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In the company of peers

Farm News

Last week, we traveled to Des Moines Iowa to attend the annual American Cheese Society Conference. From resource constraints to Covid, the last time I attended an ACS conference was in 2016 (also in Des Moines). When you are all-consumed with the day-to-day operations of farmstead goat dairying-cheese making, it is hard to connect with your peers. In preparing for a presentation about the challenges and rewards of pasture-based dairying, my fellow farmstead-artisan cheese makers and I came to realize how ensiled we had become as our farm businesses grew. Independently, we had converged on similar travails and paths toward our quests for sustainability. We had all made similar mistakes, were slow to discover important lessons, especially those in the financial realm, and had come to similar discoveries about the benefits of pasture-based dairying. We lamented our self-imposed isolation and pledged to improve dialogue among likeminded artisan & farmstead cheese producers.


In this age of photo-scrolling, faux-insta-happiness, it is soul-deep satisfying to be in the company of your peers. Nothing compares to hugs and smiles from longtime friends and acquaintances, the head-nods in mutual understandings, the reciprocal joy of witnessing a brilliant talk about animal rennet and the celebration of fellow award-winning cheese makers.

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. It is going to be hot on Saturday, so come early and stock up! The market is flush with summer produce like sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, squash, berries and peaches! Melons are on the rise too! Everything tastes better with a little PFFC cheese by its side!!

As usual, we have a LOT of cheese for you this weekend, as well as goat milk yogurt. We have a very limited number of little bloom this week, but it will be back in full force next weekend. All other bloomies are on the young side.


Need some cheesy menu ideas for simple summer entertaining? How about a slice of angel food melted on a burger? How about a Greek-style summer salad of cucumbers and tomatoes with our feta? What about baked zucchini or eggplant stuffed with Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese mixed with a riot of fresh herbs? How about a slice of Moonglo, proscuitto and fresh melon??? Yogurt, peaches and home-made granola anyone??? Pelota Roja shaved over grilled sweetcorn anyone??? You get the idea!


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 and 2023 Bronze Medal winner!

  • Fresh chevre with jalapeno crunch-freshly chopped jalapeno peppers mixed into the chevre-moderate heat, lovely peppery crunch--this would be good on a lamb burger!

  • Angel Food mini-Young but tasty, we have large wheels as well as the little guys

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie-mixed milk camembert-all goat batch! Aging beautifully but very limited this week

  • Fleur de la Prairie-all-goat bloomy rind with dried herbs and edible flowers-beautiful and delicious! 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner! New batch

  • Prairie Fire: our fleur dusted with smoked paprika and topped with dried marigolds New Batch

  • Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese-great for sweet or savory applications-we are doing our former Ukrainian cheese maker, Tetyana, proud by continuing to make this popular fresh cheese. LIMITED

  • Moonglo: raw goat milk tomme style semi-hard cheese--slightly nutty and fruity--perfect for slicing or melting 2023 ACS Silver Medal

  • 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! 2023 ACS Bronze Medal

  • Goat milk yogurt (pints and quarts)-all natural, no thickening agents-use it as the base of a marinade, a salad dressing or just eat it with fresh fruit

Farm Open Hours

Come visit us 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/beer & cheese flights featuring three cheeses with three wines or micro-brews. Our wine & cheese flight features the three 2023 ACS winners-chevre frais, feta and moonglo! Our beer and cheese flight highlights some unusual regional microbrews alongside our cheeses and Great Lakes Potato Chips as the eating vessel--fun and delicious!

Please note: on Saturdays, we offer "build your own" cheese boards and flights starting at 12:30 pm until closing. On Sundays, they are available from 11-5.


GELATO!! July is National Ice Cream Month, and we have every intention of celebrating fully!

Summer is all about fruit flavors and we are going crazy with local blueberries (from Indiana), red currants (from Champaign) and nectarines (from southern IL)!

Our farm is great place to unwind, enjoy some great cheese and gelato and take in the natural surroundings that are so scarce in central Illinois. Our farm store is AIR CONDITIONED, so don't let the hot weather deter you from making a visit to the farm.

In general, we plan to offer hikes every Saturday at 11 am. If it is too hot or if it's raining, we will postpone until Sunday at 11AM. Not sure if it's happening? Just check in with our staff when you arrive on Saturdays.

NOTE: IT WILL BE TOO HOT THIS SATURDAY FOR THE HIKE, SO WE ARE RESCHEDULING FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 30TH AT 11AM. TEMPERATURES SHOULD BE BACK IN LOW TO MID-80'S.

When hikes happen, join Wes or one of our rock star volunteers 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.

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