Guest blog writer: Sophie Seidel, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery’s General Manager
After spending several weeks with our bucks while the first group of does finished kidding, we decided to bring Boss, our livestock guardian dog, back to the main farm for his long-term assignment: protecting our milking herd. During his time with the boys, he proved himself to be an excellent and attentive guardian — sensitive to the slightest sounds and smells, he trumpeted the alarm if anything seemed out of place. Perfect for warding off coyotes, not so perfect for those of us living right next to the barn!
Our herd was not raised with guardian dogs, so we knew it would be an adjustment for everyone. What we didn’t expect was such a stark divide in the reactions of our does! Most of the herd hid behind Erica and I, hoping Boss would eat the humans first. A few of the girls, however, were determined to protect us at all costs. They stood their ground in the face of what they assumed to be a dangerous predator, stomping their hooves and snorting in warning, circling in front of me to keep themselves between me and the big fuzzy monster.
Boss, for his part, was thrilled to have so many new goats in his care, and desperately wanted to sniff every single doe to introduce himself. They would charge toward him to land a headbutt, but he is 95% fluff and unaffected both physically and emotionally by such displays.
We started off slow with this introduction: for an hour or so, we all walked together out into the pastures, Boss checking the perimeter and sniffing out anything concerning. The does stuck close to our heels and kept a watchful eye on this new character in their story. Afterwards, we moved Boss back into a separate area so the girls could still see and smell him, but with the reassuring separation of a fence. After several days of this courtship with caution, more and more of the does are realizing that Boss means no harm — instead of just a few gals trying to headbutt him, now half the herd know they can bully him with no consequences!
As the days become warmer, the herd will spend more and more time out in the pasture — we feel confident that before long, they will happily follow Boss out into the prairie, knowing he will keep them safe while they peacefully graze.
Farm Happenings and Beyond
This Saturday, March 25th, we'll be open for a brief window of time at the farm for guests to shop! There’s a chance of rain, but at least it won’t be too cold. WE HAVE RAW GOAT MILK FOR SALE!! (PRE-ORDER TO ENSURE YOU GET SOME). Here are some of the cheese highlights we'll have on offer:
Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
Seasonal chevre: fresh chive & lemon zest
Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese: try serving it on toast with your favorite jam or a drizzle of honey
Angel Food: (all cow milk mini-brie)
Little Bloom on the Prairie (all cow milk and our first batch of mixed milk camembert-style)
Raclette-Alpine Style: our newest all cow milk raw-milk cheese-this cheese is made for melting. Serve it with boiled or roasted potatoes and pickles—the way the Swiss like to eat it.
Moonglo: raw goat milk tomme (semi-hard cheese) perfect for slicing and eating or indulging in a grown-up fancy grilled cheese sandwich
Pelota Roja: raw goat milk “Spanish” style cheese with guajillo chile-olive oil pasted rind. Sharp, nutty-great for grating, shaving or slicing
Feta in Whey Brine: currently made with all cows’ milk-creamy and mellow but perfect for a winter salad of greens and a citrus vinaigrette
All-Natural Yogurt (made with 100% Jersey Cow Milk)-no additives, no thickeners-just milk and probiotic cultures—both pints and quarts available.
If you can’t make it to the market, why not order from our online store for farm pick up. We have the full selection of cheeses available PLUS a variety of cheese-friendly accompaniments, RAW GOAT MILK!!!, EGGS from Joyful Wren Farm and ORGANIC CARROTS from Blue Moon Farm. If you’re not local, you can always order from our online store for shipping. We ship nationwide Tuesdays and Wednesdays either 1-2 ground or 2nd Day Air (depending on your location).
TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Saturday, April 15th A curated cheese tasting and cheese “worship” with author and cheese celebrity Erika Kubick (“Cheese, Sex Death” author and fan favorite here at PFFC). We will be offering two sessions (11-12:30 am and 1:00-2:30 pm). Click here for details and ticket sales.
Babies and Brunch! Yes, Yes!
We will be hosting two “Babies & Brunch” events this spring—April 2nd and 16th (both Sundays). We’ll feature locally made pastries from Hopscotch Bakery, goat milk hot chocolate and Mad Goat Coffee Roasters Coffee. We will be taking reservations for these events; three time slots for each date, with 75 tickets per time slot. Ticket price includes your choice of a sweet or savory pastry (featuring our cheeses) and up close interactions with the baby goats. Hot beverages will be charged separately. The farm store will be open during those times for you to purchase cheese, goat milk, and other local products.
The Farm store will resume our regular weekend open hours (Saturdays and Sundays, 11-5) starting May 6th.