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The reality of confirmed fecundity, holiday offerings and more

Farm News

The veterinarians were here this week for our annual pregnancy checks via ultrasound. The event is usually punctuated by blustery biting winds and a flurry or two of the white stuff, while the does begrudgingly wait their turn to file into the milking parlor. This year, the skies were grey, but the temperatures hovered on their way to unseasonably balmy. Being steadfast creatures of routine, the girls expressed mild confusion and annoyance as they were led to the holding pen at mid-day. Once inside, we distracted them with grain and a few animal crackers.


The vets worked their way down the line, lubing the ultrasound paddles to get the best contact, checking for the tell-tale signs of new life in utero. When all the stars align, we’re able to estimate their due dates, confirming the ultrasound images with our detailed breeding notes. For the first time in our dairy’s history, we have a 100% conception rate! As the initial euphoria of celebration begins to recede, it is hard not to fast forward to the realities of March 2021: 60 does will be giving birth over three weeks. For now, we will bask in the does’ oblivion and their forays into the fading pasture on this crazy warm December day.

Our cheeses and gift boxes make the perfect gifts for the holidays

Holiday season is in full swing, and our curated collections of cheese, charcuterie and accompaniments are PERFECT for holiday gift giving. We have something for all budgets, but we’re especially excited about our “Victory Cheese for the Holidays and “The Farm’s Kitchen Sink.” We even have some non-perishable goat-themed gifts from goat masks, tea towels, to aprons and goat milk soap.

Not only can you order for shipping or farm pick up, but we can also accommodate larger business orders. If you would like to discuss a gift box for your favorite customers or clients, please email us at prairiefruits@gmail.com We offer several price options too!


THE DEADLINE FOR ANY SHIPPED ORDERS IS MONDAY DECEMBER 14TH. ALL SHIPPED ORDERS WILL GO OUT NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16TH.


The Land Connection’s WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET- We will be there!

Every Saturday morning, from now through December 19th, we are selling our products (safely with masks and social distancing enforced) from 8-11 am. We are located just inside the south entrance to Lincoln Square Mall (next to Stango Restaurant). This is a farmers and food only market (no crafts). PLEASE come out and support your farmers! We all have so much great food to share with you. We’ll be bringing a few gift boxes to the markets this weekend and next, in case you can’t order online or make it out to the farm.


Here’s the cheese line up for this weekend:


NEW ITEM: Mixed milk (cow-goat) plain yogurt (Quart size only) $7

Add on: Girl & the Goat-ceries blueberry refrigerator jam ($4/ 4-oz. jar)

Fresh Chevre $8/each

--plain

--herbs de Provence

--cracked peppercorn


Try one or more of our mix-milk bloomies:


Snowy Woodland with Truffle “Carpaccio”: our mixed milk “crottin” style bloomy (similar to angel food); it’s a tall cylinder with a delicate mushroomy rind; There’s a little slice of black truffle “carpaccio” (preserved in extra virgin olive oil) that takes the flavors up several notches $10/each

Snow Fog: our mixed milk camembert style bloomy; young but quite luscious $10/each


Midnight Eclipse: mixed milk bloomy with ash rind (similar to black goat with buttery notes from the cow milk) $10/round-young but will be great for holiday eating


Cow-Goat Eclipse: mixed milk bloomy with dried herbs and edible flowers (similar to our “Good Food Award” finalist “fleur de la prairie”) $10/round—also young but perfect for holiday eating


Mixed Milk Feta—aged in whey brine, our cow-goat feta is creamy with a lovely tangy finish; this feta is so good, you’ll want to dress it up with some good olive oil and fresh herbs and serve warmed with a crusty baguette or crackers $7/each


Pelota Roja—raw milk “Manchego style” hard cheese with a guajillo chile-olive oil rub on the rind $7/wedge- Shave it on a wilted salad of fall greens in place of parmesan cheese; grate it over roasted beets or fingerling potatoes. Try using in a local corn-meal polenta! GOOD FOOD AWARDS CHEESE FINALIST!

We’ll be bringing some special house-made treats to the market too:

--pecan brittle made with pecans from Voss Orchard

-spiced and cinnamon sugar pecans from Voss Orchard

-chocolate-chevre truffles

-Nut butter-chevre-dark chocolate bars


ORDERING FROM OUR ON-LINE STORE

If you’re not able to buy our cheeses in person at the farmers’ market or during our farm open hours, you can always order online for on-farm pick up or shipping. If you order for pick up by 10 AM Saturday, you can pick up from 1-4 pm either Saturday or Sunday.


Gelato pints are available for farm pick up ONLY- flavors this weekend include: Pumpkin Spice, Local Grape-Champagne Sorbetto, Mexican Coffee, Masala Chai, Chocolate, Salted Caramel Swirl, Pure Pistachio, and Nectarine Sorbetto.


We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week, 1-2-day ground ($20 shipping/handling) for most of the Midwest and 2nd-Day Air for other areas of the country ($35/shipping & handling). The last shipping day for orders to arrive by Christmas is December 15th.


There are also lots of retail establishments throughout central IL and the Chicagoland area that carry our cheeses. If you don’t find our cheeses in your favorite store, ask them to contact us, so we can get our cheeses to you!


Farm Open Hours and Offerings

The farm will continue to be open through December 20th BOTH Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 pm each day.


During our weekend open hours from 1-4 pm, you can peruse our farm store, enjoy a cup of gelato, or order a cheese board with wine/beer/other beverages to enjoy outside if the weather permits-yes, it can be nice even in December. We can also put together a cheese board to go if the weather is not suitable for outdoor enjoyment. We’re also offering custom-made holiday cheese boards that you can pick out yourself in the farm shop, and we’ll put it together for you for holiday entertaining, in whatever form that takes you this year.


You can visit with the goats and or take a walk around the farm. All visitors must wear masks and practice social distancing while visiting the farm.

NEWS FLASH: Saturday December 12th and again on the 19th, we’ll be dressing up a few of our favorite goats in holiday attire so that guests can interact with them. While we can’t host our usual HOLIDAY GOAT PHOTO BOOTH this year, you can pet them and admire their costumes. Gelato and hot cider will be available for purchase while you’re here. REMINDER: All visitors must wear masks and practice safe social distancing while visiting the farm and the goats.


We feature ALL OF OUR CHEESES as well as some from fellow farmstead creameries, an assortment of accompaniments (jams, pickles, fruit leathers, honey, nuts, crackers, baguette bread), as well as lots of great PFFC “merch” for sale during open hours. Ask about our online store Holiday Gift Box options too! We’d be happy to put one together for you during open hours.

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