“They grow up so fast;” a well-worn refrain among parents and grandparents alike. In the goat dairy world, the progression from newborn to goat kid to teenager to breeding doeling is akin to watching time lapse photography. Over a seeming blur of time, the days of birth-fluid coated coveralls have given way to bucklings in breeding harnesses and doelings flagging for the attentions of their suitors.
After this week’s cleaning of the kid barn and setting up of the breeding pens, we were finally ready to move our new breeding bucklings, Jasper (La Mancha) and Zircon (Nubian) from their outdoor bachelor pad. They wasted no time getting “acquainted” with their girls. After less than 24 hours, Jasper had marked most of the girls in his breeding group, and Zircon was not too far behind him.
Most of our adult milking does appear to be bred, and in the cheese vat, the milk richness is off the charts. A few weeks ago, anticipating the decline in goat milk production that comes with breeding season and late lactation, we made our first batch of a mixed milk cheese—75% jersey cow milk (Kilgus Farmstead) and 25% goat milk. The new cheeses are a hybrid between our little bloom on the prairie camembert style and our ‘geo mold’ ash-rind black goat. The jersey milk produces a curd with gusto (dense, firm), and we experimented with different shaped molds (squares, small rounds, large rounds) as well as different rind adornments (squares with ash; rounds with or without edible flowers and dried herbs). We are excited to debut the large rounds this weekend.
Farm Store and Farmers’ Market Offerings
The Urbana Farmers' Market has moved inside Lincoln Square Mall. We will be there from 8 am to 12 noon (even though the market runs until 1 pm). We will be set up in the south hall of the mall next to Blue Moon Farm.
Here's the line-up of cheeses for this weekend:
--Fresh chevre: plain,herbes de Provence, cracked pepper-our chevre is so fresh and light; it’s the perfect foil for your salads, soups or stews.
--Seasonal chevre flavors:
-fall chive and lemon zest (very limited)
-roasted poblano (last of our poblano peppers picked before the freeze)
--Little Bloom on the Prairie: our final batch of the season goat-milk camembert-style cheese. This batch is aging nicely with a great “goo” layer and a lovely milky and buttered mushroom flavor. Perfect with one of the dried cured salamis (Underground Meats or Piemonte Sausage) in our farm store.
--"Nutty Little Bloom:" a riff on our camembert- square shaped bloomy with toasted pecans on top. Pecans from Voss Orchard, Carlyle, IL. The nuts add a sweetness that compliments the buttery notes of the cheese (limited this week)
--NEW CHEESE!! Our first mixed milk (jersey cow milk from Kilgus Farmstead and our goat milk) bloomy—we’re calling it “Cow-Goat Eclipse” This bloomy has the same crinkly (and yeasty) white mold as our black goat and fleur du prairie). We’ve done a few variations with this cheese—some with ash (squares) and some without ash with or without edible flowers and dried herbs from our herb garden. This week, we’re debuting the no-ash Eclipses. Come to the market or the farm store and give them a try.
LAST OF THE SEASON FOLKS—We have a few pints of gelato/sorbetto left and we’re not making any more for the rest of the season. Grab a pint ($10) or three ($27) while they last:
Black Currant So-whey-betto
Red Currant So-whey-betto
Can’t make it to the market on Saturday morning? The farm store "The Real Stand" is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm through the end of December.
NOTE: THE FARM STORE IS CLOSED THIS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH DUE TO OUR FARM DINNER.
We offer a “build your own cheese board.” You pick out the cheese(s) and accompaniments (jam, honey, pickled veggies or pecans), we provide you with a demi-baguette from Central Illinois Bake House. Complete the experience with a glass of wine, cider or beer. Can’t decide what you want? Ask our staff for recommendations.
You can still get gelato by the scoop at the farm, or if you want to be decadent, ask for an “affogato” (a scoop of gelato in a cup of espresso).
We have some new wines (from Valle de Guadeloupe, Baja Mexico) in the farm store as well as ciders from Virtue Cidery (Fennville MI).
Of course, you can visit with the goats (kids and adults alike) or just wander around the farm. Venture inside the farm store to shop for other local farmers’ products (meats, eggs, flour, jams, pickles, salamis, syrups, honey, etc.) or take home some PFFC “merch” (tea towels, aprons, t-shirts, sweat shirts and more).
NEW IN THE FARM STORE: Goat, Lamb and Heritage Whey-Fed Pork (Red Waddle Hogs) products from D&M Farms, Breese IL We are so excited to be offering these exceptional meat products from the farm of one of our new milkers-Megan Huelsman. She and her dad raise goats, sheep and hogs in southern IL; pasture raised goats and sheep and red waddle hogs fed whey from a nearby farmstead cow creamery.
We still have apples from Red Crib Acres too.
Coming soon: Cheese & Charcuterie Gift Boxes featuring PFFC cheese, house-made pickles and Piemonte Sausage Co. Salumi.
. We are gearing up for the holiday season. The farm will have extended hours on Saturday, November 30th (Small Business Saturday), featuring holiday goats, a curated tasting of cheese, pickles, salamis and wines and much more. Stay tuned for details.