Thanksgiving eve and bellies are full. Cheeses are ladled, flipped, washed and tucked in for the night. Goats are milked and even managed to get in a little grazing in between rain showers and cloudy, windy cold. The week was punctuated with changes—the last group of doelings took their long walk “over the river and through the woods” to join their “sisters” on the south farm. Given how wet the field was, we were worried they would hesitate to cross any standing water. Yet, they embraced their freedom and trotted right through the muddy rivulets. I started at the head of the pack, grain bucket shaking for enticement, but soon they overtook me, seeming to know exactly where they were headed. Erica ran to take the lead, and I huffed and puffed my tired body to join them at the Quonset hut. They stampeded through the gates and before long they were reunited with their “old friends,” head butting aside.
The milking does remain on the home farm, milk production declining slowly as expected. The retirees who spent the fall with the doelings returned back to the milking barns, including our senior doe, “Pearl.” She is one of our miracle goats, having undergone serious complications during her pregnancy this year that left her with temporary paralysis. She survived her trauma and has an endearing “side-winder” walk. She has taken up the mantel of “docent goat” for visitors. When the barn door is open, she strolls to see who’s in the farm store or working outside. She enjoys scarfing up fallen leaves in the yard and even stood patiently for the UPS delivery guy as he gave Blue (our dog) and her a treat. She has earned the privileges of a senior goat; we spoil her with treats, including left-over pumpkins.
Friday—TOMORROW—THE HOLIDAY GOAT PHOTO BOOTH IS BACK! Come out to the farm to meet our “santa goats” and take your holiday pictures with them. $5/family or group; 11 am to 2 pm.
The farm is open Friday, from 11-5. Enjoy our seasonal food and beverage options, visit with the goats and shop our farm store. Our farm staff can help you put some unique gift baskets together.
Our regular Open Hours are now Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm through December 19th
Although the weather is chilly and the days shorter, we still have some great reasons to visit the farm. Visiting the goats is usually at the top of everyone’s list, but our farm bar and small plates menu is pretty compelling. Our farm store “The Real Stand” is getting decked out for the holidays, and we have some amazing items that make the perfect gift-whether it’s just for you to enjoy at home or for that special someone in your life who appreciates good food.
If you can’t make it out to the farm, we have you covered. Our online store is now featuring some cheesy and not-so-cheesy gift baskets. There’s something for almost everyone at a variety of budgets. You can order for farm pick up during open hours OR have your order shipped. We even include hand-written notes with your holiday messages if you like. Just let us know!
This weekend’s menu items include:
Cheese boards featuring cheeses from PFFC, Jacobs & Brichford and Ludwig Creamery
Charcuterie Boards featuring Piemonte Sausage Co. and Underground Meats salumi
Blue Moon Farm roasted carrot bisque with whipped pepper chevre and toast
Apple Pie Bar with or without a scoop of gelato
Chocolate-Pecan shortbread bars (by Central IL Bakehouse)
Alchemy Scone (available all day on Saturdays & Sundays) served with honey-chevre
Hot spiced Cider!
Warm Glugg (mulled wine served with raisins and toasted almonds)
HOLIDAY PHOTOS WITH THE GOATS FRI 11/26 11-2 $5 (Farm is open 11-5)
WREATH MAKING WITH DELIGHT FLOWER FARM 12/1 -Purchase tickets from Delight Flower Farm
WHOLE HOG DINNER WITH LUMINARY KITCHEN 12/09
WINE TASTING AND CHEESE BOARD DESIGNING 12/10
Looking for a unique venue to host your business holiday party or a family gathering? Consider our farm! Contact our event planner, Lisa Wells, at email@example.com
Holiday parties? Let us help with a cheese & charcuterie board. Email Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can customize a gorgeous board for any group size.
Looking for unique gifts for your business clients? We can put together a customized gift box for any budget. Please email Lisa Wells at email@example.com to discuss options.
COVID protections on the farm
Now that the weather is colder and we are hosting more guests indoors, we want to remind our patrons that we follow the state guidelines for wearing masks indoors. While visiting our farm store, we require that you wear a mask, unless you are actively eating and/or drinking. If you are engaged in enjoying our food and beverage offerings, and you need to speak with one of our staff, we request that you wear your mask. Our staff wear masks during service, and everyone is vaccinated. We encourage all of our guests to be vaccinated too! Please check our website for up-to-date open hours. Thank you for your cooperation and for helping to keep everyone healthy and safe.
Champaign Urbana Winter Market November 27th
This Saturday, come to the Champaign-Urbana Winter Market, run by The Land Connection. Our stand is located just inside the south entrance to Lincoln Square Mall. Hours are 8 AM to 12 noon.
Here’s the line-up of offerings for this weekend:
Artisan Cottage Cheese-grass-fed 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!
Pimento cheese dip—so popular, so delicious! -featuring our cottage cheese, organic red peppers from Blue Moon Farm and parmesan like cheese called “Everton Reserve” from our cow-dairy friends at Jacobs & Brichford in Indiana). This is an instant appetizer for your hungry holiday guests—serve warm with crackers.
Merry Cow-introducing our latest cow-milk creation---a washed rind cheese made with 100% organic, grass-fed milk. The rind is bathed weekly a saline wash including local beer and ripening cultures. Texture of the past is firm and supple; flavor is slightly yeasty but mild. Great on a cheese board with roasted veggies, tart jam or whole-grain mustard and salami.
Herbs de Provence
Roasted garlic—it’s back for the holidays!
Fleur de la Prairie-a delicate bloomy rind decorated with locally sourced dried edible flowers and herbs. Now available as mixed milk (cow-goat) 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!
Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy-when young, it has a lovely light yeasty flavor with a dense fudgy paste. As it ages, it gets nice ‘n gooey. Now available as mixed milk (cow-goat) 2021 NY International Cheese Competition Silver Medal Winner
Little Bloom on the Prairie: Now available as mixed-milk for the fall-this batch is young and firm with buttered mushroom flavor. Try with a wedges of roasted winter squash and a drizzle of local honey
Pelota Roja- raw goat milk Manchego style cheese with a guajillo-olive oil rub—so good for shaving over roasted potatoes or your favorite casserole! 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!
Mixed Milk Feta—our first batch of cow-goat feta is ready for your enjoyment; aged in Whey Brine-perfect to crumble over a hearty fall stew or roasted beets, warm out of the oven. Or turn it into a dip and serve with roasted carrot sticks!
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.
HOLIDAY GIFT OPTIONS ARE HERE FOR SHIPPING OR FARM PICK UP!-Check out the newest offerings on our website! We have something for everyone.