May 1st is the start of the outdoor farmers’ market season. This year marks our 16th season hustling cheese at the Urbana Farmers’ Market. While market sales have had their ups and downs over the years, we are still compelled to rise early, set up our tent in the dark and put out a beautiful display to entice market shoppers. When we first put up our tent in the summer of 2005, few, if any, of the market patrons had tried fresh goat cheese. If they had, their experience had not been pleasant. We spent a lot of time giving tastes of our fresh chevre, coaxing skeptical customers off the ledge of goat cheese phobia.
Over the years, our farmers’ market patrons have been our new product testers, honest feedback givers and biggest fans. While we still encounter a few hesitant newcomers, most approach our stand knowing what they want, asking for the ripest and most gooey bloomies or the current seasonal flavor of chevre. The farmers’ market gives us the chance to look our customers in the eyes and make our case. The market gives us a venue to regale farm news and tell tales about the goats. It offers more than just a transaction, a transfer of product to customer. It’s the place where the slogan “KNOW YOUR FARMER” lives.
Featured Items Going to Market This week-Taste the Fresh Pasture in our Dairy Products!
Herbs de Provence
Fresh Chive & Lemon Zest (seasonal flavor)
Little Bloom on the Prairie-goat milk camembert
Fleur de la Prairie—Good Food Award winner!-bloomy with dried herbs and edible flowers
Black goat-ash-ripened bloomy
Goat Milk Yogurt—1st of the Season!!
Goat Milk Feta aged in Whey Brine
Snowy Woodland—our jersey cow milk (Kilgus Farmstead, Fairbury, IL) mini brie-very limited
Snowy Woodland with “champagne” wash—lovely buttery brie with delicate wash of Illinois Sparking Co.’s Sparking Brute Rose—very limited
Goat Milk Gelato by Pint
Blood Orange Sorbetto
Meyer Lemon Sorbetto
Mother’s Day Gift Offerings
We have a couple of unique and delicious Mother’s Day Gifts for sale through our onine store. How about a cheese box featuring three of our spring cheeses with onion jam and herby crackers by Pan & Cake Caterers (Champaign, IL)? There are some special add-ons for this box too including Pan & Cake cupcakes. We're even offering a few of their spectacular cupcake bouquets!
Want to make your mom a breakfast she’ll never forget? Try our pancake breakfast kit featuring locally milled flour (Janie’s Mill), maple syrup, chevre and locally roasted coffee. Either of these gifts can be picked up at the farm (Saturday or Sunday, May 8th and 9th) OR Shipped (no later than Wednesday May 5th). You can even come out on Sunday, May 9th and enjoy your box under the pavilion with a glass of Illinois Sparkling Co. Bubbly.
Farm Open Hours Resume in May
The farm is open to visitors on weekends, starting Saturday May 1st. We are open Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm. You can visit with the goats, shop in the farm store “The Real Stand” or enjoy a cheese board or cup of gelato under the pavilion. You can still order from our online store for pick up too!
As the summer progresses, we are hoping to add regularly scheduled farm tours, tastings and other events featuring our fun-loving goats.
Lots of folks are asking about our Farm Dinners! We are hoping to offer an abbreviated season starting in July. We want to make sure we can offer the full experience of dining outside with guests dining communally along our long farm tables. We want to make sure we can do this safely. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you’re able. This will make our communal dinners even safer! Thank you.
We're gowing ! We're Hiring!
Ever dreamed about making cheese? Want to join a passionate, hard-working team of food artisans? Do you love washing dishes and being on your feet for eight hours a day? We're looking for a cheese making assistant! This position is full-time and has opportunities for growth for the right person. Check out the details and send us a letter of interest, resume and list of professional references if you're interested and you qualify.