The sharp drop in milk production, the reluctance to enter the milking parlor, the insatiable appetites for hay, grassy hay--all of the signs point to pregnant goats ready for a break. The up and down temperatures have the girls confused about whether to venture outside to nibble or snuggle inside the warmth of their barns. There are plenty of dried leaves to scarf up scattered on the pastures when the sun is shining.
I too am having trouble adjusting to the brisk bitter winds and early darkness. If I were a goat, I'd be snuggling inside the barn too. I too would seek foods that keep me warm. As a cheese maker, this is the time of year that I wrestle with conflicting feelings: the desire to stretch out the goat milking season just a little longer to make more cheese, versus the pull of down time and rest. When the goats decide it's time to rest, I will rest along with them.
Upcoming Holiday Events at the Farm
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 or hot spiced cider. Cheesy treats, cheese plates, new wines—$5/photo; 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. 11 am to 1 pm
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. 3-5pm
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. 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.
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.
PFFC burlap tote bags!! Perfect for farmers' market shopping!
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, chopsticks, etc. 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 a Cheese Gift Box--NEW OPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE!!
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. All weekend long, we're offering a one-day coupon for 10% off any gift box. COUPON CODE is PFFCHoliday10!
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.
Order Your Holiday Cheese & Charcuterie Platters for Seasonal 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 within 48 hours of the pick up date/time. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know the date/time that you'd like to pick up your platter.
We are back at the Champaign-Urbana Winter Market this Saturday and every Saturday through December 17th. From 8 am to 12 noon, you can get some fantastic local food (fall greens, root veggies, meats, eggs, CHEESE, breads, pastries, etc.) PLEASE continue to support your local farmers. Here are the offerings for the market and the farm store 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!-VERY LIMITED
Pelota Roja is BACK!!-Our fall batch is ready for prime time. It's fantastic-notes of pineapple and toasted nuts, supple texture--just slice and eat atop a piece of salami!
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 or large-format wheel (for baked brie)
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
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.