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Ode to an heirloom tomato in september

Farm News

The seasonal amnesia that clouded our decision to plant way too many tomatoes in spring is gone. The stored heat of august is manifest in a plethora of ripening tomatoes, even with the shortened daylight and cooler evening temperatures. The mystery tomato seedlings have now revealed themselves; the romas are not romas; they are striped german slicers. Their girth and heft tug at the sturdy tomato vines, pulling the ripening fruit close to the ground for rabbit grazing. The uneven shape, the still-green shoulders fade into an intensity of yellow and red starbursts. The cracks and crags that beckon picnic bugs to drill into to perfectly ripe and juicy flesh. The tradeoff of picking them before they're perfect versus letting them ripen a bit longer, making them even more attractive to the myriad of insect and mammalian pests. The imperfections can be excised, the compressed summer sweetness drizzled with the best olive oil and a sprinkling of flake salt. Nothing more is needed.

Farmers' Market and Farm Happenings

This Saturday, come see us at the outdoor farmers' market, Urbana's Market at the Square. Our location is at the south end of the market in aisle two. Hours are 7 am to 12 noon. We have some amazing seasonal chevre flavors and bloomy rind cheeses for you this weekend. We're also bringing some fresh Seckel cider and vanilla-honey yogurt smoothies!! Better come early if you want all these goodies!

Check out our seasonal chevre flavors this weekend: chevre with dried tomato, roasted garlic and peach-habanero.


Need some cheesy menu ideas for simple eating? How about a slice of little bloom on a wedge of apple or pear with a local honey drizzle? How about baked feta with olive oil, fresh herbs and peach jam? What about zucchini lasagna with Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese in place of ricotta? How about an open-faced melted cheese sandwich with Moonglo and sliced tomato? Don't feeling like cooking? How about a simple salad of chevre, local greens, tomato wedges and toasted pecans? OR, grab 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 roasted garlic (Limited)

  • Fresh chevre with peach-habanero (Limited)

  • Fresh chevre with dried tomato

  • Little bloom on the prairie: mixed milk camembert-perfectly ripe & slightly gooey, buttered mushroom flavor--great on a slice of apple, peach or pear with a drizzle of local honey. Alternatively, put a whole wheel on the grill--3 minutes per side to get some grill marks and smoky flavor going. Top with your favorite spicy jam!

  • Prairie Fire: our smoked paprika + calendula flower adorned goat bloomy rind is back--limited availability this weekend

  • Black goat: our ash-ripened bloomy with lovely earthy notes and a little bit o' funk-Last batch of the season

  • Fleur de la Prairie-all-goat bloomy rind with dried herbs and edible flowers-beautiful and delicious! 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner! Last batch of the season!

  • Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese-it's like a cross between cottage cheese & ricotta-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. Last few wedges this weekend until our fall batches are ready just in time for the holidays!

  • 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.

  • Goat milk yogurt smoothies (honey vanilla) and pints/quarts of pear cider will be available at the market too!

Save the Date: September 30th, 1 to 5 pm Pride Fest C-U in Downtown Champaign. We are excited to participate in this year's Pride Fest Fair. We'll be selling PFFC grazing boxes, fresh cider and even gelato. We are making one of a kind t-shirts with our rainbow "Chippy the Goat" too!

Farm Open Hours

Come visit us. 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.


GELATO!!

Gelato is wonderful for every season, even as the cooler weather of fall takes hold. Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with our delicious and refreshing goat milk gelato and local fruit sorbettos! We usually offer four flavors to choose for scoops, and several flavors in pints for you to take home.

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 goat teenage girls are usually hanging around close to the barns and fences, waiting for your adoration. 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. We just got a new set of t-shirts in with some new colors, so come check them out!!

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.

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