The onset of August has us looking ahead toward breeding season. We try to keep emotions to a minimum and let the data be our guide. We look at milk production records, we evaluate health issues over the past couple of years and we consider their age. Most years, we have a group of older does whose production has declined. We know that as they age, they can experience complications in kidding delivery too. Sometimes we have a few milking does that just can’t compete in a large herd setting. We weigh and measure all of these parameters and determine how many does we want to milk next year. We also consider the number of dry does waiting in the wings to become milkers.
This fall we have a fairly large group of retirees; a number of them are old familiar faces, we have history with them. We reach back into the recesses of our memories to recollect their births and their early days as kids. We reminisce about their glory days; a number of them were rock star milkers in their heyday. We finalize our list and begin thinking about who will stay on until their final days and who we might sell. We think about the best new home scenarios for the does who will be leaving—some still with potential for family milking, some as companions, some as ruminating weed control. The decisions are bittersweet, but we also want to do right by these girls who have given us so much over the years.
Farm Open Hours—CHECK OUT OUR NEW “FARM BAR”--YOU GOTTA COME SEE ALL THE CHANGES!
Guests can enjoy artfully crafted cheese and charcuterie boards, small bites highlighting what’s local and in season and weekly specials. Breads from Publican Quality Bread (Chicago, IL) and scones from Alchemy Coffee & Bakehouse (Wilmette IL) round out the menu. Sunday brunch “Bloody Mary’s” will feature organic tomatoes from Blue Moon Farm (Urbana IL). Not only that, we have some amazing wines that you can’t find anywhere else in Champaign-Urbana! This week’s featured menu items include:
Publican Quality Bread crostini with chevre, roasted PFFC peaches, Grove Stone peach vinegar and fresh mint
Piemonte Sausage Co. culatelo (style of prosciutto) wrapped local melon
Watermelon and Cucumber wedges with honey-yogurt dipping sauce
Caprese salad featuring our very own fresh cow’s milk mozzarella, farm tomatoes and farm basil! VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY SO COME EARLY IF YOU WANT TO TRY THIS NEW ITEM!
We’re starting a NEW tradition this Friday night called “Friday Night Flights.” We’ll feature three wines from our Organic & Biodynamic Portfolio for a set price.
Hours will be:
Fridays, 4-8 pm
Saturdays, 10-8 pm
Sundays, 10-5 pm
Farm Dinner Tickets are FINALLY AVAILABLE! We have a few dates and themes set, so check them out and book your reservations. These will go fast so don’t delay. The menu for the upcoming Summer Vegetarian Dinner with Chef Ann Swanson is now posted on the website: check it out and book your reservations NOW! More dates coming!
Urbana’s Market at the Square: Featured Items Going to Market This Saturday-7 am to 12 noon
SO MUCH CHEESE! So hard to choose (so get a few). The weather is getting hot again, so bring a cooler or insulated bag to keep your cheese & gelato in good condition while you shop.
NEW NEWS FLASH: We now have a third award winning cheese to add to our 2021 accolades—we just received news that our ash-ripened “black goat” won a silver medal in the inaugural New York International Cheese Competition. We are so proud!
Don’t forget too: OUR RAW MILK “PELOTA ROJA” IS BACK IN THE CHEESE LINEUP! Come grab a wedge of this 2021 Good Food Award winning cheese, inspired by Spanish style raw goat milk cheeses. Early spring milk makes these early batches taste AMAZING!
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.
Here’s the line-up of offerings for this weekend:
Gidget’s Grilling Cheese-made with rich, grass-fed cow’s milk from Rocky Road Farm. Grill or pan fry to get some nice caramelization on the outside. Drizzle with local honey and a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh herbs. Enjoy with crusty baguette or some grilled summer squash.
Artisan Cottage Cheese-summer 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!
Herbs de Provence
Angel Food-goat “crottin” style bloomy (young but loaded with flavor)
Black goat-ash-ripened bloomy-rich “fudgy” texture that I love so much NOW AWARD WINNING!
Fleur de la prairie-our goat milk bloomy with dried garden herbs and edible flowers-A 2021 Good Food Award Winner! Try with slices of early season apples.
Pelota Roja-raw goat milk Manchego style cheese with a guajillo-olive oil rub—so good for shaving over a tomato and basil salad or grilled eggplant! 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!
Goat Milk Feta aged in Whey Brine-try with grilled peaches and a drizzle of honey (sweet and salty and sublime). Watermelon season is HERE for your feta-watermelon salads!
Goat Milk Yogurt—it makes a great smoothie or enjoy with your favorite granola and fresh berries-now available in both pints and quarts! We are featuring our yogurt in our farm kitchen’s parfaits this weekend.
Goat Milk Gelato by Pint (4-5 flavors at the market; many more at the farm)
If you’re interested in buying fresh raw goat milk, you can either order from our online store for farm pick up on the weekends, or just visit our farm store during open hours—now offering both quarts and half gallons in our refrigerated display case.
We are seeking an experienced Part-Time Kitchen-Farm Store & Events Staff Member. The ideal candidate will have an interest in learning how to execute our new weekend “small bites” menu while also assisting with service from our “farm bar” and helping to execute our bi-monthly Farm to Table Dinners and private events. Experience in a commercial kitchen and proof of Illinois Food Handler’s License required. Additional qualifications include:
Passion for food and cooking, especially using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients
Cheese lover a big plus (we are a farmstead cheese producer after all and our menu is very cheese-centric)!
Excellent hygiene and attention to maintain safe food conditions in the kitchen
Reliable, punctual, honest
Ability to work in a seasonally hot kitchen
Ability to multi-task (e.g., prepare simple foods, wash dishes, wait on customers, serve alcoholic beverages)
Ability to work in a small team setting
Hours of availability needed are subject to change based on events, but candidate will primarily be scheduled Fridays-Sundays ( approx. 25 hours/week)
We value our employees and offer a competitive fair wage to all who work here. If you or someone you know is interested in this position, please contact…
Lisa Wells, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery Event Planner at email@example.com Please send a cover letter explaining your interest in the position (and why you think you’re a good fit) along with a current resume.
Goats for Sale
Looking for a family milking goat or a 4-H project for your kids? Looking to build a small herd to make some goat milk soaps and skin care products? Looking to expand your commercial dairy goat herd? Want some goats to keep your invasive plants at bay? How about a few goats to take on hikes? We have what you’re looking for! Our goats are certified “Animal Welfare Approved,” registered through the American Dairy Goat Association AND super happy and healthy. Send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll let you know what we have available.