The udders don’t lie. They are taut like an overly inflated balloon, ready to burst if not emptied twice daily. All of those spring rains have given way to tall, lush pastures. The goats gallop to their paddocks after milking each morning. There’s no need to coax them outside; they know what awaits them, an endless buffet of fresh forage. The milk tanks are further proof of full udders; they too are full every morning.
We have reached that time in our production arc of abundance. We can barely keep up with the milk to cheese production. Every day is tightly programmed. We start with milk transfer into the cheese vat at 7 am (sometimes earlier). Depending on the types of cheeses we’re making on any given day, the small but mighty team of cheese makers orchestrates the daily dance of pasteurizing, culturing, renneting, ladling, flipping, brining, cleaning, packaging and wrapping. We have several batches of cheese in play each day. We divide and conquer. We end the day's work oftentimes as the sun is setting. We select our musical play lists to help us work through the mountains of cheese molds that await the cheese dishwasher of the day (we ALL wash dishes! There is no hierarchy in the creamery; I don’t know what I’d do without Stevie Wonder and Alex Cuba). We scrub, we brush, we rinse, we repeat. The state of no vacancy lasts only so long; we brace ourselves for the onslaught that is early summer cheese making.
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.
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 cool? Try our delicious goat milk gelato! Specials this weekend: (available BOTH Saturday and Sunday):
--goat milk yogurt parfaits with local fruit purees
--special gelato flavors: lemon AND honey chevre!!!
When you’re ready to leave, take home some raw goat milk or goat milk yogurt. We’ve also got some great local products, including these gorgeous eggs from fellow AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) certified eggs from Joyful Wren Farm.
The farm is open on weekends RAIN OR SHINE! You can still visit with the baby goats inside their barn if it’s raining! We have ample seating inside our farm store if you want to stay and enjoy a cheese & charcuterie board. Our store is AIR-CONDITIONED!
Urbana’s Market at the Square
We’re excited to be back at the outdoor market for our 17th season!! From 7-12 each Saturday, you can stock up on great produce, meats, eggs and of course PFFC cheeses.
PLEASE NOTE: OUR LOCATION AT THE MARKET HAS CHANGED. WE ARE STILL LOCATED ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE MARKET, BUT WE ARE NEXT TO ILLINIOIS WILLOWS (AT THE SOUTH END OF AISLE TWO).
Here's the lineup of cheeses and dairy product you can expect to find in our farm store and at the farmers’ market:
Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
Fresh Chevre with chive & lemon zest—IT’S BACK and boy is it delicious!!! Grab a few while they’re here because these are going FAST!!
Mixed milk feta in whey brine-salad season is upon us. Try crumbling feta over pan-roasted asparagus and drizzle with a balsamic reduction! Simple and Sublime!!
Little bloom on the prairie: Mixed milk camembert style- young this week
Angel Food: Mixed milk mini-brie-aging nicely
Fleur de la prairie: All goat bloomy rind with edible flowers and herbs-a few perfectly ripe; rest are super young--check out this show stopper as the "Centerfold Cheese" of Culture Magazine's Summer Issue!! We're so proud!
Black Goat: All goat, Ash-ripened bloomy-super young
Raw goat milk (half gallons or quarts)-farm store only
Goat milk Yogurt (quart size)
We are hoping to send some of our goat milk yogurt parfaits with local fruit purees to market this week. Keep an eye out for those.
Not local? No problem. You can order our cheeses and gift boxes from our online store.