On this vibrant spring day in April, I could survey the explosion of life on the farm and conclude that all is as it should be. The pasture grasses are growing, replenishing their tips as soon as they’re eaten by our hungry goats. The maple trees are on the verge of unfurling; the old and tired apple tree by the barn that we keep threatening to cut down is smothered in pale pink blossoms. The carpenter bees have set up shop in the eaves of our front porch, and the male cardinal is belting out his morning territorial song. Yet, the underlying tale is much more sinister. Less than 24 hours ago, snow was falling and the temperatures plummeting to levels threatening to wipe out our fruit tree crop for the third season in a row.
Climate change is upon us. We are trying to make a small impact on our little patch of ground. We’re planting trees and setting up rotational grazing paddocks, so that our land will be covered permanently in vegetation. Managed properly, the browse trees and the pastures will pull carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in the soil. We can do better though. Dairy farming and cheese making have a significant carbon footprint; from the electricity and gas we use to power our equipment and facilities, to the plastic we use to package our products. We are evaluating all aspects of our farming and cheese making operations, and exploring alternatives to the current ways of doing business. I have been searching for an alternative to the single serve plastic containers we use to package our chevre, hoping for a truly compostable alternative. Unfortunately, the technology for food-safe compostable packaging is not there yet for fresh goat cheese. We are exploring a PET (soda bottles) recycled container that has promise. It is not perfect, but it keeps this plastic stream out of land fills and is made in Michigan. We remain vigilant as we move toward a better carbon future incrementally.
Babies & Brunch
Tickets for our Babies & Brunch are sold out. The grand finale is this Saturday, April 24th, “Tubers Donuts” and a loaded savory muffin from the Sunday Dinner Club-Honey Butter Fried Chicken team.
If you weren’t able to grab a ticket to Babies & Brunch and you want to buy our products, have no fear. You can order online for pick up on Saturdays from 1-3 pm. We’ll even let you pet some goats!
Featured Items in Our Farm Store
Herbs de Provence
Fresh Chive & Lemon Zest (seasonal flavor)
Little Bloom on the Prairie-goat milk camembert
Fleur de la Prairie—Good Food Award winner!-bloomy with dried herbs and edible flowers
Black goat-ash-ripened bloomy
Goat Milk Yogurt—1st of the Season!!
Goat Milk Feta aged in Whey Brine
Snowy Woodland—our jersey cow milk (Kilgus Farmstead, Fairbury, IL) mini brie
Snowy Woodland with “champagne” wash—lovely buttery brie with delicate wash of Illinois Sparking Co.’s Sparking Brute Rose—very limited
Raw Goat Milk (fresh and clean and delicious!)
Goat Milk Gelato by Pint (so many flavors, check out what’s available in the online store)
Moving into May
We will be attending Urbana’s Market at the Square starting May 1st.
Our farm store will be open Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 pm starting May 1st
We are working on a couple of special Mother’s Day Gift Boxes. We plan to post these no later than Monday, April 26th. They can either be shipped or picked up at the farm. You can even come out on Sunday, May 9th and enjoy your box under the pavilion with a glass of Illinois Sparkling Co. Bubbly.
We are working on hosting more events featuring our party-loving goats; stay tuned
Lots of folks are asking about our Farm Dinners! We are hoping to offer an abbreviated season starting in July. We want to make sure we can offer the full experience of dining outside with guests dining communally along our long farm tables. We want to make sure we can do this safely. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you’re able. This will make our communal dinners even safer! Thank you.