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There’s something in the air: breeding season part two

Farm News

The farm is soggy. After nearly a week of steady rain, some of it torrential, the ground is squishy under foot; every piece of vegetation is saturated, dead or alive. The air hangs low and heavy, tired of holding onto so much moisture. Inside the doe barns, there’s oblivion to the weather. This week, we had a changing of the guard—unbred does moved into the breeding barn, and a couple of the bucks from the south farm-Jasper and Joe Diffy- were brought in as reinforcements.


The unbred does have been screaming for action (literally)this past week, many of them attempting to sneak into the breeding barn before their time.

Within minutes of uniting with their respective betrothed, they dispensed with the courtship phase of breeding and got down to business. Judging by the entirely blue backsides (and some have blue all over their faces too), in Zircon’s group, we are going to be busy catching babies at the end of March. Meanwhile the bucks remain vigilant, checking the love pheromones wafting in the air; ready to oblige when the does give the signal.

 

Farm Open Hours—VISIT THE FARM, CHECK OUT OUR “FARM BAR”—ENJOY SOME OF THE BEST LOCAL FOOD AROUND! Indoor and outdoor seating available. LAST CHANCE FOR ‘SUMMER HOURS’ THIS WEEKEND.


With the shorter days, our farm open hours will be changing starting in November. Beginning November 6th, we will be open 11-5 both Saturdays and Sundays. We will begin to offer some special events on Friday evenings-stay tuned for details.


Celebrate FALL with an outing to the farm! Guests can enjoy artfully crafted cheese and charcuterie boards, small bites highlighting what’s local and in season and weekly specials. We feature artisan breads from Publican Quality Bread (Chicago, IL) and scones from Alchemy Coffee & Bakehouse (Wilmette IL). Sunday brunch “Bloody Mary’s” are made from scratch, using organic tomatoes from Blue Moon Farm (Urbana IL). You can also still get gelato by the scoop too!


Need more enticing? Come try some amazing organic and/or biodynamic wines that you can’t find anywhere else in Champaign-Urbana! Some of this week’s featured menu items include:

  • Cheese boards featuring cheeses from PFFC, Jacobs & Brichford and Ludwig Creamery

  • Charcuterie Boards featuring Piemonte Sausage Co. and Underground Meats salumi

  • Publican Quality Bread (PQB) Open-Face Sandwich: Melty Cheese, caramelized onion, roasted squash

  • Warm Caramelized onion & roasted poblano pepper cheese dip with Carrot Sticks OR PQB bread

  • Apple “pie” bars

Come try a wine flight this Friday night! We’ll feature three wines from our Organic & Biodynamic Portfolio for a set price. Wine not your thing? Enjoy a cold brew from our newest selection of local microbrews, kombucha beer and hard cider! We’re very excited about these new libations.

This weekend’s Hours are:

Fridays, 4-8 pm

Saturdays, 11-8 pm

Sundays, 11-5 pm


We have pumpkins for sale in the store from Meyer Produce in Philo, IL. We've got some great new jams, pickles, honey, goat t-shirts and "chippy" the goat onesies too!

 

Farm Events

Goats in Halloween Costume! Hay Rides! Pumpkin decorating! Yes, it’s time for “A Goaty Halloween” on Sunday, October 31st. Book your reservations NOW! There are three time slots from which you can choose. Ticket price includes hay ride, pumpkin decorating and picture taking with our “Halloween-costumed” goats. Grab your tickets to guarantee your full experience! The farm will also be open to visitors who just want to come out and enjoy the farm and our food & beverage offerings too; we will offer activities like hay rides, pumpkin decorating, etc. a la carte, first-come-first served.

Pasture walks with the goats: Experience the tranquility of walking with the goats in the pasture. This is one of most enjoyable experiences on the farm. We have a few hikes scheduled on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Reservations required.

Turn Back the Clock” Wine Tasting and Cheese Pairings: Sunday, November 7th. We’ll be featuring a number of wineries whose wines pair well with holiday foods. We’ll also provide guests with some cheese & wine pairing suggestions so you can entertain your holiday guests in style.


Final Farm dinners of the season—details in the works-We are planning a couple of very special dinners in early December. Ticket sales should be live next week.


Holiday events at the farm-we are planning several special events for the holidays, including our “Holiday Goat Photo Booth” for the weekend after Thanksgiving and several special workshops and classes to help you make the most of holiday entertaining.


We are planning some fun kid-friendly activities during the weekends of November-December.


Looking for a unique venue to host your business holiday party or a family gathering? Consider our farm! Contact our event planner, Lisa Wells, at prairiefruitsevents@gmail.com


Holiday parties? Let us help with a cheese & charcuterie board. Starting next week, we’ll be taking orders for holiday cheese & charcuturie boards. For Thanksgiving, you can pick up at the farm, Wednesday, November 24th from 2-4 pm. We’ll also be offering cheese & charcuterie boards for entertaining during December. Details coming soon for both options.


COVID protections on the farm

As the weather gets cooler, we want to remind our patrons that we follow the state guidelines for wearing masks indoors. While visiting our farm store, we require that you wear a mask, unless you are actively eating and/or drinking. If you are engaged in enjoying our food and beverage offerings, and you need to speak with one of our staff, we request that you wear your mask. Our staff wear masks during service, and everyone is vaccinated. We encourage all of our guests to be vaccinated too! We are planning to host farm dinners and other events indoors this fall, and we will be adjusting our open hours so that we don’t create situations of crowding inside our farm store. Please check our website for up-to-date open hours. Thank you for your cooperation and for helping to keep everyone healthy and safe.

 

Urbana’s Market at the Square: FINAL OUTDOOR MARKET OF THE SEASON Featured Items Going to Market This Saturday-7 am to 12 noon

It will be chilly, but sunny this Saturday at the market, so dress warmly and come out to support your local farmers. Because we haven’t had a frost yet, there is still so much variety of produce available, and our cheeses can be paired with most of it or used as ingredient in your favorite fall recipes.


NEWS FLASH: The farmers' market continues inside Lincoln Square Mall, starting November 6th. The Champaign-Urbana Winter Market, run by The Land Connection, ensures year-round access to local food!! We will be there, for sure through December, and maybe once a month in January-April, 2022. Hours are 8 AM to 12 noon. We will be set up inside the south entrance to the mall.


Can’t make it to the market? No worries! Order from our online store for farm pick up either Saturday or Sunday during farm open hours. Now that the weather is cooler, consider shipping an order: treat yourself or someone special in your life! HOLIDAY GIFT BOX OPTIONS COMING SOON FOR SHIPPING OR FARM PICK UP!


Here’s the line-up of offerings for this weekend:

  • Fresh Mozzarella! We are now making fresh mozzarella with the amazing cow milk from Rocky Road Dairy. Like all of our cheeses, we make this cheese as close to traditional methods as possible. Comes as a perfectly formed ball (approximately 5-6 oz) in a light brine-perfect for homemade pizza!

  • Artisan Cottage Cheese-grassfed milk from grazing cows makes an AMAZING cottage cheese. It is both gorgeous (lovely yellow in color-a testament to the grass the cows are eating) and delicious. If you think cottage cheese is boring, you really need to give this a try! It’s a game changer!

  • Pimento cheese dip—so popular, so delicious! -featuring our cottage cheese, organic red peppers from Blue Moon Farm and parmesan like cheese called “Everton Reserve” from our cow-dairy friends at Jacobs & Brichford in Indiana).

  • Fresh chevre

  • Plain

  • Herbs de Provence

  • Cracked peppercorn

  • Roasted garlic-just in time for fall! Thank you Blue Moon Farm!

  • Fleur de la Prairie-a delicate bloomy rind decorated with locally sourced dried edible flowers and herbs. 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!

  • Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy-when young, it has a lovely light yeasty flavor with a dense fudgy paste. As it ages, it gets nice ‘n gooey. Lucky for you, patrons, we have both versions this weekend—come early if you want the ooey-gooey & funky version! 2021 NY International Cheese Competition Silver Medal Winner

  • Angel Food: our little “crottin” style bloomy, similar in style to a mini-brie. This batch is made with BOTH cow and goat milk-young this week, so the rounds are firm with a lovely tangy buttery flavor

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our first mixed-milk batch of the fall-also young this week (like the angel food), but has delicate buttered mushroom notes. Try with a wedges of roasted delicata squash and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil (if you can find it!!!).

  • Pelota Roja- raw goat milk Manchego style cheese with a guajillo-olive oil rub—so good for shaving over roasted potatoes or your favorite casserole! 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!

  • Mixed Milk Feta—our first batch of cow-goat feta is ready for your enjoyment; aged in Whey Brine-perfect to crumble over a hearty fall stew or roasted beets, warm out of the oven. Or turn it into a dip and serve with roasted carrot sticks!

  • Goat Milk Yogurt—it makes a great smoothie or enjoy with your favorite granola and fresh fruit- available in pints and quarts this week!

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