A killing frost, a punctuation mark more definitive than a period; an exclamation point really. When nighttime temperatures dip below 25-27 degrees, the cells in most living plants rupture, putting an end to growth. Some plants (leafy greens like kale and turnips) have a natural antifreeze in their systems (sugars!!!) which allows them to survive such low temperatures and makes them sweeter after the frost.
The forecast this week called for such temperatures, and we, along with our fellow farmers and gardeners, scurried to harvest the last of our tomatoes and to cover the sensitive plants that we weren’t quite ready to bid farewell. The edible flowers that were planted way too late this summer, the newly planted fall mums, the fresh herbs-all were covered in tarps to keep in the heat from the soil beneath them. Monday night came and went-no frost; Tuesday night came and went-again no frost. Wednesday night’s temperatures dipped just below freezing but not enough to leave evidence of termination. Even the flies escaped their seasonal end of annoyance. Today the tarps came off the protected beauties, allowing them to soak up the sunshine and return to warming weather this weekend.
Fall Farm Happenings
Sunday Walks with the Goats (Through October 24th)
Last chance to come out to the farm on Sunday afternoon for an “amble” with the goats We have a small group of young goats that love to hang out with people. The hike starts at 1pm. We’ll meander out into the back fields and riparian zone along the creek while the goats stop frequently to munch on the greenery. The hike will take approximately 45 minutes and will conclude with gelato in the Farm Store. The cost is $20 per person, which includes a cup of gelato at the end of the hike. Purchase tickets in the Farm Store before 1 pm – limited to 8-10 people. No reservations required; first come-first served. If it is raining, we will cancel-the goats don’t like to get wet. Please wear sturdy closed-toed shoes and long pants. The terrain can be a bit rough in spots.
Mark your Calendars! Goaty Halloween Returns to the Farm!!
Save the Date: Sunday October 30th, 1-4 pm. Goats in Costume! Guests in costume taking pictures with the goats in costume! Pumpkin Decorating! Hayrides! Spooky Sorghum Maze! Hot Apple Cider! Spooky cheesy treats! Gelato! AND MORE!! No reservations required.
Delight Flower Farm Returns to Prairie Fruits for Holiday Wreath Making
Our flower friends at Delight Flower Farm will be hosting a variety of wreath making workshops around the area in November and December. We are hosting them on Thursday, December 1st. It’s a super fun time! They bring all the materials you need to craft a unique and gorgeous wreath to take home. We provide wine, beer, cider and non-alcoholic beverages as well as cheese plates to nibble on while you build your wreath. For details and ticket purchases, check out their links: Facebook event and for purchasing Tickets.
Wine and Cheese on the Farm? Yes please!
We are one of the few places in Champaign-Urbana where you can get a curated wine and cheese flight. We carry some great organic and/or biodynamic wines. We try to change up the wines and the cheeses almost every weekend so you can come often to try a variety. We serve the wine & cheese flight with a rustic baguette bread from Publican Quality Breads in Chicago or with Potters Crackers. $25/person (must be 21 or older) gets you this amazing flight of three wine pours and three cheeses with some surprise accompaniments every weekend. All of our wines come from small family-owned wineries and vineyards using sustainable agriculture practices. Just ask our staff for the details if you’re curious.
Introducing our newest creation: cheese & charcuterie cones!! Basically, it’s a cheese plate for one served inside a stylish paper cone-includes cheese, salami, pickles, bread and a few little treats. I am super excited about this concept, and we can’t wait to have our patrons try these. You can enjoy a cone while you visit with the goats!! Or sit under the pavilion by the chimenea with your cone and a glass of wine or beer!
Farm Open Hours
This weekend (and all weekends through the end of the year) we’re open 11-5 both Saturday and Sunday. It’s going to be a gorgeous and WARM weekend-perfect weather for visiting with the goats and enjoying cheese & wine outside. Shop our farm store and sample some of our award-winning cheeses.
Enjoy a cheese and charcuterie board under our pavilion with a bottle of organic and/or biodynamic wine or local microbrew. We have some great beers and hard ciders in the cooler. Want something cold and creamy? Try our delicious goat milk gelato! Of course, there are lots of opportunities to engage with the goats—the mommas and the teenagers LOVE visitors. The interactive goat "play pen" is right next to our Sorghum-Sudan Grass Cover Crop forest. We can NO LONGER feed the Sorghum-Sudan grass to the goats after a frost (even a light frost produces cyanide in the plant!!), we should still have some mulberry and maple branches for you to feed them.
The secret ingredient to our amazing cheeses and gelato is our MILK! You too can experience our milk in its purest form! Our milk super fresh (usually less than one day old) and clean. We are permitted to sell raw milk from the farm (Illinois Dept. of Public Health). Curious what it tastes like? We will have samples for you to try-just ask.
If you don’t have time to peruse our farm store in person, but you need some milk or cheese or accompaniments, you can always order from our online store for pick up at the farm during weekend open hours. Just let us know if you’re picking up on Saturday or Sunday in the “NOTES” section (before checking out).
We’ve also got some great local products, including artisan jams, local honey, preserves and salamis. New in the store, a great selection of PFFC T-shirts.
NEW PRODUCTS ALERT:
house-made pickles with locally grown produce (red peppers, cucumbers, etc.)
locally made hot sauces from Weird Meat Boyz
roasted garlic chevre!—last chance on this seasonal flavor
The farm is open on weekends RAIN OR SHINE! We have ample seating inside our farm store if you want to stay and enjoy a cheese & charcuterie board or linger over a cup of gelato or a glass of wine. If the weather is cool, we’ll have a warming fire going in the chimenea under the pavilion.
Order a Cheese Gift Box
With the cooler fall weather, now is a great time to send a cheesy gift box to a friend or family member OR just order one for yourself if you don’t live close by. We have some unique and delicious gift box options OR you can order a variety of different cheeses a la carte. Check out the selections and order away. We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week. Please make sure you select either Retail 1-2 ground (for shipments in the Midwest) OR Retail 2nd Day Air (for shipments to the coasts) when you’re ready to check out of the online store.
Order Your Holiday Cheese & Charcuterie Platters for Thanksgiving Entertaining!! Online pre-orders are open NOW.
From 7-12 each Saturday, you can stock up on great produce, meats, eggs and of course PFFC cheeses.
The market is open OUTDOORS through the end of October—ONLY TWO MORE OUTDOOR MARKETS!! Then, it moves inside Lincoln Square Mall, starting the first Saturday in November. We will make the move inside as we always do, so PLEASE continue to support your farmers through the holiday season.
Here's the lineup of cheeses and dairy products you can expect to find in our farm store and at the farmers’ market:
Moonglo!! Our raw goat’s milk "tomme-style” cheese!! Sharp, nutty, slice it! Melt it!
Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper 2022 American Cheese Society 1st Place Medal!
Seasonal chevre flavor: Roasted Garlic Made with organic garlic from Blue Moon Farm! LAST CHANCE FOR THIS SEASONAL FLAVOR!
Fleur de la Prairie: all goat milk bloomy rind adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers 2021 Good Food Award Winner and 2022 American Cheese Society 1st Place Medal-LAST OF THE SEASON
Black Goat: ash-ripened (all goat milk) bloomy-perfectly ripe and fudgy this week-LAST OF THE SEASON.
Little Bloom on the Prairie (mixed milk): camembert style—VERY LIMITED THIS WEEK.
Angel Food (mixed milk): crottin (mini-brie) style- super young and tangy this week; pair with our farmstead honey-sold as a wedge or mini-round
Feta in Whey Brine: mixed milk is back and boy is it delicious-creamy, luscious with the perfect tang--perfect for a fall stew or warmed in the oven with roasted tomatoes and fresh thyme.
Mixed Milk Yogurt (pints and quarts)-jersey cow milk from Kilgus Farmstead (Fairbury IL) mixed with our fall goat milk-rich, thick with a slight yogurt tang!
Yogurt smoothies: seasonal flavors-pumpkin and black currant!
House-made pumpkin butter: We’ll be offering a bundle of cheese + house-made pumpkin butter (made with locally grown pumpkins, of course!)
Raw goat milk (half gallons or quarts)-farm store only
Not local? No problem. We ship nationwide. You can order our cheeses and gift boxes from our online store.