I am a biased Cheesewench. While I love cheese made from cow, sheep or water buffalo my heart lies with the goat. When I take cheese home from the shop there is almost always a goat involved. Aged, blue, fresh I don't care. Loves the goat. It is my precious.
This past September I went on a field trip to Prairie Fruits Farm in Champaign, IL. Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell make yummy yummy cheesy, goaty goodies. They also have a chef on-site who prepares farm dinners. They use organic produce grown right there on the farm, and meat from their neighbors down the road. If you can get reservations for the farm dinners you're a lucky s.o.b. and should consider yourself blessed.
We did a tour of the cheesemaking facility, the farm, ate some lunch and met the goats. Goats are friendly. They also want to nibble on boots. And pants, and your fingers, and feed and grass and your bottom.
Lunch was incredible and the goats were fun and sweet. Leslie has an enthusiasm and nurturing attitude that translates to having happy healthy goats and yummy cheese.
This was my first visit to a cheesemaker. I am trying to decide who I want to visit next. Of course being a Vermonter in flatlander clothing I want to go to VT, but honestly, how do you choose? There are too many artisan cheesemakers to choose from. Isn't that great?!
What a gourdgeous veggie!
The cheese course was wonderful with organic fruit grown right there on the farm.
Goats are silly. And hungry.
My personal favorite goat was the bellwether.
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