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Working on winter projects

Farm News

The color pallet of early December is shades of grey. After an early dose of frigid temperatures, we have settled into what I call “Oregon weather;” mild temperatures and misty; perfect for knocking out major outdoor farm projects. This week, the dairy crew tackled a long overdue barn cleanout, old chicken coup demo and lighting the giant burn pile. The bedded pack was so dense and thick, it was composting underneath the hooves of our milking does. Erica and Sophie worked in tandem-Erica on skid, Sophie on tractor-manure spreader. As the skid steer peeled back the layers to bare soil, the steam from decaying organic matter revealed the handiwork of microbes. No doubt, the heat from in situ composting has been keeping the hooves of our milking does nice ‘n toasty warm.

Laying hens long gone, the demolition of our rodent-infested chicken coop was extremely satisfying. The only items salvaged were the metal nest boxes (optimism might lead us to get more laying hens some time in the future). Having removed most of the dead peach trees (died of old age) in the north section of the orchard earlier this fall, we now have a large clear area adjacent to the barn on which to build a composting pad. This has been a long-time dream: a proper pad on which to compost our waste bedding in proper windrows that are turned. Having spent the first half of my adult life as a “compost expert,” I will finally be able to take pride in how we manage our organic matter. We might even have a quality finished compost that we can sell!


Upcoming Holiday Events at the Farm

December 10th—Goat Holiday Photo Booth

From 1-4 pm, you can take your holiday pictures with our holiday goats—Santa, Mrs. Claus and plenty of goat elves! Stay warm with our goat milk hot chocolate or hot spiced cider. Cheesy treats, cheese plates, new wines—$5/photo; NO reservations required.

December 10th: Meet our Herd Manager and Photographer Extraordinaire, Erica Peters. In addition to taking care of our goats, Erica has her own photography business, “EricaPetersPhotography.” Come see some of her gorgeous compositions and take home a canvas to adorn your walls or to give to someone special in your life. 11 am to 1 pm


December 10th: Holiday Wine Sampling: Meet our wine distributor, Paul Simpson of Winebow. He’ll be pouring some of the wines in our current portfolio and offering suggestions of pairings for holiday entertaining. 3-5pm


December 10th: @Cakesandbakesbykate will be here too with holiday inspired sweet treats!


Farm Happenings-Visit the Farm and Stay Awhile

We’re open 11-5 both Saturday and Sunday through the end of December. With the wintery weather upon us, we’ve made our farm store nice ‘n cozy for visitors. After you visit with the goats, come in from the cold and let us warm you UP! We’ve got a new selection of organic and biodynamic wines for the colder season, hot apple cider (with or without a little local bourbon from Whiskey Acres) and goat milk hot chocolate. Peruse the farm store for unique holiday gifts while we prepare a “build your own” cheese board for you. Not sure what cheeses you want to buy? Ask our staff for a free guided tasting of our award-winning cheeses. If you’re immune to the colder weather, enjoy a scoop of gelato!

Wine and Cheese on the Farm? Yes please!

We are one of the few places in Champaign-Urbana where you can get a curated wine and cheese flight. We carry some great organic and/or biodynamic wines. We serve the wine & cheese flight with a rustic baguette bread from Publican Quality Breads in Chicago or with Potters Crackers. $25/person (must be 21 or older) gets you this amazing flight of three wine pours and three cheeses with some surprise accompaniments every weekend. All of our wines come from small family-owned wineries and vineyards using sustainable agriculture practices. Just ask our staff for the details if you’re curious.


We have some other snacking specials too: fresh chevre with apple chips and caramel sauce, a "sampler" cheese plate (3 cheeses and accompaniments served with Publican Quality Bread), goat milk hot chocolate, and hot cider.


Special Items in the Farm Store

The secret ingredient to our amazing cheeses and gelato is our MILK! You too can experience our milk in its purest form! Our milk super fresh (usually less than one day old) and clean. We are permitted to sell raw milk from the farm (Illinois Dept. of Public Health). Curious what it tastes like? We will have samples for you to try-just ask.

  • PFFC burlap tote bags!! Perfect for farmers' market shopping!

  • We’ve also got some great local products, including artisan jams, local honey, hot sauces, preserves and salamis. Don’t forget to check out the PFFC t-shirts, onesies and tea towels.

  • Artisan cheese boards, spreaders, chopsticks, etc. from Moonspoon. These are GORGEOUS!

  • Check out the new line of goat milk soaps from The Wright Soapery. She uses our milk and our herbs to craft these amazing soaps-all natural—no artificial dyes or fragrances.

  • Gorgeous pottery from Slow Phase Clay-hand crafted soap dishes that cradle our soaps perfectly

  • Fresh Eggs from fellow AWA-certified farm “Joyful Wren”—Once you try these eggs, you won’t want to buy any others!

If you don’t have time to peruse our farm store in person, but you need some milk or cheese or accompaniments, you can always order from our online store for pick up at the farm during weekend open hours. Just let us know if you’re picking up on Saturday or Sunday in the “NOTES” section (before checking out).


Order a Cheese Gift Box--NEW OPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE!!

With the holiday season approaching, now is a great time to send a cheesy gift box to a friend or family member OR just order one for yourself if you don’t live close by. We have some unique and delicious gift box options OR you can order a variety of different cheeses a la carte. Discount extended through 12-12: one-time coupon for 10% off any gift box. COUPON CODE is PFFCHoliday10!

Check out the selections and order away. We ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week. Please make sure you select either Retail 1-2 ground (for shipments in the Midwest) OR Retail 2nd Day Air (for shipments to the coasts) when you’re ready to check out of the online store.

Ask us about business gift boxes! We can customize any of our gift boxes for the special staff or clients in your business. We ship too! Email us at prairiefruits@gmail.com with any questions.


Order Your Holiday Cheese & Charcuterie Platters for Seasonal Entertaining!! Online pre-orders are open NOW. We make these platters to order, so don’t delay in placing your order. Your guests will be very happy! Orders must be received within 48 hours of the pick up date/time. Please email us at prairiefruits@gmail.com to let us know the date/time that you'd like to pick up your platter.

Come see us at the Champaign-Urbana Winter Market this Saturday and every Saturday through December 17th. From 8 am to 12 noon, you can get some fantastic local food (fall greens, root veggies, meats, eggs, CHEESE, breads, pastries, etc.) PLEASE continue to support your local farmers. Here are the offerings for the market and the farm store this weekend:

  • Goldenrod: Our seasonal mixed milk washed-rind beauty-rich, luscious, buttery with a hint of yeastiness from the ale-washed rind

  • Pelota Roja is BACK!!-Our fall batch is ready for prime time. It's fantastic-notes of pineapple and toasted nuts, supple texture--just slice and eat atop a piece of salami!

  • Fresh Chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper 2022 American Cheese Society 1st Place Medal!

  • Spiced cranberry chevre!! Just in time for the holidays--slightly sweet balanced with the tanginess of the creamy goat cheese-a must have for your holiday table. LAST CHANCE FOR THIS SEASONAL FLAVOR

  • Little Bloom on the Prairie (mixed milk): camembert style—ripening nicely this week

  • Angel Food (mixed milk): crottin (mini-brie) style-young this weekend; pair with our farmstead honey-sold as a small round or large-format wheel (for baked brie)

  • Brie en croute kits are back for easy holiday entertaining! Puff pastry, large wheel of Angel Food and Fig Jam + Recipe

  • Feta in Whey Brine: mixed milk makes our feta delicious-creamy, luscious with the perfect tang-- or warmed in the oven with roasted tomatoes and fresh thyme.

  • Not sure what to do with feta now that salad weather is on the wane? Here are some suggestions:

  • --crumble over a hearty stew or chili

  • --bake in the oven with good extra-virgin olive oil, kalamata olives, fresh thyme sprigs and sundried tomatoes

  • --put on top of your house-made pizza

  • --crumble over tacos or refried beans (in place of Mexican grating cheese)

  • Goat Milk Yogurt (pints and quarts)-ALL GOAT MILK YOGURT is back for a limited engagement-nice thick body from high-solids fall milk; slight yogurt tang

  • House-made pumpkin butter, house-made pickles, roasted “Blue Moon Farm” red pepper sauce, green tomato chutney—all great accompaniments for our cheeses

  • Goat Milk Cajeta-cinnamon-laden goat-milk caramel sauce

  • Raw goat milk (half gallons or quarts)-farm store only--NOT TOO MUCH LONGER FOR RAW MILK

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

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