Despite our best attempts to completely unmanage our fruit trees, we have bumper crops of cherries and pears. The grape arbors in the herb garden are weighted down with tight clusters of young grapes. In all the years or wringing our hands in frustration about how to get cherries to produce a crop, they finally put on a show of blazing red. Perhaps it was the Polar Vortex in late December or the killing frost in late April. Maybe it was the micro-drought we experienced this winter and spring. Maybe these fruits respond best to extreme stress. We have started picking the cherries (Montmorence-a tart variety), and yet it barely looks like we've made a dent on just one tree! The robins wait in the top branches for us to give up, so they can fill up their crops to feed their young. The Moonglow and Seckel pear varieties both have branches thick with baby fruit sets. The peach trees and apples didn't fare as well. The remaining peach trees in our orchard have absolutely no fruit, while the apples are spotty. We are thankful for the unexpected June bounty, and we await the pears of September.
Celebrate the Fathers! Buy them cheese (and beer)!
We have curated the BEST Father's Day Cheese Box this year! I am especially excited about our cheese accompaniments--potato chips! Applewood smoked crackers! House-made pickles! Order a box for on-farm pickup. The farm pick up box has an add-on of a local micro-brew trio!!! Deadline for on farm pick up orders is Saturday, June 17th at 9 am.
We are also offering a VERY Special Beer & Cheese Flight the weekend of June 17-18th! Three regional microbrews paired with "everything bagel" seasoned chevre, black goat and little bloom on the prairie. Served with Great Lakes potato chips, house-made pickles, your choice of beer nuts or corn nuts and Quince & Apple Shallot Confit Jam!
photos by Laura Trovillion
Never say never: Join us for a very special Dinner on the Farm!
Our friend and chef extraordinaire, Stephanie Izard, returns to Prairie Fruits Farm on Saturday August 19th for a fun & delicious farm dinner. Her multi-course meal will feature summer favorites from Girl & the Goat and Little Goat Diner, along with a few little surprises. This is the ONLY dinner we plan to do this year, so tickets will go fast. Make your reservations now!
Farmers' Market and Farm Happenings
This Saturday, come see us at the outdoor farmers' market, Urbana's Market at the Square. Our location is the same as last year: on the south end of the market at the south end of aisle two. Hours are 7 am to 12 noon.
We have a LOT of cheese for you this weekend, as well as goat milk yogurt. We have some favorites back into the lineup: Pelota Roja and Moonglo . We've got a new seasonal flavor of chevre: chevre with a dollop of local honey!! A new batch of fleur de la prairie hits the market too. Need some cheesy menu ideas for this weekend? How about a Greek-style summer salad with our feta? How about shaving the truffle chevre over grilled asparagus or oven-roasted tomatoes? What about Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese with sugar snap peas and fresh mint? How about our yogurt with fresh berries??
If you want raw goat milk or gelato, you will need to come out to our farm store during open hours. You can also order from our online store for farm pickup. We'll be bringing the following cheeses to market:
Fresh chevre--plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner!
Fresh chevre with local honey--a dollop of dark and flavorful honey adorns the plain chevre, resulting in the perfect pairing of sweet-tangy
Fresh chevre with "everything bagel" seasoning-grab some lox and forget the cream cheese!
Truffle chevre--an aged/dried chevre ball mixed with olive oil-cured truffles and rubbed with cracked peppercorns. Amazing for grating over pasta or roasted veggies! GIVE THIS little flavor bomb a try! You won't be disappointed.
Angel Food mini-brie-aging beautifully! All goat milk too! Grab one of these beauties!
Little Bloom on the Prairie-mixed milk camembert-all goat batch!
Black goat-ash-ripened goat bloomy rind-starting to get gooey, but perfect with potato chips (you can buy them in our farm store!!)
Fleur de la Prairie-all-goat bloomy rind with dried herbs and edible flowers-beautiful and delicious! New batch; 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner!
Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese-great for sweet or savory applications
Moonglo: raw goat milk tomme style semi-hard cheese--slightly nutty and fruity--perfect for slicing or melting
Pelota Roja: raw goat milk "Spanish-style" hard cheese with guajillo chile-olive oil rub--sharp, slightly spicy and just plain scrumptious-slice it, shave it! Serve it with your favorite summer red wine!
Feta in whey brine: crumble on a summer salad! Use the whey brine to marinate chicken or lamb! Put it on a pizza!
Goat milk yogurt (pints and quarts)-all natural, no thickening agents
Farm Open Hours
Come visit us this summer. We are open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm. You can visit with the goats, taste our raw milk (and buy some to take home), shop our farm store for cheeses, accompaniments and unique gifts, enjoy a cheese board under our pavilion or grab a scoop of gelato. We are also offering wine & cheese flights featuring three cheeses with three wines. It's a great way to try something new. This weekend, in celebration of father's day, we are offering our cheese & beer board in place of the wine & cheese flight.
In general, we plan to offer hikes every Saturday at 11 am. If it is too hot or if it's raining, we won't be able to offer the hike. Just check in with our staff when you arrive on Saturdays to see if the hike is happening or not.
When hikes happen, join our rock star volunteer, Carol, on a stroll along the eastern edge of our farm. It's a gorgeous part of the farm. The hike lasts for about 30-40 minutes and then we take you on a brief tour of the dairy. It ends with a scoop of gelato. $18/person includes the hike, a farm tour and a scoop of gelato at the end.
NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. HIKE STARTS PROMPTLY AT 11:00 am. SUITABLE FOR AGES 8 AND OLDER. WEAR STURDY SHOES FOR UNEVEN TERRAIN AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING/HATS FOR THE WEATHER. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO BRING A WATER BOTTLE AND SUNSCREEN TOO.
Want to order for farm pick up during the weekend? Need some raw goat milk? Eggs from Joyful Wren? Cheese? Just order from our Online Store for Farm Pick-Up. It's super easy!! Not local? You can still support us! You can order from our online retail store. We ship nationwide Mondays through Wednesdays every week. You can choose from one of our gift collections or just mix and match a la carte.