Carpe diem! Yesterday opened the small window of opportunity to clean out our milking goat barns. The previous two days’ weather brought drying winds, good enough to prevent the skid steer from creating massive ruts or, even worse, getting stuck in the mud. Herd Manager, Erica, and crew sprung into action after milking and feeding chores were completed. The heavy bedded pack of straw and manure-over two months’ worth of compacted organic matter had to be removed and then a thick layer of barn lime applied to the soil before the barn could be re-bedded with fresh straw. True to form, the manure spreader broke down at least three times, so Erica reverted to building compost piles on the north side of the milking parlor.
The crew (really it was mostly Erica and Sophie with occasional help from Wes) worked at breakneck speed, driven by the need to get the barn cleaned and put back together before the evening milking at 4:30 pm, but also knowing that the next days’ forecast called for MORE RAIN! They sanitized the walls with bleach water, cleaned out the hay manger and knocked down the nests of the English sparrows.
Meanwhile, the milking does were out of sight, blissfully enjoying the fresh forage of a newly opened pasture paddock. When they entered their newly cleaned barn for milking, they rolled in the fresh straw bedding, delighted like a kid falling into clean sheets. They had to stretch their necks to reach the hay in their manger, as the barn floor was two feet lower than it had been when they went out to pasture in the morning. With today’s showers and more on the way, the window for spring cleaning has closed once again.
Mother’s Day Gift Box
Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’ve curated a gorgeous box of edible art for the mothers in your life. Order online for either shipping (by midnight Tuesday, May 3rd) OR farm pick up (Sat/Sun. May 7-8). The box has the perfect mix of cheese, accompaniments and hearty baguette bread. It’s substantial enough that your mom won’t have to cook for at least one meal!
Happenings this Weekend at the Farm and Beyond
We will be open at the farm this weekend—Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm each day.
Come visit and see the baby goats! Shop our farm store and sample some of our award-winning cheeses. Enjoy a cheese and charcuterie board under our pavilion with a bottle of organic and/or biodynamic wine. Want something warm? Try our goat milk hot chocolate. Want something cool? Try our delicious goat milk gelato! Take home some raw goat milk, goat milk yogurt or goat milk kefir. We’ve also got some great local products, including these gorgeous eggs from fellow AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) certified eggs from Joyful Wren Farm. You can even order online to pick up your order during farm store open hours.
The farm is open on weekends RAIN OR SHINE! You can still visit with the baby goats inside their barn if it’s raining! Blue, our farm dog, will show you where to park.
Can’t make it to the farm? Support our fellow farmers at the Champaign-Urbana Indoor Farmers’ Market (inside Lincoln Square Mall) from 8 am to 12 noon on Saturday. Organic Vegetable Farmer Blue Moon Farm will have a selection of our cheeses available. They go great with all the spring veggies they have to offer this time of year. NOTE: This is Blue Moon Farm’s final market of the season. They have decided to take a hiatus from the markets this year, so come out to the indoor market this Saturday to give them some love.
Here's the lineup of cheeses and dairy product you can expect to find in our farm store and at the CU Indoor Market with Blue Moon Farm:
Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
Mixed milk feta in whey brine
Little bloom on the prairie: Mixed milk camembert style
Angel Food: Mixed milk mini-brie
Fleur de la prairie: All goat bloomy rind with edible flowers and herbs NEW BATCH
Black Goat: All goat, Ash-ripened bloomy-NEW BATCH—YOUNG!!
Raw goat milk (half gallons or quarts)-farm store only
Goat milk Yogurt (quart size)-farm store only
Goat milk Kefir (quart size)-farm store only
Not local? No problem. You can order our cheeses and gift boxes from our online store. We ship Mondays-Wednesdays each week. Select either 1-2 day ground (if you're shipping to the Midwest) OR 2nd Day Air (if you're shipping to the coasts).
Planning ahead: we will be attending the outdoor Urbana’s Market at the Square this season. The opening day of the market is Saturday, May 7th, 7 am to 12 noon. Mark your calendars.