It is hard not savor these warm sunny days of mid December. Goats lounging in the dry lot as they wait for their barn to be cleaned, still green pasture grasses ready for the grazing. These sweatshirt temperatures make farm work less painful. As the milking season draws to a close, the farm is a buzz of activity. The dairy crew scurries back and forth with the skid steer, filling giant potholes in the barn with rock and fill-dirt. The discarded barn bedding is piled neatly into windrows for composting. Most of the breeding does have been marked by their mates, and the bucks are at peace, having completed their most important job of the year-producing the next generation. Next week, we will dry off the milking does and give them a well-deserved rest.
All the Happenings Here and Yonder
Saturday Farmers' Market Champaign-Urbana Winter Market
This is the last farmers' market of the year. We have a LOT of great cheese for you, as well as some special gift items and PFFC Merch!! Come out and support your local food farmers. We all need your support this time of year. Open 8-12 inside Lincoln Square Mall.
We'll be bringing the following cheeses to market:
Moonglo: Our raw goat milk tomme style cheese is BACK!! Fall milk makes this batch super flavorful--nutty, fruity, supple in texture. Grab a wedge!
Pelota Roja: Our raw goat milk Spanish style hard cheese-guajillo chile-olive oil rub on the rind--sharp, piquant, great for grating, shaving or slicing! Perfect for shaving over a winter greens salad!
Fresh chevre--plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper 2022 American Cheese Society Gold Medal and 2023 Bronze Medal winner!
An assortment of seasonal chevre flavors including french onion, spiced cranberry and everything bagel
Angel Food: mixed milk mini brie small rounds and large wheels available this week
Little bloom on the prairie-mixed milk camembert-sytle bloomy rind- nice and gooey and DELICIOUS!! ON SALE!! We will have puff pastry for "Brie en Croute" too!!
Ukrainian Farmhouse cheese-all cow milk fresh cheese, similar to a cross between cottage cheese and ricotta
Feta in whey brine: crumble on hearty stew or chili! Use the whey brine to marinate chicken or lamb! Put it on a pizza! 2023 ACS Bronze Medal
But wait, there's MORE!
December 15-17 Riggs Brewery German Christmas Market--we'll be there selling grazing boxes, cheese board kids, PFFC merch, select cheeses, and more. Hours are:
--Friday, 5-8 pm
--Saturday and Sunday, 12-7 pm
We'll be bringing a couple of santa goats on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (probably 2-4 pm), weather permitting.
Cheesy Holiday Gifts
Our retail holiday gift collection is ready for you to make your selections. Order from our online retail store. We ship nationwide Mondays through Wednesdays every week. Ordering deadline for to arrive before Christmas is Tuesday, 12/19 at 5 pm. You can choose from one of our gift collections or just mix and match a la carte.
Holiday Cheese Platters
If you are entertaining this holiday season, consider ordering holiday cheese platters for pick up at the farm. We are offering two sizes-medium rectangle platter and large round. Please include a note in your order indicating the date and time you would like to pick up your order. We request 48 hours notice for these platters so we can have adequate time to make them beautiful. Ordering deadline for Christmas is Friday, 12/22 at 9 am. Pre-Christmas pick up options are Sat. 12/23 11-5 pm OR Sun. 12/24, 11-1 pm
Farm Open Hours
We are open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm. You can visit with the goats, taste our cheeses, shop our farm store for cheeses, accompaniments and unique gifts, enjoy a cheese board or grab a scoop of gelato.
Our last full open day of the season is Saturday, December 23rd, 11-5 pm. We'll be offering 15% off everything for sale in the farm store (except for gelato, build your own cheese boards and beverages consumed in the store). We plan to be open Sunday, 12/24 with limited hours for cheese platter pick up and last minute shopping (11 am to 1 pm).
Our farm is great place to unwind, enjoy some great cheese and gelato and take in the natural surroundings. Our goat teenage girls are usually hanging around close to the barns and fences, waiting for your adoration. We have some unique gifts for the foodies in your life. We offer a fantastic selection of cheese accompaniments (crackers, jams, sauces, pickles, wines, beers) as well as Joyful Wren pastured-poultry eggs, our goat milk soap (made for us exclusively by The Wright Soapery), tea towels and t-shirts. Come see the all the goodies in the farm store. From Divina fruit spreads, to Great Lakes Potato Chips, to Central Illinois Bakehouse crackers and a growing array of roasted and seasoned Voss orchard pecans, we have some of the best accompaniments you'll find in central Illinois.
Special shoutout to our new potter in residence Irene Woo (Pottery by Irene). She has made some special goat milk soap holders for us. Her true works of art are these leaf and flower platters, using leaves and flowers from OUR FARM! You must come check these beauties out!!
Looking for something fun and unique to do outside? Want to commune with nature AND take a walk with some adorable goats? If the weather is good (i.e. not raining), we will offer one final hike of the season on Saturday, 12/16 11 am. No reservations required. Just check in with a staff member when you arrive at the farm. Cost is $18 per person and includes the hike/walk, a tour of the dairy and a scoop of gelato at the end.
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery-Fresh Picks Cheese Board Collaboration
For those of you in the Chicagoland area who have been wondering where to find PFFC cheeses, look no further. Fresh Picks, a home delivery service featuring local and organic foods, carries a lovely assortment of our cheeses. You can order a la carte OR, even better, you can order a local cheese board featuring our cheeses, local charcuterie and accompaniments. You can even order wine to go with it!!
WE WISH ALL OF YOU AND YOURS A MOST HAPPY AND JOYFUL HOLIDAY SEASON FILLED WITH DELICIOUSNESS