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Orchard in bloom and the return of the purple martins

Farm News

From a distance, the orchard canopy is a study in pointillist white, pink and green. Close up, the apple and cherry trees are covered in blooms. The pears, having bloomed the week prior, have petals in various stages of disrobing, revealing the germ of the fruits to come.  The fruit trees took their cues from the warm and wet days of early April to break dormancy and unfurl their flowers. If the coming week's temperatures stay above freezing, and the pollinators work their pollen transfer magic, we will likely be rewarded with an abundance of apples, pears and cherries this summer and early fall.

Another nod to the onset of spring: the return of the purple martins. I have been scanning the skies around their martin house for over a week now, concerned that the interloping English sparrows that had taken residence in their house would deter them. At dusk last night, as I was leaving the farm, I spotted the tell-tale triangular wings circling over the windmill. I knew that they had returned! This morning, there were several martins cleaning house, sparring with the sparrows, insisting that their temporary stay was over for the season. The purple martins are the New Yorkers of the skies: they come in large family groups, chirping loudly amongst themselves and take over the spaces they claim as their own. It's good to have them back.

Happenings at the Farm & Beyond

Come see us at the Champaign Urbana Indoor Farmers' Market this Saturday from 8-12. After this Saturday, we have one more weekend of indoor market. The outdoor market "Urbana's Market at the Square" starts Saturday May 4th!

We're bringing the following:

  • Chevre frais: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper--so fresh and lemony, it screams spring is here!!

  • Goat milk yogurt!!! Both pints and quarts available this week! Buy your yogurt and then pop over to CIB's stand to grab some of there house-made granola!!

  • Jersey Milk Gournay: all flavors available this week, but some are more limited than others. Check out this week's CSA cheese & bread share featuring garlic & herb gournay!

  • Ukrainian Farmers' Cheese: think ricotta and cottage cheese make a baby-delicious served with fresh fruit OR use in a savory dish

  • Angel Food-brie style: petite rounds--both ooey-gooey AND first of the season mixed-milk versions (mixed milk is super young).

  • Little bloom on the prairie: mixed milk camembert style bloomy rind--super young this week. NOTE: FETA is on the horizon! Look for it next weekend!

We are also bringing some special accompaniments to go with the cheeses!

Our weekly CSA share offers you unique pairings with ultimate flexibility. Every week, you'll get cheese, bread and house-made accompaniments. We will have these for sale at the indoor famers' market, but please go ahead and sign up for shares. Pretty soon, you will only be able to get these shares if you pre-order. This Saturday's share is steeped in sweetness and includes:

  • 6 oz. container of garlic & herb gournay

  • package of brioche buns

  • 4 oz. house made onion jam

  • small package of toasted & salted pecans

We are also launching a new "Farm Club" subscription--join the club and get special perks!

Book your reservations NOW: Babies & Brunch!! Next weekend is final Babies & Brunch of the season. Book your tickets now through Wednesday to guarantee a spot. Enjoy a continental style breakfast while snuggling up to these adorable baby goats!!!

Goat Yoga-Pilates comes to the farm in early May, featuring our adorable baby goats and certified Pilates instructor Lisa Staples of Living Legacy Pilates.

Farm to Table Dinners: Starting in May, Chef Garron Sanchez will be offering pre-fixe multi-course meals featuring locally grown foods, and our cheeses, of course. Go on our website NOW to make reservations.


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