Amidst the flurry of overdue outdoor farm projects, this week was all about packing boxes; “Victory Cheese” boxes filled with cheese, jam, bread, cookbooks and lots of ice packs! Yes, the barn cleanouts continued, with the manure spreader working overtime. Yes, our fledgling silvopasture trees started to leaf out (we need some rain to satiate their thirsty roots). Yes, the weeding, planting and mulching continued in the garden. Yes, of course, the goats were milked, and the milk transformed into cheese. Yet, our bodies were fixed on shipping close to 80 Victory Cheese boxes to eagerly awaiting fans. There we were in our toasty-cozy farm shop with inadequate air conditioning (aka the PFF&C Fulfilment Center), assembling shipper boxes, spreading out ice packs so they would freeze faster, filling boxes with excelsior (that lovely wood shaving filler that looks like a bird’s nest), printing off shipping labels and organizing orders with or without a signed cookbook.
Never having shipped so many orders at once, we were on a very steep learning curve to set up an efficient assembly line. The experience was part Henry Ford-part I Love Lucy. There was a race against time to get as many boxes packed and sealed before the arrival our UPS driver. When he arrived and witnessed the chaos, he took pity on us and offered to send another driver back to the farm in another hour. The weather conspired against us too (why couldn’t the cooler temperatures of last week lingered for another week!), and we tried our best to pack the boxes to keep the cheeses cold. We began to take on a rhythm by the second day, each person taking on the tasks they had mastered; others eager to just follow commands. As the week draws to a close, we have learned a whole lot about shipping and we’re looking forward to making the process even better next week!
Victory Cheese-Choose it OR lose it!
You can order our Rick Bayless-All Illinois Victory Cheese Box for farm pick up this weekend! Either Saturday or Sunday, you can pick up your box from 1—4 pm. The box features three Illinois farmstead cheeses (Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery chevre, Marcoot Jersey Creamery sharp cheddar and Ludwig Farmstead Creamery Kickapoo). If you haven’t seen Chef Bayless’ video talking about our Victory Cheese Box and making a recipe of chilaquiles featuring our fresh chevre, you MUST check it out!
Urbana’s Market at the Square-Come early to get the best selections!
On the eve of the summer solstice, the farmers’ market is starting to swell with early summer delights; fresh greens, garlic scapes, first hot-house tomatoes of the season, strawberries, blueberries and sweet cherries! Our cheeses are the perfect accompaniments for so many of these farm-fresh products. They also make great gifts for the special father in your life.
Our goat milk ricotta is PERFECT with fresh berries and drizzle of local honey. Our chevre can hold its own over roasted or grilled veggies of any kind. You MUST try our seasonal chevre flavor “Chevre with Cucamelon” on a burger! The pickles are already in the CHEESE!! Our bloomies can be enjoyed with a crisp glass of rose while your guests wait for dinner to be served! Our feta is begging to be crumbled over a crunchy salad!
As you know by now, the market is open with some restrictions to ensure the safety of farmers and patrons alike. If you haven’t already reviewed the markets rules for operation under “COVID 19 restrictions, please check them out on the “Market at the Square” website. We will be taking your orders at one section of our stand and fulfilling them in another. We will have a Square card reader set up for you to swipe your card for payment. If you bring cash, we will give you change (and sanitize our hands between transactions).
Fresh Chevre $8/each
--herbs de Provence
Seasonal Chevre: Chevre with Pickled Cucamelon $9/each
Angel Food-our little “crottin” style bloomies—this next batch is young, but super buttery with hints of mushroom $9/each
Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert style cheese-young but loaded with rich-buttery flavor $11/each
Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy; it’s young and firm but with a lovely yeast aroma $11
Fleur du Prairie-bloomy rind cheese adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers; also young but tasty $11/each
Goat Milk Feta—aged in whey brine, tangy with a creamy-crumbly texture $7 each
Fresh Goat Milk Ricotta—whole milk ricotta made using the Italian basket method $10/8 oz. container
If you can’t make it to the market, no worries. You can order online by 10 AM Saturday for Farm Pick-Up between 1-4 pm. Gelato pints are available for farm pick up ONLY-limited flavors this week (Vanilla, Chocolate and Fresh Mint for sure).
Other Opportunities to Purchase Our Products
If you’re not able to buy our cheeses in person, you can order online for shipping. We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. There are also lots of retail establishments throughout central IL and the Chicagoland area that carry our cheeses.
Father’s Day Farm Open House
We will be open for visitors and outdoor seating on Sunday, June 21st (1-4 pm). We’ll have cups/pints of gelato, cheese & accompaniments and definitely, lots of goat viewing (but no touching—sorry). You can even pre-order a Victory Cheese Box to enjoy under our pavilion. Our seating is limited due to COVID-related social distancing requirements, and all guest must be wearing masks while visiting the farm.