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Resilience and Gratitude: Holiday Reflections

Farm News

2021 has been another roller coaster ride of turbulence and calm; a year of struggles and joy; a year of extremes and unpredictability. We began the season in early March with the ebullient-yet-stressful birth of nearly 250 baby goats. With guarded optimism, we re-opened our doors to farm visitors for babies & brunch and then a shortened season of agritourism and farm to table meals. We replanted trees in our silvopasture and put in new fencing for pasturing more goats on our new farm. Our wholesale customers slowly returned as their own businesses started to rebound from COVID. Several of our cheeses won some national awards. Summer swelled with lush green pastures, full udders and the hopefulness of returning to “normalcy.”

Summer transitioned to early fall, and our herd was beset with several severe health problems. We lost our beloved “Lapiz” the goat to acute illness. A new strain of COVID appeared, causing anxiety among our patrons and wholesale customers. Despite these obstacles, we persisted. We managed to find ways to sell our cheese and to provide opportunities for folks to visit the farm and enjoy the companionship of goats and the beauty of our prairie vistas. We have an amazing team of people dedicated to caring for our animals and making & selling beautiful cheese. We are grateful for the support of our community; those of you who patronize the farmers’ market, our farm and our online store. We are grateful to the chefs and grocery stores who put our cheeses on their menus and their cheese cases. We are thankful to those who value the great lengths to which we go to ensure extreme animal welfare and to make the planet a bit more resilient to the harsh winds of climate change.

The PFFC blog post and newsletter will take a winter break for the next couple of months. I will send out announcements of special offerings or events from time to time. The goats are dry, the barns are being cleaned for winter slumber and soon our staff will get some much-needed rest. We wish everyone the happiest of winter holidays.

Final Open Hours of the Season: Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm December 18-19th

Last chance to visit the farm for the year! Visit with the goats and snap some selfies with our roaming Santa Goats. We're making some special holiday snacks for the farm bar menu! Our farm store “The Real Stand” is 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. End of season special: 15% off everything in the store (including cheese, bottles of wine, beer, merch, gift items and MORE!)

We have jams, pickles, salamis, honey, flavored vinegars, maple syrup, coffee, flour, crackers and bread from an array of amazing artisan producers from the Midwest. We have t -shirts and sweatshirts and onesies for the PFFC fan in your life. We have goat milk soaps (from the Wright Soapery) incredible goat-centric jewelry, local pottery and beautiful wooden ornaments as well as local-wood cheese boards by the Root to Roof organization at the University of IL. But wait; there’s more: we have some of the best organic & biodynamic wines you can find in Central Illinois and a first-class selection of local microbrews and ciders.

Farm Store Beer & Cheese Special

We love pairing our cheeses with beer so much that we want to encourage you to give it a try! This weekend, we have two specials: Buy two beers and one cheese for $20 OR buy 4 beers and two cheeses for $40! Mix & Match any of the microbrews we have available. Our staff is ready to help you select the best pairings!

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! LAST DAY TO SHIP BEFORE CHRISTMAS IS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21ST. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR ORERS BY TUESDAY (12/21) AT 9 AM IF YOU WANT THEM SHIPPED.

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

  • Crostini du Jour (let us surprise you!)

  • French Onion Soup with PFFC melty cheese toast topping

  • Gelato with Apple Crumble

  • Alchemy Scone (available all day on Saturdays & Sundays) served with honey-chevre

  • Hot spiced Cider and Hot Mulled Wine

Holiday Cheese Platters

If your gathering locally with family and friends for the holidays, let us help you feed them. We have gorgeous and unique cheese platters available for pick up at the farm on Friday, Dec. 24th-two sizes to accommodate the size and appetites of your crowd. Reserve yours now! Psst! We'll be open Friday Dec. 24th from 11-1 for all of you last minute procrastinator shoppers. We can also help you select some wines and/local microbrews to serve with your holiday fixins.