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Liberty: a goat life well lived, market & farm offerings

Farm News

This week we lost our beloved Liberty, our senior citizen goat. She was the longest-lived goat on the farm. At the astonishing age of 16 ½ years old (surely this must be over 100 in human years), she spent her final day doing what she loved the most-following the herd out to the pasture to enjoy the sun and the cool season grasses. Liberty came to us from Kansas in 2005 as a shy one-year old milker. Her petite frame held an enormous and well-attached udder. She was quiet, demur and all about producing milk. She passed her traits onto the many daughters who took their prominent places as top milkers in our herd over the years.


Liberty was not flashy. She did not have the big personalities of her flamboyant and demanding herd mates like Chippewa (Chippy), Huckleberry and most recently Lapiz and Sabrina. She shunned excessive attention but would quietly approach for a head scratch or a cheek massage. A bit of a loner, she was empathic in her deep and concerning stares.

In her twilight retirement years, she kept up with the much younger milkers on pasture walks. She was spoiled by the staff who would let her into the parlor during milking so she could bury her head in the grain bin. Although she didn’t have many teeth left and she was deaf and nearly blind, she had spring in her step and an attitude of perseverance. These past few winters, we were sure she wouldn’t make it to spring. She proved us wrong and chose her time on a gloriously sunny fall day. We buried her in the prairie alongside her original herd mates- Chippy, Chocolate and Hershey (our first-born goat). She will nourish the deep roots of our prairie, while her legacy lives on in the multi-generations of daughters, grand-daughters and great-great granddaughters.


Support your artisan and farmstead cheese makers #chooseitorloseit


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.

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

September is still the BEST month to shop the farmers’ market. The transition from summer to fall means that you get the best of BOTH seasons-summer fruits and veggies abound and fall crops (apples, pears, broccoli, carrots) begin to make their appearances. 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

--plain

--herbs de Provence

--cracked peppercorn

TWO Seasonal chevre flavors of the week:

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.

Roasted garlic chevre: We are so excited to offer our newest chevre flavor in partnership with our goat friends Sirocco Ridge Farm in southern Indiana. Not only do they raise some gorgeous La Mancha goats (several of whom now reside at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery), but they also raise garlic. Since we have shared goat genetics, we thought it would be fun (and fitting to do a chevre flavor with one of their other farm products). We slow roasted two varieties of garlic (Vietnamese and Spanish Rioja) and then blended the garlic paste into fresh chevre. The marriage of the slightly spicy and nutty garlic with the creamy-milky and slightly tangy chevre is perfect. Limited availability, so come early to the market if you want some.

NEW CHEESE: Nutty Goat: A lovely, large-format bloomy rind adorned with toasted pecans from Voss Pecan Orchard. This round has been aging for over six weeks. The paste is firm, and the rind has hints of buttered mushroom and toasted nuts. Perfect paired with slices of fresh apples or pears (both making their appearances at the farmers’ markets) $15/each—This is a “one off” cheese, so once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert style round; young, but has a lovely tang with slight 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—SUPER YOUNG (like a very firm log of chevre)

Fleur du la Prairie: our delicate bloomy adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers. Young but aging nicely (fudgy texture) $11/each

Black Goat-ash-rind bloomy that has a firm tangy paste when young and gets progressively earthy and funky (and gooey) as it ages. $10 each- YOUNG but aging nicely this week

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, or crumble over a pizza or stew! $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. Try over roasted butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil!

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”):

Gelato pints are available for farm pick up ONLY- flavors this weekend include: Vanilla, Espresso, Sicilian Pistachio, Peaches & Cream, Lemon Verbena, Fresh Mint, Anise Hyssop, and Nectarine Sorbetto (made with Mileur Orchard Nectarines).

NEW flavor: Grape-Cava sorbetto featuring grapes from Klug Farm in Michigan and Pet Nat from Illinois Sparkling Wine Co.

**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.

**Our NEW Chippy the Chef apron is HERE! This gorgeous all-cotton apron features Chippy the Goat (our logo and mascot) with her chef hat and mixing bowl. Fully adjustable straps, big deep pockets and super stylish! $20 each.

We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week, 1-2-day 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. The farm is open BOTH Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 pm each day.

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.

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