As we approach the “Labor Day” holiday weekend, I’ve been thinking hard about labor and our collective sense of work in the midst of a pandemic. For so many, the normal routines of leaving home and going to a place of work have been upended. Work and workers have been recast as “essential” and “non-essential.” Despite the skyrocketing levels of unemployment, some businesses are struggling to find folks to work.
As a farm, our place of work has always been our home. Our goats must be milked twice a day, seven days a week to keep producing milk. Producing food has been deemed essential. Keeping our little farmstead goat cheese business alive has been our rallying cry since the beginning of kidding season. Our amazing staff have flexed with the tacks and jibes that the pandemic winds have blown our way. We have managed to keep our sails (and sales) full enough to keep the farm afloat. Our labors are our passions and vice versa.
GIRLS AND THE GOATS TO VICTORY CHEESE BOX
Our latest Victory Cheese Box collaboration with grass-fed, raw cows’ milk cheeses from Jacobs & Brichford, bloomy rind cheeses from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery and accompaniments by Chef Stephanie Izard and her “Girl & the Goat-ceries” team. This DELUXE box features two cheeses from each farmstead creamery, house-made crackers, several kinds of pickles, jam and mixed nuts. It is the ONLY box that features accompaniments made by a Celebrity Chef. You can get your box through our online store. You can either pick up your box at the farm on Saturdays OR Sundays, 1-4 pm OR you can have it shipped.
Psst: We still have a few more of the Rick Bayless Victory Cheese Boxes available if you want to order one of those as well, both with and without the signed cookbook. You can start a collection of Victory Cheese Boxes from PFFC!
Urbana’s Market at the Square-Come early, shop often
Shop the Urbana Market at the Square this weekend for all your holiday weekend ingredients! The farmers’ market has a plethora of fruits and veggies right now—tomatoes of all shapes & sizes, peppers of all colors and heat levels, melons, apples, pears, raspberries. So many of these veggies and fruits, either sliced raw or simply roasted pair well with ALL of our cheeses. Just ask us for a few simple recommendations when selecting your cheeses this week. We can have you putting together a show-stopping cheese board in no time!
The Urbana Market has COVID-19 related restrictions. They require social distancing, and both patrons and farmers must wear masks at all times. We 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). Gelato pints are ONLY available through online farm store sales/farm pick up.
Here’s the cheese line up for this weekend:
Fresh Chevre $8/each
--herbs de Provence
TWO Seasonal chevre flavors of the week:
Honey-Lemon Thyme. We love to feature ingredients from other farmers, and this week’s chevre has spring honey from Goldsberry Farm in Watseka and dried lemon thyme from our herb garden $9/each
Dried tomato chevre. It’s that time of year again—dried Juliette and Roma tomatoes from our garden (and sometimes from Blue Moon Farm), chopped up and blended into our chevre. This is my FAVORITE flavor. Limited offering this weekend.
NEW CHEESE: Nutty Goat: A lovely, large-format bloomy rind adorned with toasted pecans from Voss Pecan Orchard. This round has been aging for almost six weeks. The paste is firm and mild. Perfect paired with slices of fresh apples or pears (both starting to make their appearance at the farmers’ markets) $15/each
Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert style round; young, but has a lovely buttered-mushroom flavor $11/each
Angel Food: our “crottin” style bloomy-petite but loaded with delicious goat tang! Aging beautifully and firm enough to cut into wedges$9/each—VERY LIMITED
Fleur du la Prairie-bloomy rind cheese adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers; beautiful AND delicious $11/each-VERY LIMITED
Blushing Goat-washed rind goat milk cheese, washed with bourbon-peach kombucha beer; our second batch is firmer than the first batch, but it’s aging beautifully and it’s loaded with great umami flavor $8/triangle, $13 for rounds; $15 for whole squares
Goat Milk Feta—aged in whey brine, tangy with a creamy-crumbly texture-PERFECT for salad season, especially a feta-watermelon salad! $7/each
Pelota Roja—raw milk “Manchego style” hard cheese with a guajillo chile-olive oil rub on the rind $7/wedge-consider shaving this cheese over grilled zucchini or eggplant! Shave it on a salad of greens in place of parmesan cheese; grate it over sliced tomatoes and broil them in the oven.
Other Opportunities to Purchase Our Products
If you’re not able to buy our cheeses in person, you can order online for on-farm pick up or shipping. If you order for pick up, you can pick up from 1-4 pm either Saturday or Sunday.
Check out the newest items in the online farm store (and in the farm shop “The Real Stand”):
**Raw Milk! Yes, finally, we have a permit from the Illinois Department of Public Health to sell our raw milk. You can either order online (for Saturday Pickup, 1-4 pm) OR come out to the farm on Sundays, from 1-4. We’re selling milk in half gallon jugs for $9 (competitively priced compared to conventional goat milk found in the grocery store).
**”Wash Your Hands! In Style”—new gift item (or just buy it for yourself!) featuring goat milk soaps made exclusively for us by the Wright Soapery. We’re offering a large bar of goat milk soap (tea tree oil, lemongrass, fresh mint or chamomile-oatmeal) with a “Three Chippys” tea towel for $15.
Gelato pints are available for farm pick up ONLY- flavors this weekend include: Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Caramel Swirl, Peaches & Cream, Lemon Verbena, Fresh Mint, Anise Hyssop, and Nectarine Sorbetto (made with Mileur Orchard Nectarines).
We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week, 1-2 ground ($20 shipping/handling) for most of the Midwest and 2nd-Day Air for other areas of the country ($35/shipping & handling). There are also lots of retail establishments throughout central IL and the Chicagoland area that carry our cheeses.
Farm Open Hours and Offerings
If you can’t make it to the farmers’ market, no worries. Starting this weekend, and through September, we are now OPEN on BOTH Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 pm each day.
Holiday Weekend Cheese & Wine Specials
In honor of labor day, we are offering BOTH of our Victory Cheese Boards (Girl and the Goats to Victory and Rick Bayless’ Victory Cheese Box) at discounted prices for you to either take home and enjoy OR enjoy out here under the prairie skies. $10 off each box! Also, add a bottle of wine and we’ll take another $5 off!!
During our weekend open hours from 1-4 pm, you can peruse our farm store, enjoy a cup of gelato, gelato sundae (with house-made toppings) 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 ALL OF OUR CHEESES, as well as lots of great PFFC “merch” for sale during open hours.