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What “June is National Dairy Month” means to me, poetry from the creamery

Farm News

June is “National Dairy Month;” for sure a shameless promotion from the US Dairy Industry to get folks to drink more milk and eat more dairy products. In fact, fluid milk consumption is on the decline, eclipsed by plant-based “milks” such as soy and almond. Some market researchers cite consumers’ shift toward a more plant-based diet, believing this is a healthier and more planet-friendly approach to eating. Some document consumers’ distain for certain animal welfare practices on some commercial cow dairies. As with most issues, the marketers paint in black and white (ironically, the color scheme of the Holstein cow-the emblematic high-producing breed of large commercial cow dairies), when the reality of dairy versus vegan is shaded in many hues.

There are many ways to raise dairy animals, be they cows, goats, sheep or water buffalo. There are many scales of operation. There are producers who raise their animals on pasture and browse. There are producers who select breeds that need no grain to produce delicious milk. There are farmers who have bred for longevity so that their milking herd members produce milk for many years and become members of the “family.” There are producers who embrace the seasonality of lactation and let their animals rest in winter. There are dairy farmers like us who embrace rigorous third-party certifications like “Animal Welfare Approved,” adhering to known standards that are transparent to consumers. There are dairy farms like ours who relish in having visitors see how we raise our dairy goats.

The dairy versus vegan construct is a false dichotomy. For those concerned about animal welfare or climate impacts from dairy, consumers do have solid choices within the realm of dairy farmers, be they cow, goat, sheep or water buffalo. We choose to celebrate “June Dairy Month” like we do every month: educating our customers about our dairy practices and letting them taste the difference in our cheeses, milk and gelato.

Notes from the creamery: sometimes, I am struck by the mundane and inspired to write a poem.

Wet hands, gloves

(a poem in recognition of the hands of a cheese maker)

wet hands, gloves struggle to make their way onto fingers

vinyl sticks, rips, try again

paper towels can’t do justice to lingering wetness

blowing on hands, no help either

soapy gloves, many-hours dishwashing hands with holes in gloves

hot water scarred fingers, insensitive to heat, even when torn gloves expose bare hands

persevering hands in holy gloves; stack s of cheese molds await the washing

Fleur de la Prairie-the “centerfold” cheese in Culture Magazine

We are honored and proud to have our lovely AND delicious ‘fleur de la prairie’ selected for Culture Magazine’s cheese centerfold in the summer issue of the magazine. Culture is the national magazine about all things cheese! Of course, we’ll have plenty of fleur on hand at the farmers’ market and in the farm store this weekend for you to purchase. You can order it online (along with our ash-ripened ‘black goat’—a duet of bloomies) if you’re not local.

Happenings this Weekend at the Farm and Beyond

It’s June and the weather will be gorgeous this weekend. We will be open Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm each day. The goats crave attention and will wow you with their affectionate personalities. You can even feed them some of their favorite treats—maple and mulberry leaves! Check out the pregnant goat moms due to kid at the end of this month—some of them have quite the girth.

Shop our farm store and sample some of our award-winning cheeses. Enjoy a cheese and charcuterie board under our pavilion with a bottle of organic and/or biodynamic wine. Want something cool? Try our delicious goat milk gelato! Specials this weekend: (available BOTH Saturday and Sunday):

--goat milk yogurt parfaits with local fruit purees and jams

--special gelato flavors: lemon AND honey chevre!!!

The secret ingredient to our amazing cheeses and gelato is our MILK! You too can experience our milk in its purest form! We are permitted to sell raw milk from the farm. Curious what it tastes like? We will have samples for you to try-just ask.

When you’re ready to leave, take home some raw goat milk or goat milk yogurt. We’ve also got some great local products, including artisan jams, preserves and salamis. Check out these gorgeous eggs from fellow AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) certified eggs from Joyful Wren Farm. They are equally beautiful on the inside (bright orange means they are definitely eating grass) as well as the outside. I eat them every day!!

The farm is open on weekends RAIN OR SHINE! You can still visit with the baby goats inside their barn if it’s raining! We have ample seating inside our farm store if you want to stay and enjoy a cheese & charcuterie board. Our store is AIR-CONDITIONED!

Urbana’s Market at the Square

We’re excited to be back at the outdoor market for our 17th season!! From 7-12 each Saturday, you can stock up on great produce, meats, eggs and of course PFFC cheeses. Shop the market this Saturday and snag some strawberries, asparagus or leafy greens—cheese should definitely be on your list, and you can prepare simple dishes with what’s in season alongside our cheeses, especially our chevre and feta.

  • How about little bloom on the prairie on the grill with a drizzle of local honey and fresh herbs?

  • How about some of our yogurt for marinating chicken or beef kabobs to put on your grill??

  • Or make a yogurt-chevre dipping sauce to pair with some pan-roasted asparagus.

  • Whip some feta with a little heavy cream and serve over charred spring onions—a great side dish.

  • Add some honey to our chevre and serve with macerated strawberries—see how easy all of this IS!!??


Here's the lineup of cheeses and dairy product you can expect to find in our farm store and at the farmers’ market:

  • Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper

  • Artisan Cottage Cheese!! Yes, it’s back and boy is it gorgeous and delicious—the golden yellow color belies the pastured cow’s milk from Rocky Road Dairy

  • Mixed milk feta in whey brine-salad season is upon us. Try crumbling feta over pan-roasted asparagus and drizzle with a balsamic reduction! Simple and Sublime!!

  • Little bloom on the prairie: Mixed milk camembert style- young this week

  • MARKET SPECIAL: “Nutty little bloom” Our perfectly ripe and buttery little bloom cheese adorned with toasted chopped pecans from Voss Pecan Orchard. Think savory butter-pecan ice cream (sort of)

  • Angel Food-mixed milk mini-brie-super young this week, but you can slice it over a warm spinach salad with bacon bits!!

  • Fleur de la prairie: All goat bloomy rind with edible flowers and herbs-a few perfectly ripe; rest are super young 2021 Good Food Award Winner AND Culture Magazine’s Summer Issue Cheese Centerfold

  • Black Goat: All goat, Ash-ripened bloomy-super young 2021 Silver Medal at NY International Cheese Competition

  • Raw goat milk (half gallons or quarts)-farm store only

  • Goat milk Yogurt (quart size)

We will send some of our goat milk yogurt parfaits with local fruit purees to market this week. Keep an eye out for those. They're going like hotcakes!!

Not local? No problem. You can order our cheeses and gift boxes from our online store.

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