Temperatures in the high eighties-summer’s reluctance to let go. Sunsets at seven-earth’s trip around the sun remains as predictable as a train conductor’s watch. In the life of a goat, daylength trumps temperature, and the desire to procreate is upon us. We began the process of getting ready for breeding season with a serious barn clean out on Tuesday. Despite the usual hiccups with the manure spreader, we were able to get one barn cleaned and re-bedded, new waterers installed, and breeding pens set up.
Yesterday afternoon, Erica and Sophie escorted three of our “ever ready” bucks-Lentil, Zircon and Rik from their carefree pastures on the south farm to the milker barn. Enticed with grain, and reeking of male musk, they were reluctant to leave at first; once they hit the half-way mark between the two farms, they could begin to detect the pheromones of desire. With Rik at the lead, their pace quickened; their determination, palpable. Upon arrival at the doe barn, they were outfitted with their breeding harnesses; each one contains a different colored marking crayon so we can see who was bred to whom. Once inside their breeding pens, they wasted no time in reacquainting themselves with their betrothed. Several of the girls were ready for them; others cowered in the corner, having forgotten all about the chasing, tongue lashing and leg tapping breeding rituals of their male counterparts. This morning, the evidence of breeding was as plain as the colored rumps lining up in the milking parlor. Let the next generation begin!
On another front, there are other signs of fall around the farm. Migratory sphynx moths, similar in appearance and feeding habits to hummingbirds, showed up at our farm this week, eager to drink the nectar of whatever tubular flowers they could find. Their similarities to hummingbirds are uncanny.
Farm Open Hours—VISIT THE FARM, CHECK OUT OUR “FARM BAR”—ENJOY SOME OF THE BEST LOCAL FOOD AROUND!
Celebrate FALL with an outing to the farm! Guests can enjoy artfully crafted cheese and charcuterie boards, small bites highlighting what’s local and in season and weekly specials. We feature artisan breads from Publican Quality Bread (Chicago, IL) and scones from Alchemy Coffee & Bakehouse (Wilmette IL). Sunday brunch “Bloody Mary’s” are made from scratch, using organic tomatoes from Blue Moon Farm (Urbana IL). Need more enticing? Come try some amazing organic and/or biodynamic wines that you can’t find anywhere else in Champaign-Urbana! Some of this week’s featured menu items include:
Charcuterie Boards featuring Piemonte Sausage Co. and Underground Meats salumi
Publican Quality Bread (PQB) crostini du jour (fresh mozzarella over house-made bacon-tomato jam)
PFFC “pimento cheese” dip with house-made pickles & PBQ bread
Dried BMF green zebra tomatoes with whipped garlicky chevre
Sweet & spicy roasted carrots with chevre-yogurt dipping sauce
Come try a wine flight this Friday night! We’ll feature three wines from our Organic & Biodynamic Portfolio for a set price. Wine not your thing? Enjoy a cold brew from our newest selection of local microbrews, kombucha beer and hard cider! We’re very excited about these new libations.
Fridays, 4-8 pm
Saturdays, 11-8 pm
Sundays, 11-5 pm
In the farm store, we now feature vegetables from new farmer “Open Hands Farm.” Selections change weekly but right now, you can expect tomatoes, carrots, okra, parsley, chard, beets, garlic and potatoes for sure.
Farm Dinners and Farm Events are BACK! We’re excited about a very special Mezcal Pairings Event with Alex Jandernoa of Banhez Mezcal, Oaxaca, Mexico on October 9th. Make your reservations NOW for our Neopolitan style pizza (Pizzeria Antica), cannoli and gelato event with The Tony Cannoli of Lincoln Illinois-October 17th. The ticket includes two pizzas and a four-pack of cannoli-enough for two people! Last but not least, check out our beer and brats event on October 21st with Middlebrow Brewery and D&M Meats. We’re making plans for “A Goaty Halloween” on Sunday, October 31st, along with some special tastings, workshops and goat hikes lining up for the remainder of the fall season—STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS!
Urbana’s Market at the Square: Featured Items Going to Market This Saturday-7 am to 12 noon
There’s a chance of rain forecast for Saturday, so bring your umbrellas and your galoshes, and come out and support your local farmers. The days of BOTH summer and fall fruits and veggies are waning, so get to the market this weekend to take advantage of this seasonal cornucopia of local foods. Our goat bloomy rind cheeses are young this weekend, but tasty. Consider making a pizza with our fresh mozzarella or just enjoying some cottage cheese over sliced apples and a drizzle of honey.
Can’t make it to the market? No worries! Order from our online store for farm pick up either Saturday or Sunday during farm open hours.
Here’s the line-up of offerings for this weekend:
Fresh Mozzarella! Yes, you read that right! We are now making fresh mozzarella with the amazing cow milk from Rocky Road Dairy. Like all of our cheeses, we make this cheese as close to traditional methods as possible. Comes as a perfectly formed ball (approximately 5-6 oz)-perfect for your very own Caprese salads as well as homemade pizza!
Artisan Cottage Cheese-summer milk from grazing cows makes an AMAZING cottage cheese. It is both gorgeous (lovely yellow in color-a testament to the grass the cows are eating) and delicious. If you think cottage cheese is boring, you really need to give this a try! It’s a game changer!
Pimento cheese dip—so popular, we’re making more! -featuring our cottage cheese, organic red peppers from Blue Moon Farm and parmesan like cheese called “Everton Reserve” from our cow-dairy friends at Jacobs & Brichford in Indiana). Can’t wait to share this with you all!
Herbs de Provence
Dried Tomato!! Grab some before they’re gone!
Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert style cheese-try it warmed in the oven or even “en croute,” now that the weather is getting cooler
Black Goat-our ash-ripened bloomy-this batch is also young, so let it ripen in your fridge for a bit. 2021 SILVER MEDAL FROM NY INTERNATIONAL CHEESE COMPETITION!
Fleur de la Prairie-a delicate bloomy rind decorated with locally sourced dried edible flowers and herbs. 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!
Pelota Roja- raw goat milk Manchego style cheese with a guajillo-olive oil rub—so good for shaving over a tomato and basil salad or grilled eggplant! 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!
Goat Milk Feta aged in Whey Brine-try with grilled peaches and a drizzle of honey (sweet and salty and sublime). Watermelon season is HERE for your feta-watermelon salads!
Goat Milk Yogurt—it makes a great smoothie or enjoy with your favorite granola and fresh berries- available in both pints and quarts!
If you’re interested in buying fresh raw goat milk, you can either order from our online store for farm pick up on the weekends, or just visit our farm store during open hours—now offering both quarts and half gallons in our refrigerated display case. Goat milk sales will likely come to an end AFTER THIS WEEKEND, so grab some while you can.