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The 97% experience with goats

Farm News

The sun was shining brightly on Monday as the moon began its coverage toward totality. We opted to stay put on the farm, thinking 97% of totality was close enough to 100%, and more importantly, we didn't want to sit in traffic for 24 seconds of totality. With a couple of astronomy crazy friends, we set up a picnic in the lawn, peering up toward the sun at regular intervals, donned with protective eclipse eye glasses. We were attuned to the light and the activity of birds initially. The transformation was gradual and barely perceptible for the first hour. As the moon's coverage approached its apex, we experienced a sudden drop in temperature and an eerie muting of the brightness of daylight.

We wandered over to the buck pasture to see how the changes in light and temperature were affecting the goats. Much to our surprise, they were completely unfazed. Their heads were buried in the pasture, chomping down mouthfuls of fresh alfalfa. They meandered over to the fence, mostly out of curiosity. Gaston tried to eat the eclipse glasses. Elvis and Jasper wandered off in search of the most delicate leaves. When the clock struck 2:08 pm, our sky reached its 97% eclipse coverage. The birds went silent. The light was muted but nothing like the light of dusk. A lone turkey vulture drifted over the pasture, causing the bucks to scurry back to the barn in fear of a perceived avian predator. Just like that, the moon began its retreat from the sun, the sky resumed its brightness and the goats continued to graze, oblivious to the astronomical phenomenon that had just occurred. Within minutes, the cardinals began to sing and the woodpeckers took up their tree tapping. We returned to our picnic spot, uncorked a bottle of bubbly and reflected on the beauty of near totality without sitting in traffic.

Happenings at the Farm & Beyond

Come see us at the Champaign Urbana Indoor Farmers' Market this Saturday. We are there every Saturday through the end of April, 8 am to 12 noon. The outdoor market "Urbana's Market at the Square" starts Saturday May 4th!

We're bringing the following:

  • Chevre frais: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-try our plain chevre (or jersey gournay) with Central IL Bakehouse ginger snap cookies! You won't regret it!!

  • Goat milk yogurt!!! Both pints and quarts available this week! Buy your yogurt and then pop over to CIB's stand to grab some of there house-made granola!!

  • Jersey Milk Gournay: everything bagel and spiced cranberry only this week--great cream cheese substitute-cook with it, slather it on a toast-you're in charge--check out this week's CSA share featuring the spiced cranberry gournay!!

  • Ukrainian Farmers' Cheese: think ricotta and cottage cheese have a baby-delicious served with fresh fruit OR use in a savory dish

  • Angel Food-brie style: petite rounds--both ooey-gooey AND first of the season mixed-milk versions (mixed milk is super young).

  • Little bloom on the prairie: mixed milk camembert style bloomy rind--super young this week.

We are also bringing some special accompaniments to go with the cheeses!

Our weekly CSA share offers you unique pairings with ultimate flexibility. Every week, you'll get cheese, bread and house-made accompaniments. We will have these for sale at the indoor famers' market, but please go ahead and sign up for shares. Pretty soon, you will only be able to get these shares if you pre-order. This Saturday's share is steeped in sweetness and includes:

  • 6 oz. container of spiced cranberry gournay

  • half a loaf of CIB cranberry walnut bread

  • 4 oz. house made jam

  • small package of house-made candied pecans

We are also launching a new "Farm Club" subscription--join the club and get special perks!

Book your reservations NOW: Babies & Brunch!! Taking reservations for every Saturday and Sunday in April! Grab those tickets now as reservations are filling up quickly! Enjoy a continental style breakfast while snuggling up to these adorable baby goats!!! Looking for a fun and unique experience for Univ. of Illinois' "Mom's Weekend?" Take your mom to Babies & Brunch!

Goat Yoga-Pilates comes to the farm in May, featuring our adorable baby goats and certified Pilates instructor Lisa Staples of Living Legacy Pilates.

Farm to Table Dinners: Starting in May, Chef Garron Sanchez will be offering pre-fixe multi-course meals featuring locally grown foods, and our cheeses, of course. Go on our website NOW to make reservations.


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