The saying about goats and fences is that "the only fence that can hold a goat is a fence that can hold water." Yes, it's a bit hyperbolic, but somewhat accurate. Every spring, we must re-establish the internal fences for our rotational grazing/browsing system. We must strengthen the perimeter fences and weed-whack the hot wire lines so that we encourage the right behavior and deter the "bad" behavior. Goats being curious want to test the fences to see where the weak links are. If they are met with a mild electric current, they learn to respect the fence. If they find a flaccid spot on the perimeter fence, they will pull it down and lead the charge to escape. Certain individuals (mostly La Mancha's) seem to have a sixth sense for weak links or shorted stretches of hot wire.
Keeping them in good rotation helps prevent ingestion of intestinal parasites and ensures they are eating pasture at the optimum height and nutritional value. They stay in a pasture paddock (section) for three days, after which we mow whatever they don't eat and move them to the next paddock in the rotation. We have enough paddocks so that they don't come back to the same one for at least 30 days. This is long enough for the pasture to regrow and for the parasite larvae to hatch and not find a host. Although goats are not true grazers like cows, keeping them in a rotational grazing system keeps them well-fed and happy.
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. 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
Fresh chevre with rhubarb compote--a dollop of house-made rhubarb compote adorns the plain chevre, resulting in the perfect pairing of sweet-tart-savory
Fresh chevre with "everything bagel" seasoning-forget the cream cheese! LIMITED
Truffle chevre--NEW!! 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 disapointed.
Angel Food mini-brie-very limited
Little Bloom on the Prairie-mixed milk camembert-NEW BATCH
Black goat-ash-ripened goat bloomy rind-aging nicely but still mild
Fleur de la Prairie-all-goat bloomy rind with dried herbs and edible flowers-young and beautiful-very limited
Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese
Moonglo-raw goat milk tomme-style (semi firm)
Raclette style cheese-made with cow's milk-great for melting! It makes a killer gourmet grilled cheese!
Feta in whey brine: crumble on a spring greens salad!
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.
This Sunday, May 21st, we're offering a hike with the teenage goats. 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.
NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. HIKE STARTS PROMPTLY AT 1:00 PM. SUITABLE FOR AGES 8 AND OLDER. WEAR STURDY SHOES FOR UNEVEN TERRAIN AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING/HATS FOR THE WEATHER. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO BRING A WATER BOTTLE AND SUNSCREEN TOO.
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.