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judgement day

Farm News

This week, we shipped off several cheeses for the annual American Cheese Society (ACS) judging and competition. Over the years, we have learned which categories best showcase our cheeses and then how to select batches of cheese that might garner favor with the judges. When decision making time arrives, we lay out our contenders, and begin the tasting process. We start with the most mild, fresh cheeses and work our way to those whose flavor profiles might overwhelm our palates.

Each member of the team gets a spoonful or slice of each cheese. We concentrate on initial reactions and then lingering flavors and mouthfeels. We are deliberate. For our neophyte team members, we instruct how to taste, how to distinguish between flavor and texture. Oftentimes, we refer back to the notes in our make sheets, reminding ourselves of the metrics we recorded and how they have come to produce the flavors and textures we sense in the current moment. We try to anticipate how each cheese will be judged by ACS's technical and aesthetic judges. From prior entries, we have some inkling of their likes and dislikes. Decisions made, potential winners selected, we move onto making sure the cheeses are packed perfectly to arrive in peak condition for the judging. Like children fully grown, we launch them into cheese land, knowing their fates are now out of our hands.

The garden planting and grounds beautification around the farm well underway, and the abundant rains of May have made everything lush and beautiful. Every week, more progress. Read about all the happenings below and come visit us!

Happenings at the Farm & Beyond

We are attending BOTH the "Urbana's Market at the Square" AND "Downtown Bloomington Market." The Urbana Market runs 7 AM to 12 noon and the Bloomington Farmers' Market runs 7:30 AM to 12 noon. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is in the same location in Urbana as last year (the south end of the market in line with aisle two) but with an expanded footprint (and more offerings). We are sharing space with Central Illinois Bakehouse at the Bloomington Market. Here are this week's offerings:

Mixed-milk feta in whey brine ! Tangy, creamy yet crumbly--just as you remember it!! Crumble it on everything, early summer greens salads and whatever is good for grilling!

Chevre frais: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper and everything bagel seasoning--so fresh and lemony, it screams spring is here!!

Seasonal chevre special: chevre log rolled in strawberry powder with rose petals & lemon balm

Goat milk yogurt!!! Both pints and quarts available this week! Buy your yogurt and then pop over to CIB's stand to grab some of there house-made granola!!

Jersey Milk Gournay: the perfect substitute for cream cheese-available in plain, garlic & herb, everything bagel seasoning and spiced cranberry

"Archangel:" our all-goat milk mini-brie style cheese-on the young side, so mostly firm and mild--great for slicing and enjoying on a crusty baguette with a dollop of rhubarb compote

Little bloom on the prairie: our mixed milk camembert style beauty-aging beautifully-maybe a light grill (5 minutes) and serve with potato chips??!!

Black goat: our all-goat milk ash-ripened bloomy; aging nicely-tart, earthy, toothsome and delicious! Aging nicely this week, with the perfect amount of funk!

Fleur de la Prairie: our all-goat milk bloomy adorned with dried edible flowers and herbs--ACS gold medal in 2022! Aging beautifully--serve with slices of pear or early season peach!!

Our weekly CSA share offers you unique pairings with ultimate flexibility. Every week, you'll get cheese, bread and house-made accompaniments. We will have these for sale at both the Urbana and Bloomington farmers' markets, but please go ahead and sign up for shares. Pretty soon, you will only be able to get these shares if you pre-order. This Saturday's share is is a stunner:

  • 1 chevre log rolled in strawberry dust, rose petals and lemon balm

  • 1 small container of tangy green rhubarb compote

  • Candied Voss Orchard pecans

  • CIB Chiabatta loaf

Farm Open Hours

We are so pleased to announce our new open hours of operation! Thank you so much for your support and patience as we navigated several much needed construction projects on the farm. We welcome visitors during the following hours:

  1. Tuesdays: Happy Hour! 5-7. Goat Yoga (Pilates) available. Buy tickets online in advance or at the farm before class starts. Bar will be open along with small bites and bar snacks.

  2. Wednesdays: Closed to the public. Farm to Table dinner night, reservations and tickets required. 

  3. Thursdays 11-9. Lunch and dinner counter service available from our newly remodeled restaurant. Find a seat inside or enjoy open seating around the farm. Order at your table or at the bar and pick up inside. Menu items feature local produce and proteins and will change seasonally. Accessible, upscale modern-American farm-to-table dining. Salads, sandwiches, cheese plates and small bites. 

  4. Fridays. 11-9. Same as Thursdays

  5. Saturdays 9-9. Farm opens earlier on the weekend. Coffee and pastries available 9-11. Same service 11-9.

  6. Sundays 9-4. Coffee and pastries 9-11. Seasonal brunch menu available. Lunch service (same menu) 11-4. 

  7. CLOSED MONDAYS. Please respect our staff's needed time to complete farm work and only plan to visit us during open hours. 

TAKE A HIKE!! Reserve your spot for a hike with the goats! Now offering two time options:

Thursday Happy Hour Hike with The Goats-5 pm (includes a beverage at the end of the hike)

Saturday morning Hike-11 am (includes cheese and/or gelato sampling).

During all open hours guests can enjoy walking around the farm grounds on marked trails, visiting with the goats and enjoying a meal or beverage sitting under the pavilion or on the lawns. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions about the goats and to chat about the farm. Please no outside food and no pets. 

Thank you!

Please follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram and check your inboxes for future updates.

Goat Yoga-Pilates enjoy some movement & relaxation, featuring our adorable baby goats and certified Pilates instructor Lisa Staples of Living Legacy Pilates. Sign up now for this light-hearted workout.

Farm to Table Dinners: Chefs Garron and Cody will be offering pre-fixe multi-course meals featuring locally grown foods and our cheeses, of course. Dinner tickets include non-alcoholic beverages, taxes and gratuity. Wine, beer and cocktails are available for purchase at the farm, or you can pre-purchase a beverage add-on to your meal that includes a welcome cocktail and two full pours of paired wines with dinner. Tickets are selling fast!

We look forward to welcoming you to the farm! Go on our website NOW to make reservations.

Themes for June

June 12th 

Ninja Turtles Night (Millennial Throwback Classics/Ode to Pizza)

Take a nostalgic trip back to the '90s with a menu inspired by everyone's favorite pizza-loving turtles. SOLD OUT

June 19th 

Sardinian Cuisine

Explore the sun-drenched flavors of Sardinia, Italy, with a menu that highlights the island's unique culinary traditions. SOLD OUT

June 26th 

Farmers Market Basket; a vegetarian feast with special beer pairings from Triptych Brewery!

Savor the bounty of the season with a vegetarian feast featuring the freshest produce from our farm and local farmers markets.


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