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The bookend nature of fall on the farm

Farm News

The autumnal equinox reminds us of the push-pull nature of fall. The alfalfa fields are still growing, begging for a fourth cutting. The pasture still puts forth palatable blades of grass for grazing. The sun still warms up the concrete pad outside the farm store, justifying some air conditioning. The crisp, damp and cool mornings provoke estrous, and all the head butting and dominance posturing that goes along with the strong desire to procreate. The udders look increasingly flaccid, acknowledging their owners' late stage of lactation. Five AM no longer accompanies the sun rise, and loading for Saturday farmers' market is now done in darkness.

There is a ritualized tension to our work this time of year. The realizations that goat milk production is finite and seasonal; the pushes of continued milking and cheese making to bank as much cheese as possible; the need for the farm chores to get done. The desire to slow down the pace is met with the need to gear up. Gear up for weekend cheese sales, ramp up for holidays and festivals and gift boxes. The goats know their work is not yet done. They know that rest will follow when the next generation is tucked away in their wombs. We can envision our own rest when they take theirs and not before.

Farmers' Market and Farm Happenings

This Saturday, come see us at the outdoor farmers' market, Urbana's Market at the Square. Our location is at the south end of the market in aisle two. Hours are 7 am to 12 noon. Don't forget that the Farmers' Market moves inside Lincoln Square Mall on Saturday November 4th! We have some amazing seasonal chevre flavors and bloomy rind cheeses for you this weekend. Last wheel of Moonglo until December is up for grabs! Last few rounds of fleur de la prairie too!

In case you missed it last week, check out this simple and delicious recipe from our rock star volunteer-Laura Trovillion, using the Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese

PFFC Sunday Morning Ukrainian Farmhouse Pancakes

● 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off

● ¼ cup granulated sugar

● 1½ teaspoons baking powder

● ¾ teaspoon salt

● 3 large eggs

● ¾ cup PFFC Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese (substituted for ricotta)

● ¼ cup milk

● 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

● 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

● Vegetable oil, for cooking

Heat a large nonstick pan or griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl, whisk

together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs

vigorously until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add the ricotta, milk, vanilla and melted butter

and whisk until evenly combined. Add the flour mixture and gently whisk just until evenly

combined.

Generously oil the pan/griddle. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, drop ¼-cup portions

of batter onto the pan/griddle. Repeat, spacing the rounds at least an inch apart. Cook

until the bottoms are golden brown and the tops are bubbling, about 3 minutes. Flip and

cook until the other sides are golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute more. (It's important

that the pancakes don't cook too slowly or too quickly, so adjust the heat according to

the timing specified.) Repeat with more oil and the remaining batter. Serve warm with

Apple Pie Compote or your favorite pancake topping.

Apple Pie Compote

2 cups sliced or chunked apples

¼ cup sugar

1t ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

2T butter

½ cup pecan pieces - optional

In a saucepan combine everything except pecans. Cook covered over low heat until the

apples are soft. Spoon warm compote over pancakes and Enjoy!

For optional pecan yumminess- after apples have cooked, remove them from the pan

with a slotted spoon and toss pecans in the apple syrup left behind. cook over low heat

until pecans begin to color. Use to top Apple Compote

Need some additional cheesy menu ideas for simple eating? With the cooler weather, how about baked feta with olive oil, fresh herbs and spiced honey? What about eggplant lasagna with Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese in place of ricotta? How about an open-faced melted cheese sandwich with Moonglo and sliced tomato?


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 and 2023 Bronze Medal winner!

  • Fresh chevre with dried tomato

  • Fresh chevre with everything bagel seasoning

  • Angel Food: mixed milk mini brie or large format wheels--you choose--super young this weekend

  • Little bloom on the prairie-mixed milk camembert-sytle bloomy rind-super young this weekend

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

  • Ukrainian Farmhouse Cheese-all cow milk, fresh cheese-it's like a cross between cottage cheese & ricotta-great for sweet or savory applications

  • Moonglo: raw goat milk tomme style semi-hard cheese--slightly nutty and fruity--perfect for slicing or melting 2023 ACS Silver Medal-limited availability this week and next

  • Feta in whey brine: crumble on a summer salad! Use the whey brine to marinate chicken or lamb! Put it on a pizza! 2023 ACS Bronze Medal

  • Goat milk yogurt (pints and quarts)-all natural, no thickening agents-use it as the base of a marinade, a salad dressing or just eat it with fresh fruit.

See us at PrideFEST!

Saturday, September 30th, 1 to 5 pm Pride Fest C-U in Downtown Champaign. We are excited to participate in this year's Pride Fest Fair. We'll be selling PFFC grazing boxes fresh cider and PFFC merch. We have one of a kind t-shirts with our rainbow "Chippy the Goat" too!

Sunday October 1st, 1-4 pm: Goats and Drag

The Pride continues on the farm! Come out to see our goats in rainbow tutus, meet and greet with local drag queens and kings and experience a very special dance demonstration by Kato (our main cheese maker) and his husband Alex. Cheese specials (savory and sweet) will be on offer all day that day, as well as gelato!

Farm Open Hours

Fall is a gorgeous time to visit the farm. 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/beer & cheese flights featuring three cheeses with three wines or micro-brews. Our wine & cheese flight features the three PFFC cheeses with a white, a rose and a red wine. Our beer and cheese flight highlights some unusual regional microbrews alongside our cheeses and Great Lakes Potato Chips as the eating vessel--fun and delicious!

The farm experience is laid-back and relaxing--a very different vibe from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Come out to unwind and enjoy being in nature!

Please note: on Saturdays, we offer "build your own" cheese boards and flights starting at 12:30 pm until closing. On Sundays, they are available from 11-5.


Our farm is great place to unwind, enjoy some great cheese and gelato and take in the natural surroundings that are so scarce in central Illinois. Our goat teenage girls are usually hanging around close to the barns and fences, waiting for your adoration. We have raw goat milk for sale as well as a fantastic selection of cheese accompaniments (crackers, jams, sauces, pickles, wines, beers) as well as Joyful Wren pastured-poultry eggs, our goat milk soap (made for us exclusively by The Wright Soapery), tea towels and t-shirts. We keep bringing in new items every week (new jams, new t-shirt colors, "cherry-bbq" potato chips from Great Lakes Potato Chips!--need I say more???).

In general, we plan to offer hikes every Saturday at 11 am. If it is too hot or if it's raining, we will postpone until Sunday at 11AM. Not sure if it's happening? Just check in with our staff when you arrive on Saturdays.


When hikes happen, join Wes or one of our rock star volunteers 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.


NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. HIKE STARTS PROMPTLY AT 11:00 am. 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.

GELATO!!

Gelato is wonderful for every season, even as the cooler weather of fall takes hold. Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with our delicious and refreshing goat milk gelato and local fruit sorbettos! We usually offer four flavors to choose for scoops, and several flavors in pints for you to take home.

HOLIDAY GIFT BOXES FOR BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS

If you own or work in a business or a non-profit organization that has the custom of giving gifts to your favorite clients/customers/donors, consider a unique and delicious cheesy gift box from Prairie Fruits Farm! We have curated four gift boxes for all budgets. Since this page/collection is password protected, please email me at prairiefruitswholesalecheese@gmail.com if you would like to check out our offerings and place an order. The deadline for placing orders is November 6th, to give us ample time to get all components in stock to fulfill orders. For those of you who want to order holiday gift boxes for individual gift giving, have no fear! We will be posting those options on our website sometime in early November. Stay tuned.

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. Holiday Gift boxes landing in early November!!


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