The time of year for which our breeding bucks live-breeding season-is upon us. Three of our five eager boys made the trek from their summer residence on the “south farm” on Monday to their awaiting harems in the milker barn. Within minutes, several of the does in heat had been mounted. Each of the bucks has a harness with a marking crayon to provide proof that the does were successfully bred.
Of course, a completely blue or green or red backside is no guarantee of conception, so we take detailed notes of all the signs of breeding and when they occurred. Does she have a wet tail? Was she flagging the buck with her tail (a kind of flirtatious behavior of does in heat)? Did anyone see her standing for the buck or was he just chasing her? Trust but verify is our motto when it comes to successful breeding. In about 40 days, we will invite the vets out to ultrasound the first group of breeders to confirm their pregnancies. In the meantime, the goats’ carnal endeavors provide comic relief and anticipation of the farm’s next generation to come.
Sunday Walks with the Goats
Starting this Sunday, October 9th, and continuing through the end of October, we will be offering “goat hikes.” We have a small group of young goats that love to hang out with people. The hike starts at 1pm. We’ll meander out into the back fields and riparian zone along the creek while the goats stop frequently to munch on the greenery. The hike will take approximately 45 minutes and will conclude with gelato in the Farm Store. The cost is $20 per person, which includes a cup of gelato at the end of the hike. Purchase tickets in the Farm Store before 1 pm – limited to 8-10 people. No reservations required; first come-first served. If it is raining, we will cancel-the goats don’t like to get wet. Please wear sturdy closed-toed shoes and long pants. The terrain can be a bit rough in spots.
Mark your Calendars! Goaty Halloween Returns to the Farm!!
Save the Date: Sunday October 30th, 1-4 pm. Goats in Costume! Guests in costume taking pictures with the goats in costume! Pumpkin Decorating! Hay Rides! Hot Apple Cider! Spooky cheesy treats! AND MORE!!
Wine and Cheese on the Farm? Yes please!
We are one of the few places in Champaign-Urbana where you can get a curated wine and cheese flight. We carry some great organic and/or biodynamic wines. We try to change up the wines and the cheeses almost every weekend so you can come often to try a variety. We serve the wine & cheese flight with a rustic baguette bread from Publican Quality Breads in Chicago or with Potters Crackers. $25/person (must be 21 or older) gets you this amazing flight of three wine pours and three cheeses with some surprise accompaniments every weekend. All of our wines come from small family-owned wineries and vineyards using sustainable agriculture practices. Just ask our staff for the details if you’re curious.
Farm Open Hours
This weekend (and all weekends through the end of the year) we’re open 11-5 both Saturday and Sunday. Shop our farm store and sample some of our award-winning cheeses.
Enjoy a cheese and charcuterie board under our pavilion with a bottle of organic and/or biodynamic wine or local microbrew. We have some great beers and hard ciders in the cooler. Want something cold and creamy? Try our delicious goat milk gelato! Of course, there are lots of opportunities to engage with the goats—the mommas and the teenagers LOVE visitors. The interactive goat "play pen" is right next to our Sorghum-Sudan Grass Cover Crop forest, You can grab a hand-full of grass to feed to the goats. If you're lucky, farmer Wes will let the teenage goat girls out for a stroll and you can get even more intimate with them. They are such attention hounds!
The secret ingredient to our amazing cheeses and gelato is our MILK! You too can experience our milk in its purest form! Our milk super fresh (usually less than one day old) and clean. We are permitted to sell raw milk from the farm (Illinois Dept. of Public Health). Curious what it tastes like? We will have samples for you to try-just ask.
If you don’t have time to peruse our farm store in person, but you need some milk or cheese or accompaniments, you can always order from our online store for pick up at the farm during weekend open hours. Just let us know if you’re picking up on Saturday or Sunday in the “NOTES” section (before checking out).
We’ve also got some great local products, including artisan jams, local honey, preserves and salamis. New in the store, a great new selection of PFFC T-shirts.
NEW PRODUCTS ALERT:
house-made pickles with locally grown produce (red peppers, cucamelons, etc.)
locally made hot sauces from Weird Meat Boyz
organic garlic from Blue Moon Farm (yes, that's right-they are growing some produce this year)
new gelato flavors--specials for fall--Paw Paw! Pumpkin!
The farm is open on weekends RAIN OR SHINE! We have ample seating inside our farm store if you want to stay and enjoy a cheese & charcuterie board or linger over a cup of gelato or a glass of wine.
Order a Cheese Gift Box
With the cooler fall weather, now is a great time to send a cheesy gift box to a friend or family member OR just order one for yourself if you don’t live close by. We have some unique and delicious gift box options OR you can order a variety of different cheeses a la carte. Check out the selections and order away. We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week. Please make sure you select either Retail 1-2 ground (for shipments in the Midwest) OR Retail 2nd Day Air (for shipments to the coasts) when you’re ready to check out of the online store.
Coming soon: Holiday Gift Boxes and Cheese & Charcuterie Platters for Holiday Entertaining!!
From 7-12 each Saturday, you can stock up on great produce, meats, eggs and of course PFFC cheeses. The market is open OUTDOORS through the end of October. Then, it moves inside Lincoln Square Mall, starting the first Saturday in November. We will make the move inside as we always do, so PLEASE continue to support your farmers through the holiday season.
PLEASE NOTE: OUR LOCATION AT THE MARKET HAS CHANGED FROM YEARS’ PAST. WE ARE STILL LOCATED ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE MARKET, BUT WE ARE NEXT TO ILLINIOIS WILLOWS (AT THE SOUTH END OF AISLE TWO).
Here's the lineup of cheeses and dairy product you can expect to find in our farm store and at the farmers’ market: NOTE: the yogurt smoothie maker (aka ME) is taking a week off from smoothie making. I'll be back at it next week with seasonal flavors.
Moonglo!! Our raw goat’s milk "tomme-style” cheese!!
Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper 2022 American Cheese Society 1st Place Medal!
Seasonal chevre flavor: Roasted Garlic Made with organic garlic from Blue Moon Farm!
Fleur de la Prairie: all goat milk bloomy rind adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers 2021 Good Food Award Winner and 2022 American Cheese Society 1st Place Medal
Black Goat: ash-ripened (all goat milk) bloomy-perfectly ripe and fudgy this week.
Little Bloom on the Prairie (mixed milk): camembert style--super young this week.
Angel Food (mixed milk): crottin (mini-brie) style-super young and tangy this week; pair with our farmstead honey-sold as a wedge this weekend
Feta in Whey Brine: All goat version available for the next few weeks-tangy, crumbly, creamy--perfect for a fall stew or warmed in the oven with roasted tomatoes and fresh thyme.
Goat milk Yogurt (both pints) AND Mixed Milk Yogurt (pints and quarts)-jersey cow milk from Kilgus Farmstead (Fairbury IL) mixed with our fall goat milk-rich, thick with a slight yogurt tang!
Yogurt Smoothies--they're back! Fall spice with honey & vanilla AND black currant
Raw goat milk (half gallons or quarts)-farm store
Organic garlic-Blue Moon Farm's renowned garlic--available at our farm store ONLY
Not local? No problem. We ship nationwide. You can order our cheeses and gift boxes from our online store.