In the life of a dairy doe, there are milestones. Being born female is the first important achievement. Next comes weaning. But the day of naming and tattooing holds a special place in our young does' path to becoming a member of the milking herd. Each year, we select a theme. We wait until the replacement doelings are a few months old before assigning their names because we try to match the names with their personalities. This year's theme is Disney characters: good and evil. Tattooing their American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) herd code and unique ID is essential for registering them with ADGA. Like teenage girls at their first slumber party, tattoo ink is rubbed from one face to the next. Soon, they are smeared with green ink from head to tail. They fuss with their new name tags and jostle for changing their positions in the dominance hierarchy. They savor the newness of the plastic, gumming it in their mouths for amusement and comfort. Before long, they will be big enough to reach their next milestone: their first breeding. Introducing the 2023 "ladies of prairie fruits farm & creamery."
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 a gorgeous summer day, so come early and stock up! The market is flush with summer produce like sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, squash, berries and peaches! Melons are here too! Everything tastes better with a little PFFC cheese by its side!!
Did you know??? August is National Goat Cheese Month! We seem to always be "celebrating" something in the world of national consumerism, so I'm super happy that goat cheese gets a WHOLE month. Summer is in full swing, and we have cheeses to meet all of our culinary needs as well those for snacking on the back porch. All of our bloomy rind cheeses are back, young and plentiful this weekend. The only exception is little bloom, on hiatus until next week. We'll have two batches of fleur-one that is perfectly ripe with a few blue mold cosmetic blemishes (20% off with any additional cheese purchase); the other just wrapped this week. Check out our new seasonal chevre flavors too!
Need some cheesy menu ideas for simple summer eating? How about a slice of angel food on a wedge of apple or pear with a honey drizzle? What about seasonal chevre a top slices of fresh heirloom tomatoes with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil? How about a feta-watermelon salad? 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??? Pelota Roja shaved over grilled sweetcorn anyone??? With some hot weather on the horizon, why not get a trio of cheeses and plan some simple no-cook grazing platters for the coming week. Simple, fun, and so satisfying!
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 lavender-infused honey
Fresh chevre with dried local peaches and habanero peppers--just a little bit of heat
Angel Food mini-brie-young and firm
Black goat: our ash-ripened bloomy with lovely earthy notes and a little bit o' funk
Fleur de la Prairie-all-goat bloomy rind with dried herbs and edible flowers-beautiful and delicious! 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner! More ripe batch Has a few little spots of blue mold that are strictly cosmetic (20% off with any additional cheese purchase); younger batch will be available at full price too.
Prairie Fire: our fleur dusted with smoked paprika and topped with dried marigolds
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.
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! 2021 Good Food Award Winner
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. NOTE: this batch is a bit more runny than usual (it didn't set up as firmly as it normally does). It would be perfect for a yogurt smoothie or for cooking-we'll be offering it at a discount because of the texture.
Farm Open Hours
PLEASE NOTE: SATURDAY, AUGUST 19TH WE ARE CLOSING EARLY AT 3 PM SO THAT WE CAN GET READY FOR OUR ONE AND ONLY FARM DINNER THAT EVENING. APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE. THE FARM STORE WILL BE OPEN, GOAT VISITS AND THE GOAT HIKE ARE HAPPENING, BUT WE WILL HAVE LIMITED OFFERINGS FROM THE FARM KITCHEN THAT DAY ONLY.
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.
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)! We also have some amazing standard flavors including vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut.
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 any heat or humidity deter you from making a visit to the farm. We have raw goat milk for sale as well as a fantastic selection of cheese accompaniments (crackers, jams, sauces, pickles, wines, beers) as well as Joyful Wren pastured-poultry eggs, our goat milk soap (made for us exclusively by The Wright Soapery), tea towels and t-shirts.
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.
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.