This past Saturday, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery held their spring open house to showcase locally grown food and invite guests to visit with their herd. Located at 4410 N. Lincoln Avenue in Champaign, the sustainable farm that is home to over 80 goats is just a very short drive outside of town (about ten minutes from the University of Illinois campus, depending on traffic).
Though cool and in the high 40’s when things kicked off around 9 a.m., the barely there wind and steadily shining sun helped warm things up to a comfortable temperature that required only minimal early spring jackets by mid-morning. Inside the cozy dining area, guests were able to to enjoy homemade pastries while drinking coffee or goat milk hot chocolate.
In addition breakfast food the farm was also selling freshly made cheeses, creams, and yogurts to take home and enjoy later. Blue Moon Farm was also on hand to sell fresh produce, including some incredibly large carrots.
Below, Shea Belahi from Blue Moon Farm helps a customer.
Asked about the day, co-owner of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery Leslia Cooperband smiled. “It’s great to see the kids having fun with our kids (baby goats, that is).” As the morning went on and more people arrived, the food eventually disappeared around 11 a.m. “Unfortunately we ran out of food; it was so hard to predict how many people would come. We’ll have to make more next time,” explained Cooperband, who was kept busy throughout the morning serving visitors. Though the food was gone, those still on the farm and new arrivals could still enjoy the hot drinks and a peaceful morning out in the country.
Below, Cooperband chats and laughs with a customer.
Below, Athena had the run of the farm and kept everyone entertained.
Outside and right next door were two shelters housing a variety of goats, from newborns to full-grown production age does (that’s right, male and female goats use the same terms as deer). It was hard to tell who was more entertained, really: the human children who were excited to get a chance to interact with farm animals or the tiny goats who were excited to gently nibble on the clothes and fingers of those who got close. (And yes, for the record, it is hard to keep a camera steady when a kid is nibbling on your arm. A goat kid, that is; the other would just be awkward.)
Below, Diana strikes a pose.
Below, don't forget to clean up!
If you missed the open house or arrived too late to enjoy the food, worry not! The farm holds Babies and Breakfast every Saturday from now through April 30th, from 9 a.m. to Noon. We definitely recommend arriving early if you want to make sure you get a bite to eat, as it’s clear that this is a popular place to visit!