This past Monday, as the frigid winds of seasonal change ushered out the last remnants of our balmy fall, we said goodbye to the final group of 2022 replacement doelings. We have struggled to find buyers for our doelings this year. We have fantastic genetics for pasture-based goat dairying, longevity and for high solids (butterfat & protein) milk. Our herd is healthy and disease free because we do the hard and expensive work of testing and preventative care. We are proud of our goats’ genetics, and we love finding good homes for our does, especially in commercial goat dairies. At last, we found a buyer: an Amish farmer from southern Illinois, looking to grow his herd to meet increased demand for his milk.
He arrived with his driver and beautiful livestock trailer early in the morning. The week before, Erica and Sophie had trimmed their hooves and made sure they had their booster vaccines and were in good health. The load-in went smoothly at the south farm, and then the buyer wanted to check out the breeding bucks we had for sale. We escorted them over to the home farm so they could observe both Jasper and Zircon. We chatted for awhile about pedigrees and milk components. He decided to go with the Nubian, Zircon, to improve the butterfat and protein levels of his herd. He was impressed with his solid conformation too.
In conversing with the buyer, he’s been dairy farming for quite some time. He and his family used to milk sheep in Canada. They converted their dairy to goats and then COVID hit, and the Canada-US border closed. They decided to move to the US so that they could visit family more frequently and not have to worry about border closings. They milk 90 goats by HAND! They have five family members who milk together. He says they work like hands in gloves, milking the group in under an hour! This is VERY impressive, as it takes us a little over an hour to milk 100 goats with milking machines.
We finished the paperwork and gave our final recommendations for maintaining their health. We gave our final cheek scratches and head pats to the girls and even Zircon. As they pulled out of the driveway, we could breath a sigh of relief, knowing they were going to a good home and that they would improve another dairy farmers’ herd.
Save the Dates: Upcoming Holiday Events at the Farm
November 26th and December 10th—Goat Holiday Photo Booth
From 1-4 pm, you can take your holiday pictures with our holiday goats—Santa, Mrs. Claus and plenty of goat elves! Stay warm with our goat milk hot chocolate. Cheesy specials too! Details forthcoming—NO reservations required.
December 10th: Meet our Herd Manager and Photographer Extraordinaire, Erica Peters. In addition to taking care of our goats, Erica has her own photography business, “EricaPetersPhotography.” Come see some of her gorgeous compositions and take home a canvas to adorn your walls or to give to someone special in your life.
December 10th: Holiday Wine Sampling: Meet our wine distributor, Paul Simpson of Winebow. He’ll be pouring some of the wines in our current portfolio and offering suggestions of pairings for holiday entertaining.
Farm Happenings-Visit the Farm and Stay Awhile
We’re open 11-5 both Saturday and Sunday through the end of December. With the wintery weather upon us, we’ve made our farm store nice ‘n cozy for visitors. After you visit with the goats, come in from the cold and let us warm you UP! We’ve got a new selection of organic and biodynamic wines for the colder season, hot apple cider (with or without a little local bourbon from Whiskey Acres) and goat milk hot chocolate (for the special goat holiday photo booth events—Nov. 26th and Dec. 10th). Peruse the farm store for unique holiday gifts while we prepare a “build your own” cheese board for you. Not sure what cheeses you want to buy? Ask our staff for a free guided tasting of our award-winning cheeses. If you’re immune to the colder weather, enjoy a scoop of gelato!
Wine and Cheese on the Farm? Yes please!
We are one of the few places in Champaign-Urbana where you can get a curated wine and cheese flight. We carry some great organic and/or biodynamic wines. We serve the wine & cheese flight with a rustic baguette bread from Publican Quality Breads in Chicago or with Potters Crackers. $25/person (must be 21 or older) gets you this amazing flight of three wine pours and three cheeses with some surprise accompaniments every weekend. All of our wines come from small family-owned wineries and vineyards using sustainable agriculture practices. Just ask our staff for the details if you’re curious.
Introducing our newest creation: cheese & charcuterie cones!! Basically, it’s a cheese plate for one served inside a stylish paper cone-includes cheese, salami, pickles, bread and a few little treats. I am super excited about this concept, and we’ve received great feedback from our patrons. You can enjoy a cone ($15) while you visit with the goats!! Or sit under the pavilion by the chimenea with your cone and a glass of wine or beer!
Enjoy a sweet or savory seasonal cheese “boat: the “sweet:” plain chevre, local apple chips and house-made caramel sauce; the “savory:” pepper chevre, house-made sweet red pepper sauce and Publican baguette bread. $10 gets you either one! Wash it down with hot spiced apple cider (from Shady Crest Orchard in Arthur) with our without local bourbon.
Special Items in the Farm Store
The secret ingredient to our amazing cheeses and gelato is our MILK! You too can experience our milk in its purest form! Our milk super fresh (usually less than one day old) and clean. We are permitted to sell raw milk from the farm (Illinois Dept. of Public Health). Curious what it tastes like? We will have samples for you to try-just ask.
Blue Moon Farm Carrots NOW available in the Farm store!!
We’ve also got some great local products, including artisan jams, local honey, hot sauces, preserves and salamis. Don’t forget to check out the PFFC t-shirts, onesies and tea towels.
Artisan cheese boards, spreaders from Moonspoon. These are GORGEOUS!
Check out the new line of goat milk soaps from The Wright Soapery. She uses our milk and our herbs to craft these amazing soaps-all natural—no artificial dyes or fragrances.
Gorgeous pottery from Slow Phase Clay-hand crafted soap dishes that cradle our soaps perfectly
Fresh Eggs from fellow AWA-certified farm “Joyful Wren”—Once you try these eggs, you won’t want to buy any others!
If you don’t have time to peruse our farm store in person, but you need some milk or cheese or accompaniments, you can always order from our online store for pick up at the farm during weekend open hours. Just let us know if you’re picking up on Saturday or Sunday in the “NOTES” section (before checking out).
Order Your Holiday Cheese & Charcuterie Platters for Thanksgiving Entertaining!! Online pre-orders are open NOW. We make these platters to order, so don’t delay in placing your order. Your guests will be very happy! Orders must be received by midnight, November 19th! Farm Pick up is Wednesday, November 23rd 11 am to 1 pm.
Order a Cheese Gift Box
With the holiday season approaching, now is a great time to send a cheesy gift box to a friend or family member OR just order one for yourself if you don’t live close by. We have some unique and delicious gift box options OR you can order a variety of different cheeses a la carte. We are putting our holiday gift box collection together over the next week, and it will go live on Monday, November 28th.
Check out the selections and order away. We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week. Please make sure you select either Retail 1-2 ground (for shipments in the Midwest) OR Retail 2nd Day Air (for shipments to the coasts) when you’re ready to check out of the online store.
We have moved inside the Lincoln Square Mall. The indoor CU Winter Market (run by The Land Connection) is held every Saturday from 8-12. PLEASE continue to support your farmers through the holiday season. We still have so much great cheese!
GET ALL OF YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING DONE AT THE FARMERS’ MARKET! FROM TURKEY TO VEGGIES TO CHEESE, BREADS, CRACKERS, HONEY AND MORE—MAKE YOUR THANKSGIVING MEAL FROM THE FINEST INGREDIENTS IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS.
Here's the lineup of cheeses and dairy products you can expect to find in our farm store and at the farmers’ market this weekend:
Goldenrod: Our seasonal mixed milk washed-rind beauty-rich, luscious, buttery with a hint of yeastiness from the ale-washed rind
Moonglo!! Our raw goat’s milk "tomme-style” cheese!! Sharp, nutty, slice it! Melt it!
Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper 2022 American Cheese Society 1st Place Medal!
Spiced cranberry chevre!! Just in time for the holidays--slightly sweet balanced with the tanginess of the creamy goat cheese-a must have for your holiday table.
Little Bloom on the Prairie (mixed milk): camembert style—ripening nicely this week
Angel Food (mixed milk): crottin (mini-brie) style-young this weekend; pair with our farmstead honey-sold as a small round, wedge
“Brie en Croute” kits—large wheel Angel Food Brie with puff pastry and a recipe—THIS IS THE PERFECT EASY APPETIZER FOR YOUR HOLIDAY GUESTS OR FOR A HOSTESS GIFT.
Feta in Whey Brine: mixed milk is back, and boy is it delicious-creamy, luscious with the perfect tang-- or warmed in the oven with roasted tomatoes and fresh thyme.
Not sure what to do with feta now that salad weather is on the wane? Here are some suggestions:
--crumble over a hearty stew or chili
--bake in the oven with good extra-virgin olive oil, kalamata olives, fresh thyme sprigs and sundried tomatoes
--put on top of your house-made pizza
--crumble over tacos or refried beans (in place of Mexican grating cheese)
Goat Milk Yogurt (pints and quarts)-ALL GOAT MILK YOGURT is back for a limited engagement-nice thick body from high-solids fall milk; slight yogurt tang
House-made pumpkin butter, house-made pickles, roasted “Blue Moon Farm” red pepper sauce, green tomato chutney—all great accompaniments for our cheeses
Goat Milk Cajeta-cinnamon-laden goat-milk caramel sauce—VERY LIMITED OFFERING AT THE FARMERS’ MARKET ONLY-COME EARLY IF YOU WANT A JAR
Raw goat milk (half gallons or quarts)-farm store only
Not local? No problem. We ship nationwide. You can order our cheeses and gift boxes from our online store.