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Reflections on a burn pile, New Victory Cheese Box, Farm & Market Offerings

Farm News

In the long (even not so long) life of a farm, change is inevitable. Your first design for no-waste hay feeders slowly became too hard to clean out, and eventually , wasteful. Your cedar fence posts, designed naturally to resist the slings and arrows of storms and insect pests, eventually rot. Your plans to chip the annual orchard prunings give way to ignoring the mounds of brush entangled with weeds.

When the mood strikes to clean house, the past mistakes and the things that rot get relegated to the burn pile. The burn pile grows, and the layers hold a chronology of the farm’s evolution. As the burn pile grows both in height and girth, and encroaches on your barns, you rationalize not actually burning it, for fear of fire spreading to unwanted places. If you could dig to the lower depths, you might feel remorse about your original decision to throw that item away. You might become nostalgic about your naivete in thinking that design was just the ticket to lighten your workload.

One day, the moisture level and wind conditions become perfect for setting fire. You’ve run out of excuses not to burn, and the pile is an obvious eye sore. You grab your gas can and douse the debris, and the flames ignite with a whimper. A little more gas and a few wads of newspaper do the trick; the wood really catches fire. Soon, the pile is a bonfire, flames reaching toward the darkening sky. As the sun sets, you check to make sure the embers are contained, and you go to bed, hoping the fuel will exhaust itself. The next morning, the only evidence of the pile’s former grandeur is the steaming thick layer of ash that coats the bare ground. The slate is clean, ready for the discards of future mistakes.

Victory Cheese-Choose it OR lose it!—GIRL AND THE GOATS TO VICTORY

We’re SOO excited about our newest Victory Cheese Box collaboration with grass-fed, raw cows’ milk cheeses from Jacobs & Brichford, bloomy rind cheeses from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery and accompaniments by Chef Stephanie Izard and her “Girl & the Goat-ceries” team. This DELUXE box features two cheeses from each farmstead creamery, house-made crackers, several kinds of pickles, jam and mixed nuts. Sales are now live on our online store. You can either pick up your box at the farm on Saturdays OR Sundays, 1-4 pm OR you can have it shipped. We are limiting sales to 50 boxes this week, but more will be on offer in the coming weeks.

Psst: We still have a few more of the Rick Bayless Victory Cheese Boxes available if you want to order one of those as well, both with and without the signed cookbook.

Urbana’s Market at the Square-Come early, shop often

The Urbana farmers’ market is brimming over with fresh fruits & veggies, meats and eggs. This is the perfect time to make the market your primary food shopping experience. We are thrilled with the outpouring of support for our local farmers from our community. There are so many amazing ingredients with which to prepare simple meals. Our cheese can either be an accompaniment to those dishes or the highlight of the dish itself. You decide. Angel Food is back in the line-up (super young, but nice ‘n tangy), and little bloom is available but limited. We have a few squares of Blushing Goat left, so come early if you want one.

The Urbana Market has modified it’s COVID-19 related restrictions. They still require social distancing, and both patrons and farmers must wear masks at all times. The main difference is that patrons will now be able to select their own produce. Our market stand practices remain the same. We 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). Gelato pints are ONLY available through online farm store sales/farm pick up.

Here’s the cheese line up for this weekend:

Pelota Roja—raw milk “Manchego style” hard cheese with a guajillo chile-olive oil rub on the rind $7/wedge-consider shaving this cheese over grilled zucchini or eggplant! Shave it on a salad of greens in place of parmesan cheese; grate it over sliced tomatoes and broil them in the oven.

Blushing Goat- washed rind with a Peach-Bourbon Kombucha beer; gooey, oozy and delicious

Available in squares only weighing approximately 8-9 oz. for $15 each; This cheese is perfectly ripe right now and is limited in offering! Try serving with caramelized onions!

Fresh Chevre $8/each


--herbs de Provence

--cracked peppercorn

Seasonal chevre flavor of the week: Jalapeño Crunch. We love to feature ingredients from other farmers, and this week’s chevre has fresh, chopped jalapeño peppers from Blue Moon Farm $9/each

Angel Food: our “crottin” style bloomy-petite but loaded with delicious goat tang! Very young $9/each

Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert-style bloomy; aging nicely $11/each

Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy; aging nicely with a slight gooey layer $10/each

Fleur du la Prairie-bloomy rind cheese adorned with dried herbs and edible flowers; beautiful AND delicious $11/each

Goat Milk Feta—aged in whey brine, tangy with a creamy-crumbly texture-PERFECT for salad season! $7/each

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.

Farm Open Hours and Offerings this Summer

If you can’t make it to the farmers’ 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-new flavors this week include Vanilla, Fresh Mint, Anise Hyssop, Salted Caramel Swirl and Nectarine Sorbetto (made with Mileur Orchard Nectarines).

New items in the online farm store (and in the farm shop “The Real Stand”):

**Raw Milk! Yes, finally, we have a permit from the Illinois Department of Public Health to sell our raw milk. You can either order online (for Saturday Pickup, 1-4 pm) OR come out to the farm on Sundays, from 1-4. We’re selling milk in half gallon jugs for $9 (competitively priced compared to conventional goat milk found in the grocery store).

**”Wash Your Hands! In Style”—new gift item (or just buy it for yourself!) featuring goat milk soaps made exclusively for us by the Wright Soapery. We’re offering a large bar of goat milk soap (tea tree oil, lemongrass, fresh mint or chamomile-oatmeal) with a “Three Chippys” tea towel for $15.

We will be open this Sunday afternoon, August 9th to visitors, with some restrictions. From 1-4 pm, you can peruse our farm store, enjoy a cup of gelato (with or house-made toppings!) or a cheese board with wine/beer/other beverages under our pavilion, visit with the goats (no petting, just viewing) and just enjoy the rural outdoors. All visitors must wear masks and practice social distancing while visiting the farm. We’ll be featuring ALL OF OUR CHEESES for sale during open hours. Consider enjoying a simple cheese board with a glass of wine or beer!

Can you see yourself (with family or friends) enjoying this cheese board? Sure, you can!

Regarding farm dinners and farm tours, they are on hold until we feel that we can host them safely and in the spirit of our normal farm conviviality. We hope things will be better in the fall, and if so, we plan to schedule a couple of special cheese tastings and farm dinner events then. Regarding our orchard, there is not be enough fruit for u-pick this year, but you will be enjoying whatever fruit we get either through the farm store or in the forms of jam or gelato.

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