The endless sun-drenched days and the shag carpet of green blanketing the landscape seduce. The perfection of red ripe tomatoes finally dangling from their vines entice. The swollen monarch caterpillars, enjoying their final meal of milkweed leaves before pupating, confirm impending change. The farm windmill, normally spinning, is becalmed. The apex of august ushers in an undeniable progression.
August brings me feelings of ambivalence. Do I battle the weeds in the quest for aesthetic perfection in the herb garden, or do I just let them go to seed, leaving their progeny to be pulled next spring? Do I push for maximizing goat milk production and obsess about the quality of the forage in the pasture, or do I embrace the volume decline? Do I start to plan for winter cheese storage, or confine my worries to the week at hand? Do I continue to delude myself that breeding season is weeks away, or do I pull myself into the reality that breeding season is only weeks away? The tug of marching forward is met by the pull of slowing down.
Martha Stewart Magazine Recognizes the Plight of Cheese Makers and Victory Cheese
The creativity and resilience of my fellow cheese makers across the country is impressive. Our community has come together to support each other through the Victory Cheese Movement. Martha Stewart Magazine has written a fantastic article highlighting the movement and how cheese lovers can support our cause. #Chooseitorloseit people!
GIRLS AND THE GOATS TO VICTORY CHEESE BOX
Our latest 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. It is the ONLY box that features accompaniments made by a Celebrity Chef. You can get your box through 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. You can start a collection of Victory Cheese Boxes from PFFC!
Urbana’s Market at the Square-Come early, shop often
The Urbana farmers’ market is at peak abundance right now. We are especially excited with the arrival of melons—cantaloupe, musk, honey dew types, and Wes’ favorite, watermelon. Our cheeses pair beautifully with melons. Try a wedge of one of our bloomy rind cheeses with cubes of sweet honey-dew type melon with shredded mint leaves. How about a watermelon-feta salad with fresh basil?
The Urbana Market has COVID-19 related restrictions. They require social distancing, and both patrons and farmers must wear masks at all times. 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:
Fresh Chevre $8/each
--herbs de Provence
Seasonal chevre flavor of the week: Honey-Lemon Thyme. We love to feature ingredients from other farmers, and this week’s chevre has honey from Goldsberry Farm in Watseka and dried lemon thyme from our herb garden $9/each
Angel Food: our “crottin” style bloomy-petite but loaded with delicious goat tang! Young but firm enough to cut into wedges$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
Blushing Goat-washed rind goat milk cheese, washed with bourbon-peach kombucha beer; our second batch is more firm than the first batch, but it’s loaded with great umami flavor $8/triangle, $13 for rounds; $15 for whole squares
Goat Milk Feta—aged in whey brine, tangy with a creamy-crumbly texture-PERFECT for salad season, especially a feta-watermelon salad! $7/each
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.
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 either Saturday OR Sunday. Gelato pints are available for farm pick up or purchase in our online store ONLY- flavors this week include Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Caramel Swirl, Peaches & Cream, Lemon Verbena, Fresh Mint, Anise Hyssop, and Nectarine Sorbetto (made with Mileur Orchard Nectarines).
Check out the newest 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 23rd to visitors, with some restrictions. From 1-4 pm, you can peruse our farm store, enjoy a cup of gelato, gelato sundae (with 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, as well as lots of great PFFC “merch” for sale during open hours.
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, sadly, there is not be enough fruit for u-pick this year.