The heartbreak of empty boughs in recent years has made it hard to have any expectations for a peach crop in our orchard. I was certain that once again, our trees would be barren after the low ‘20’s temperatures in late April during bud swell. We are used to disappointment; it has been over five years since we had a peach crop of note to harvest. Much to our amazement, the trees flowered and miraculously set fruits. When we decided to let the goat kids into the orchard to graze this May, we weren’t totally sure if young goats and old peach trees bearing fruits would be compatible. Nonetheless, both persisted.
Here we are in the waning weeks of July, and the branches are loaded with peaches! They are bending with the weight of many small yellow-orange & red-streaked globes. Their puny size leaves a lot to be desired (guess we should have thinned the fruit in June), but the flavor of the early ripe ones (those are the ones that have already fallen to the ground; no doubt housing a little larvae in the pit) is intoxicating. Memories of the halcyon days of our early orchard flood in. Remembrance of the joy of standing with your chin jutting outward so as not to let the juices of a perfectly ripe peach drip down your shirt. Anticipation of the brief but spectacular peach harvest ahead.
Farm Open Hours YOU GOTTA COME SEE ALL THE CHANGES!
Our little farmstead creamery in the heart of cash grain culture is ON THE MAP—THE CHEESE LOVERS’ MAP that is!
We are featured in this month’s CULTURE MAGAZINE (a National Publication!) as one of the three farmstead cheese making operations in Illinois that welcomes guests to visit the farm. Check it out!! We are ready for all you cheese-loving visitors (and those who love gelato too)!
This weekend, we are expanding our open hours. Guests can enjoy artfully crafted cheese and charcuterie boards, small bites highlighting what’s local and in season and weekly specials. Breads from Publican Quality Bread (Chicago, IL) and scones from Alchemy Coffee & Bakehouse (Wilmette IL) round out the menu. Sunday brunch “Bloody Mary’s” will feature organic tomatoes from Blue Moon Farm (Urbana IL). Not only that, we have some amazing wines that you can’t find anywhere else in Champaign-Urbana! Hours will be:
Fridays, 4-8 pm
Saturdays, 10-8 pm
Sundays, 10-5 pm
As the summer progresses, we will host a few “Dinners on the Farm” (starting in mid to late August), special cheese and beverage pairings, goat walks, farm tours and health and wellness classes. Several of these special events will be posted on our website with links to ticket sales next week (FINALLY!).
Urbana’s Market at the Square: Featured Items Going to Market This Saturday-7 am to 12 noon
SO MUCH CHEESE! So hard to choose (so get a few). The weather will be hot on Saturday, so come early to beat the heat. Bring a cooler or insulated bag to keep your cheese & gelato in good condition while you shop.
STILL NEWS FLASH: OUR RAW MILK “PELOTA ROJA” IS BACK IN THE CHEESE LINEUP! Come grab a wedge of this 2021 Good Food Award winning cheese, inspired by Spanish style raw goat milk cheeses. Early spring milk makes these early batches taste AMAZING!
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:
Gidget’s Grilling Cheese-made with rich, grassfed cow’s milk from Rocky Road Farm. Grill or pan fry to get some nice caramelization on the outside. Drizzle with local honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy with crusty baguette or some grilled summer squash.
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!
Mascarpone-style cream cheese-this is a one-off (a happy accident in the cheese vat in fact), but the texture and flavor of this fresh cow’s milk cheese is perfect for recipes calling for mascarpone or cream cheese.
Herbs de Provence
Angel Food-goat “crottin” style bloomy (nice ‘n ripe, brie-like)
Fleur de la Prairie—2021 Good Food Award winner!-bloomy with dried herbs and edible flowers-ripening nicely
Black goat-ash-ripened bloomy-rich “fudgy” texture that I love so much
Little Bloom on the Prairie-our goat milk camembert-perfectly ripe; try with spring honey
Pelota Roja-FIRST OF THE SEASON! 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 just ahead for your feta-watermelon salads!
Goat Milk Yogurt—it makes a great smoothie or enjoy with your favorite granola and fresh berries-now available in both pints and quarts! We are featuring our yogurt in our farm kitchen’s parfaits this weekend.
Goat Milk Gelato by Pint (4-5 flavors at the market; many more at the farm)
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.
Goats for Sale
Looking for a family milking goat or a 4-H project for your kids? Looking to build a small herd to make some goat milk soaps and skin care products? Looking to expand your commercial dairy goat herd? Want some goats to keep your invasive plants at bay? How about a few goats to take on hikes? We have what you’re looking for! Our goats are certified “Animal Welfare Approved,” registered through the American Dairy Goat Association AND super happy and healthy. Send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll let you know what we have available.