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Self sacrificing starter cultures and other farm news

Farm News

Cheese making is essentially microbial farming. Most of the cheeses we make employ the exploits of "starter cultures." These are freeze-dried microbial cocktails of lacto-fermenters--the milk "sugar" eaters. Their lives are short lived and, ironically (or not), they produce fermentation by-products (lactic acid) that are inhospitable to their very existence. In essence, the acidification process kills them off. If you were to anthropomorphize, you could say that they they "commit microbial suicide" for the good of the cheese. Without their sacrifice, we would not have curds (solids) separating from whey (liquid). As we enjoy the fruits of their labors, let's raise a glass to the selfless lacto-fermenters.

Celebrate the Fathers! Buy them cheese (and maybe beer)!

We have curated the BEST Father's Day Cheese Box this year! I am especially excited about our cheese accompaniments--potato chips! Applewood smoked crackers! House-made pickles! We have two options: one for shipping and one for on-farm pickup. The farm pick up box has an add-on of a local micro-brew trio!!! Order NOW! Deadline for shipped orders is Wed. June 14th.

We are also offering a VERY Special Beer & Cheese Flight the weekend of June 17-18th!

photos by Laura Trovillion

Farmers' Market and Farm Happenings

This Saturday, come see us at the outdoor farmers' market, Urbana's Market at the Square. Our location is the same as last year: on the south end of the market at the south end of aisle two. Hours are 7 am to 12 noon.

We have a LOT of cheese for you this weekend, as well as goat milk yogurt. We have some favorites coming back into the lineup: Pelota Roja and Moonglo make their return. We've got a new seasonal flavor of chevre: chevre with a dollop of local honey!! A new batch of fleur de la prairie hits the market too. Need some cheesy menu ideas for this weekend? How about a Greek-style summer salad with our feta? How about shaving the truffle chevre over grilled asparagus or oven-roasted tomatoes? What about Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese with sugar snap peas and fresh mint?

If you want raw goat milk or gelato, you will need to come out to our farm store during open hours. You can also order from our online store for farm pickup. We'll be bringing the following cheeses to market:

  • Fresh chevre--plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner!

  • Fresh chevre with local honey--a dollop of dark and flavorful honey adorns the plain chevre, resulting in the perfect pairing of sweet-tangy

  • Fresh chevre with "everything bagel" seasoning-grab some lox and forget the cream cheese!

  • Truffle chevre--an aged/dried chevre ball mixed with olive oil-cured truffles and rubbed with cracked peppercorns. Amazing for grating over pasta or roasted veggies! GIVE THIS little flavor bomb a try! You won't be disappointed.

  • Angel Food mini-brie-aging beautifully! All goat milk too!

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie-mixed milk camembert-starting to get some gooey edges--OH MY!

  • Black goat-ash-ripened goat bloomy rind-starting to get a wee bit soft

  • Fleur de la Prairie-all-goat bloomy rind with dried herbs and edible flowers-beautiful and delicious! New batch 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal winner!

  • Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese

  • Moonglo: raw goat milk tomme style semi-hard cheese--slightly nutty and fruity--perfect for slicing or melting

  • Pelota Roja: raw goat milk "Spanish-style" hard cheese with guajillo chile-olive oil rub--sharp, slightly spicy and just plain scrumptious-slice it, shave it! Serve it with your favorite summer red wine!

  • Feta in whey brine: crumble on a summer salad! Use the whey brine to marinate chicken or lamb! Put it on a pizza!

  • Goat milk yogurt (pints and quarts)-all natural, no thickening agents

Farm Open Hours

Come visit us this summer. We are open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm. You can visit with the goats, taste our raw milk (and buy some to take home), shop our farm store for cheeses, accompaniments and unique gifts, enjoy a cheese board under our pavilion or grab a scoop of gelato. We are also offering wine & cheese flights featuring three cheeses with three wines. It's a great way to try something new.

In general, we plan to offer hikes every Saturday at 11 am. If it is too hot or if it's raining, we won't be able to offer the hike. Just check in with our staff when you arrive on Saturdays to see if the hike is happening or not.

When hikes happen, join our rock star volunteer, Carol, on a stroll along the eastern edge of our farm. It's a gorgeous part of the farm. The hike lasts for about 30-40 minutes and then we take you on a brief tour of the dairy. It ends with a scoop of gelato. $18/person includes the hike, a farm tour and a scoop of gelato at the end.


Want to order for farm pick up during the weekend? Need some raw goat milk? Eggs from Joyful Wren? Cheese? Just order from our Online Store for Farm Pick-Up. It's super easy!! Not local? You can still support us! You can order from our online retail store. We ship nationwide Mondays through Wednesdays every week. You can choose from one of our gift collections or just mix and match a la carte.

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