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When the trees lose their leaves, Market offerings, Farm happenings

Farm News

There has been an abruptness to the onset of color in the tree leaves this year. The greens faded to 70’s era golden yellow and burnt orange without much announcement. Some just skipped the color, browned on the edges and then fell to the ground in shriveled embarrassment.

The stress of our summer drought has taken away the vibrancy of fall. The maple at the end of our driveway, normally ablaze in reds that start at the peak and work their way down the canopy, is dull and partially denuded. A brief rain shower on Monday followed by extreme wind gusts on Wednesday hastened the demise of the paltry color change. The consolation is that the goats love to scarf up the crispy desiccated leaves—goat “potato chips.”


Fundraiser time is here! Don’t forget to order a PFFC-Blue Moon Farm Grazing Dinner Kit for Prairie River’s Network’s Virtual Annual Fundraiser Dinner.

Prairie Rivers Network (PRN) is Illinois’ premier water quality protection organization. They have been working tirelessly to protect our state’s rivers and water-ways, and their trail of accomplishments is long. They’re hosting their Annual Fundraiser Dinner virtually this year on Friday October 23rd, and PFFC is providing the food! You can buy a PFFC-Blue Moon Farm Grazing Dinner Kit, pick it up on Friday, 1-4 pm at the farm and enjoy with your fellow PRN supporters.

PLEASE Support your artisan and farmstead cheese makers #chooseitorloseit The American Artisan cheese community is NOT out of the woods, as COVID-related traumas continue to impact restaurants and food retailers alike.


GIRL AND THE GOATS TO VICTORY CHEESE BOX

As the weather gets cooler and the days shorter, we tend to resort to nesting behavior. Why not settle into your comfy chairs and graze on a lovely (and delicious) VICTORY CHEESE BOX. Just add your favorite wine or beer and you have an instant party for your gustatory senses.


Our current Victory Cheese Box collaboration with grass-fed, raw cows’ milk cheeses from Jacobs & Brichford, bloomy rind cheeses from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery and accompaniments by Chef Stephanie Izard and her “Girl & the Goat-ceries” team. This DELUXE box features two cheeses from each farmstead creamery, house-made crackers, several kinds of pickles, jam and mixed nuts. It is the ONLY box that features accompaniments made by a Celebrity Chef. You can get your box through our online store. You can either pick up your box at the farm on Saturdays OR Sundays, 1-4 pm OR you can have it shipped.

We still have a few more of the Rick Bayless Victory Cheese Boxes available if you want to order one of those as well, both with and without the signed cookbook. You can start a collection of Victory Cheese Boxes from PFFC!


Urbana’s Market at the Square-Only Three Weeks Left to Outside Market

The outdoor market ends on Saturday October 31st. We received notice last week that the indoor “Market IN the Square” has been canceled. We are exploring other options to keep our local patrons in cheese and other items. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, you have access to some of the BEST local food in the Midwest right here in Urbana. The weather for this Saturday is will be fall-like. Our cheeses go with so many fruits and veggies now available at the market. Just ask us for a few simple recommendations when selecting your cheeses. We can have you putting together a show-stopping cheese board in no time!

The Urbana Market has COVID-19 related restrictions. They require social distancing, and both patrons and farmers must wear masks at all times. We have a Square card reader set up for you to swipe your card for payment. If you bring cash, we will give you change (and sanitize our hands between transactions). Gelato pints are ONLY available through online farm store sales/farm pick up.

Here’s the cheese line up for this weekend:

Fresh Chevre $8/each

--plain

--herbs de Provence

--cracked peppercorn

TWO Seasonal chevre flavors of the week:

Roasted Garlic This week, we’re featuring garlic from our long-time veggie friends up the road—Blue Moon Farm. Plentiful this week, so stock up.

Dried tomato chevre It’s that time of year again—dried Juliette and Roma tomatoes from our garden (and sometimes from Blue Moon Farm), chopped up and blended into our chevre. LIMITED OFFERING AND LAST WEEK FOR THIS FLAVOR

Little Bloom on the Prairie: our goat milk camembert style round; young with a slight buttered-mushroom flavor $11/each

Angel Food: our “crottin” style bloomy-petite but loaded with delicious goat tang! Young with a great goat tang; firm enough to cut into wedges$9/each

Black Goat-ash-rind bloomy that has a firm tangy paste when young and gets progressively earthy and funky (and gooey) as it ages. $10 each-young but fudgy and flavorful

Fleur du la Prairie: Our delicate bloomy with dried herbs and edible flowers—this batch is young but tasty! $11

Blushing Goat-washed rind goat milk cheese, washed with bourbon-peach kombucha beer; this batch is aging beautifully with slightly gooey edges, and it’s loaded with great umami flavor $8/triangle, $15 for squares

Goat Milk Feta—aged in whey brine, tangy with a creamy-crumbly texture-PERFECT for salads or crumble over a pizza or a bowl of chili! $7/each

Pelota Roja—raw milk “Manchego style” hard cheese with a guajillo chile-olive oil rub on the rind $7/wedge-consider shaving this cheese over grilled zucchini or eggplant! Shave it on a wilted salad of fall greens in place of parmesan cheese; grate it over roasted beets or cauliflower. Try using in a local corn-meal polenta!

Other Opportunities to Purchase Our Products

It’s not too late to start thinking about holiday gifts. We are working on several curated collections of cheese, charcuterie and accompaniments for holiday gift giving. We’re also stocking up on PFFC merch: t-shirts, sweatshirts, tea towels, aprons and goat milk soap. Not only can you order for shipping or farm pick up, we can even accommodate larger business orders. If you would like to discuss a gift box for your favorite customers or clients, please email us at prairiefruits@gmail.com

If you’re not able to buy our cheeses in person at the farmers’ market or during our farm open hours, you can order online for on-farm pick up or shipping. If you order for pick up, you can pick up from 1-4 pm either Saturday or Sunday.

Check out some featured items in the online farm store (and in the farm shop “The Real Stand”):

** NOW Available for online ordering: our Pelota Roja (raw milk Manchego style) and Blushing Goat (wash rind) by themselves or with some accompaniments.

**Raw Milk! Yes, we have a permit from the Illinois Department of Public Health to sell our raw milk. You can either order online (for Saturday Pickup, 1-4 pm) OR come out to the farm on Sundays, from 1-4. We’re selling milk in half gallon jugs for $9 (competitively priced compared to conventional goat milk found in the grocery store). Available only through Sunday November 1st.

**”Wash Your Hands! In Style”—new gift item (or just buy it for yourself!) featuring goat milk soaps made exclusively for us by the Wright Soapery. We’re offering a large bar of goat milk soap (tea tree oil, fresh mint or chamomile-oatmeal) with a “Three Chippys” tea towel for $15.

**Our NEW Chippy the Chef apron is HERE! This gorgeous all-cotton apron features Chippy the Goat (our logo and mascot) with her chef hat and mixing bowl. Fully adjustable straps, big deep pockets and super stylish! $20 each.

** Local fruit leathers-made by Funks Grove Heritage Fruits & Grains, we offer three flavors: petite plum from the Jarrell Family orchard (Forest Grove Oregon), black currant (Midwest Agroforestry Solutions) and apple pie. $4 each or 3 for $12.

Gelato pints are available for farm pick up ONLY- flavors this weekend include: NEW Seasonal Flavors: Pumpkin Spice and Maple Chevre (and Maple Chevre with Spiced Pecans) AND Local Grape-Champagne Sorbetto, PLUS Vanilla, Chocolate, Espresso, Salted Caramel Swirl, Pure Pistachio, Lemon Verbena, Fresh Mint, Anise Hyssop, and Nectarine Sorbetto.

We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week, 1-2-day ground ($20 shipping/handling) for most of the Midwest and 2nd-Day Air for other areas of the country ($35/shipping & handling). There are also lots of retail establishments throughout central IL and the Chicagoland area that carry our cheeses.


Farm Open Hours and Offerings

If you can’t make it to the farmers’ market, no worries. The farm is open BOTH Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 pm each day.


During our weekend open hours from 1-4 pm, you can peruse our farm store, enjoy a cup of gelato, gelato sundae (with house-made toppings) or order a cheese board with wine/beer/other beverages. You can visit with the goats (no petting, just viewing) and just enjoy the rural outdoors. All visitors must wear masks and practice social distancing while visiting the farm. We’ll be featuring ALL OF OUR CHEESES, as well as lots of great PFFC “merch” for sale during open hours.


FEATURED THIS WEEKEND THROUGH THE END OF OCTOBER: APPLE CIDER FLOATS FEATURING SHADY CREST ORCHARD (ARTHUR, IL) CIDER AND A LARGE SCOOP OF GELATO (YOUR CHOICE OF FLAVOR)

We are getting excited about our “Goaty Halloween” Farm Fall Fest on Saturday October 31st! Farm tours by hayride, decorate your own pumpkin, goats dressed up for Halloween, healthy treats for the kids (come in costumes please!), Cider-Gelato Floats, Cheese boards with Wine or Beer and much more!

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