEST LOCAL FOOD AROUND! Indoor and outdoor seating available.


Celebrate FALL with an outing to the farm! Guests can enjoy artfully crafted cheese and charcuterie boards, small bites highlighting what’s local and in season and weekly specials. We feature artisan breads from Publican Quality Bread (Chicago, IL) and scones from Alchemy Coffee & Bakehouse (Wilmette IL). Sunday brunch “Bloody Mary’s” are made from scratch, using organic tomatoes from Blue Moon Farm (Urbana IL). You can also still get gelato by the scoop too!


Need more enticing? Come try some amazing organic and/or biodynamic wines that you can’t find anywhere else in Champaign-Urbana! Some of this week’s featured menu items include:

Cheese boards featuring cheeses from PFFC, Jacobs & Brichford and Ludwig Creamery

  • Charcuterie Boards featuring Piemonte Sausage Co. and Underground Meats salumi

  • Publican Quality Bread (PQB) Bruscetta with Arugula, Apple and Proscuitto

  • House-Made Pizzas featuring our cheeses, local veggies and local charcuterie

  • Fall Salad featuring local greens, apples, toasted pecans and feta cheese

  • Asian Pear Wedges with proscuitto and honey chevre


Come try a wine flight this Friday night! We’ll feature three wines from our Organic & Biodynamic Portfolio for a set price. Wine not your thing? Enjoy a cold brew from our newest selection of local microbrews, kombucha beer and hard cider! We’re very excited about these new libations.

Hours are:

Fridays, 4-8 pm

Saturdays, 11-8 pm

Sundays, 11-5 pm


NOTE: We are open to the general public this Sunday, October 17th, even though we have our Pizza-Cannoli-Gelato event (that requires a ticket purchased in advance). We will have a limited menu of cheese & charcuterie boards. If there are extra pizzas, those can be ordered as well-no promises though.


 

In the farm store, we now feature vegetables from new farmer “Open Hands Farm.” Selections change weekly but right now, you can expect tomatoes, carrots, parsley, chard, beets, garlic and potatoes for sure. We also have pumpkins and apples from Meyer Produce in Philo, IL.


 

Farm Dinners and Farm Events

Last chance to purchase tickets to our Neopolitan style pizza (Pizzeria Antica), cannoli and gelato EVENT THIS SUNDAY with The Tony Cannoli of Lincoln Illinois-October 17th. You can still pre-order an extra four-pack of cannoli but act now; supplies are limited. Check out our beer and brats event on October 21st with Heartland Beverage and D&M Meats.


Details for our “A Goaty Halloween” on Sunday, October 31st, are set and tickets for admission/hayrides and pumpkin decorating are now available. There are three time slots from which you can choose.


Stay tuned for details and ticket sales for upcoming special tastings, workshops and goat hikes lining up for the remainder of the fall season!


COVID protections on the farm

As the weather gets cooler, we want to remind our patrons that we follow the state guidelines for wearing masks indoors. While visiting our farm store, we require that you wear a mask, unless you are actively eating and/or drinking. If you are engaged in enjoying our food and beverage offerings, and you need to speak with one of our staff, we request that you wear your mask. Our staff wear masks during service, and everyone is vaccinated. We are planning to host farm dinners and other events indoors this fall, and we will be adjusting our open hours so that we don’t create situations of crowding inside our farm store. Please check our website for up-to-date open hours. Thank you for your cooperation and for helping to keep everyone healthy and safe.

 

Urbana’s Market at the Square: Featured Items Going to Market This Saturday-7 am to 12 noon

It will finally be cool this Saturday at the market, so dress warmly and come out to support your local farmers. There is still so much variety of produce available, and our cheeses can be paired with most of it or used as ingredient in your favorite fall recipes. CELEBRATE #RAWMILKCHEESEDAY THIS SATURDAY! BUY YOURSELVES A FEW WEDGES OF OUR PELOTA ROJA CHEESE!


Can’t make it to the market? No worries! Order from our online store for farm pick up either Saturday or Sunday during farm open hours. Now that the weather is cooler, consider shipping an order: treat yourself or someone special in your life!

Here’s the line-up of offerings for this weekend:

  • Fresh Mozzarella! We are now making fresh mozzarella with the amazing cow milk from Rocky Road Dairy. Like all of our cheeses, we make this cheese as close to traditional methods as possible. Comes as a perfectly formed ball (approximately 5-6 oz) in a light brine-perfect for homemade pizza!

  • Artisan Cottage Cheese-grassfed milk from grazing cows makes an AMAZING cottage cheese. It is both gorgeous (lovely yellow in color-a testament to the grass the cows are eating) and delicious. If you think cottage cheese is boring, you really need to give this a try! It’s a game changer!

  • Pimento cheese dip—so popular, we’re making more! -featuring our cottage cheese, organic red peppers from Blue Moon Farm and parmesan like cheese called “Everton Reserve” from our grassfed cow-dairy friends at Jacobs & Brichford in Indiana). Can’t wait to share this with you all!

  • Gidget's Grilling Cheese-our halloumi style beauty makes a final appearance in limited quantities--in honor of the warm days we've been having of late!--COME EARLY if you want this guy!

  • Fresh chevre

    • Plain

    • Herbs de Provence

    • Cracked peppercorn

    • Roasted garlic-just in time for fall! Thank you Blue Moon Farm!

  • Fleur de la Prairie-a delicate bloomy rind decorated with locally sourced dried edible flowers and herbs. 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!

  • Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy-when young, it has a lovely light yeasty flavor with a dense fudgy paste. As it ages, it gets nice ‘n gooey. Lucky for you, patrons, we have both versions this weekend—come early if you want the ooey-gooey & funky version! 2021 NY International Cheese Competition Silver Medal Winner

  • Pelota Roja- raw goat milk Manchego style cheese with a guajillo-olive oil rub—so good for shaving over roasted potatoes or your favorite casserole! 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER! GRAB A WEDGE AND CELEBRATE RAW MILK CHEESE DAY THIS SATURDAY!

  • Mixed Milk Feta—our first batch of cow-goat feta is ready for your enjoyment; aged in Whey Brine-perfect to crumble over a hearty fall stew or roasted beets, warm out of the oven. Or turn it into a dip and serve with roasted carrot sticks!

  • Goat Milk Yogurt—it makes a great smoothie or enjoy with your favorite granola and fresh berries- available in both pints and quarts!

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