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Why are there so many blue jays?

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Earlier this week, the ground beneath our white oak tree rippled with flashes of blue and white. The loud, new-yorker style squawking of the blue jays was unmistakable. They had discovered the mast of acorns and were gorging themselves like those embarrassing relatives at a holiday buffet. Every so often, the oak trees in our yard produce copious quantities of acorns. This phenomenon, called “masting,” occurs every few years and, with the help of acorn eaters near and far, ensures their perpetuation. Blue Jays are not year-round residents at our farm; they appear in the fall, usually just a pair, and spend part of the winter here. This week, I counted at least 10 under the oak tree, stuffing their beaks with acorns, calling to friends waiting for confirmation in the windbreak trees of our farm’s edge. Their raucous feeding frenzy was startling, even to the obnoxious English sparrows who nest in the oak tree. Within a matter of minutes, they came, they feasted and then they were gone, leaving the oak tree to bask in the fleeting warm of a glorious fall morning.

Farm Open Hours—VISIT THE FARM, CHECK OUT OUR “FARM BAR”—ENJOY SOME OF THE BEST LOCAL FOOD AROUND! Indoor and outdoor seating available.


With the shorter days, our farm open hours will be changing starting in November. We will be open 11-5 both Saturdays and Sundays. We will begin to offer some special events on Friday evenings-stay tuned for details.


Celebrate FALL with an outing to the farm! Guests can enjoy artfully crafted cheese and charcuterie boards, small bites highlighting what’s local and in season and weekly specials. We feature artisan breads from Publican Quality Bread (Chicago, IL) and scones from Alchemy Coffee & Bakehouse (Wilmette IL). Sunday brunch “Bloody Mary’s” are made from scratch, using organic tomatoes from Blue Moon Farm (Urbana IL). You can also still get gelato by the scoop too!

Need more enticing? Come try some amazing organic and/or biodynamic wines that you can’t find anywhere else in Champaign-Urbana! Some of this week’s featured menu items include:

  • Cheese boards featuring cheeses from PFFC, Jacobs & Brichford and Ludwig Creamery

  • Charcuterie Boards featuring Piemonte Sausage Co. and Underground Meats salumi

  • Publican Quality Bread (PQB) Open-Face Sandwich: Briana Cheese, Roasted tomato, Avocado

  • Warm Caramelized onion & roasted poblano pepper cheese dip with Carrot Sticks

  • Pizzas featuring our fresh cheeses, local veggies and local charcuterie

  • Fall Salad featuring local greens, apples, toasted pecans and feta cheese

Come try a wine flight this Friday night! We’ll feature three wines from our Organic & Biodynamic Portfolio for a set price. Wine not your thing? Enjoy a cold brew from our newest selection of local microbrews, kombucha beer and hard cider! We’re very excited about these new libations.

Weekend Hours are:

Fridays, 4-8 pm

Saturdays, 11-8 pm

Sundays, 11-5 pm

We have pumpkins and apples for sale in the store from Meyer Produce in Philo, IL.


Farm Events

Goats in Halloween Costume! Hay Rides! Pumpkin decorating! Yes, it’s time for “A Goaty Halloween” on Sunday, October 31st. Book your reservations NOW! There are three time slots from which you can choose. Grab your tickets to guarantee your full experience!


Pasture walks with the goats: Experience the tranquility of walking with the goats in the pasture. This is one of most enjoyable experiences on the farm. We have a few hikes scheduled on Wednesday mornings and we’ve just added a couple of Saturday morning walks. Reservations required.


Turn Back the Clock” Wine Tasting and Cheese Pairings: Sunday, November 7th. We’ll be featuring a number of wineries whose wines are great for holiday entertaining. We’ll also have cheeses for you to try and give you some tips on how to pair cheeses with holiday wines.


Final Farm dinners of the season—details in the works-We are planning a couple of very special dinners in early December. Ticket sales should be live in the next week or two.

Holiday events at the farm-we are planning several special events for the holidays, including our “Holiday Goat Photo Booth” for the weekend after Thanksgiving and several special workshops and classes to help you make the most of holiday entertaining.


We are planning some fun kid-friendly activities during the weekends of November-December.


Looking for a unique venue to host your business holiday party? Consider our farm! Contact our event planner, Lisa Wells, at prairiefruitsevents@gmail.com


COVID protections on the farm

As the weather gets cooler, we want to remind our patrons that we follow the state guidelines for wearing masks indoors. While visiting our farm store, we require that you wear a mask, unless you are actively eating and/or drinking. If you are engaged in enjoying our food and beverage offerings, and you need to speak with one of our staff, we request that you wear your mask. Our staff wear masks during service, and everyone is vaccinated. We are planning to host farm dinners and other events indoors this fall, and we will be adjusting our open hours so that we don’t create situations of crowding inside our farm store. Please check our website for up-to-date open hours. Thank you for your cooperation and for helping to keep everyone healthy and safe.


Urbana’s Market at the Square: Featured Items Going to Market This Saturday-7 am to 12 noon

It will be chilly this Saturday at the market, so dress warmly and come out to support your local farmers. Because we haven’t had a frost yet, there is still so much variety of produce available, and our cheeses can be paired with most of it or used as ingredient in your favorite fall recipes. NEWS FLASH: The farmers' market continues inside Lincoln Square Mall, starting November 6th. The Champaign-Urbana Winter Market, run by The Land Connection, ensures year-round access to local food!! We will be there, for sure through December, and maybe once a month in January-April, 2022. Hours are 8 AM to 12 noon. We will be set up inside the south entrance to the mall.

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. Now that the weather is cooler, consider shipping an order: treat yourself or someone special in your life!


Here’s the line-up of offerings for this weekend:

  • Fresh Mozzarella! We are now making fresh mozzarella with the amazing cow milk from Rocky Road Dairy. Like all of our cheeses, we make this cheese as close to traditional methods as possible. Comes as a perfectly formed ball (approximately 5-6 oz) in a light brine-perfect for homemade pizza!

  • Artisan Cottage Cheese-grassfed 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!

  • Pimento cheese dip—so popular, so delicious! -featuring our cottage cheese, organic red peppers from Blue Moon Farm and parmesan like cheese called “Everton Reserve” from our cow-dairy friends at Jacobs & Brichford in Indiana).

  • Fresh chevre

  • Plain

  • Herbs de Provence

  • Cracked peppercorn

  • Roasted garlic-just in time for fall! Thank you Blue Moon Farm!

  • Fleur de la Prairie-a delicate bloomy rind decorated with locally sourced dried edible flowers and herbs. 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!

  • Black Goat: our ash-ripened bloomy-when young, it has a lovely light yeasty flavor with a dense fudgy paste. As it ages, it gets nice ‘n gooey. Lucky for you, patrons, we have both versions this weekend—come early if you want the ooey-gooey & funky version! 2021 NY International Cheese Competition Silver Medal Winner

  • Angel Food: our little “crottin” style bloomy, similar in style to a mini-brie. This batch is made with BOTH cow and goat milk-super young, so the rounds are firm with a lovely tangy buttery flavor

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie: our first mixed-milk batch of the fall-also super young this week (like the angel food), but has delicate buttered mushroom notes. Try with a wedges of roasted delicata squash and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil (if you can find it!!!).

  • Pelota Roja- raw goat milk Manchego style cheese with a guajillo-olive oil rub—so good for shaving over roasted potatoes or your favorite casserole! 2021 GOOD FOOD AWARD WINNER!

  • Mixed Milk Feta—our first batch of cow-goat feta is ready for your enjoyment; aged in Whey Brine-perfect to crumble over a hearty fall stew or roasted beets, warm out of the oven. Or turn it into a dip and serve with roasted carrot sticks!

  • Goat Milk Yogurt—it makes a great smoothie or enjoy with your favorite granola and fresh fruit- available in quarts only this week!

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