Smile Politely

A look at the CU Farmers Buying Club

There is a brand new club in town, and after you hear about it you will be rushing to join. It’s called CU Farmers. Three local farms have joined forces to bring you and your families some of the freshest and highest quality vegetables, dairy products, and meats available in the Central Illinois area.

Blue Moon Farm is an organic farm about 10 miles away from Champaign-Urbana. Their goal is to use only organic methods to create the most beautiful and best tasting produce. They will be presenting their beautiful certified organic vegetables that they have been growing for over 20 years. They’ll be offering salad mix, napini, bok choy, kale, carrots, onions, and much more.

Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery is located in rural Urbana and offers Animal Welfare Approved artisan goat dairy products. Their farm personifies principles of sustainability, such as environmental stewardship, economic viability and social responsibility. Theirs is the very first farmstead creamery here in Illinois. They make delicious goat cheese,  whole goat milk ricotta, goat milk yogurt, and gelato. The flavors of the gelato can rotate from week to week.

Bane Family Meats provides pasture raised heritage-breed beef, chicken, fresh eggs, pork, turkey and lamb. Some of the products they offer are eggs by the dozen, ground beef, pork sausage and whole chicken. All of their livestock is raised free-range at the farm. No pesticides or chemicals are used in the pastures and no antibiotics or growth hormones are added to the animal’s feed. They have always been a family farm dedicated to sustainable agriculture and quality meat and poultry products. The Bane family carefully selects, rears and processes their own meats to provide the best taste experience.

These three farms have created an online farmers market that makes eating healthy, quick and convenient. Here’s how it works:

You simply go to sign up for the mailing list and click on shop from Friday at 8 a.m. to Monday at 10 p.m. You can choose from the array of products selected by the farmers themselves. You can pay at the drop off location or online. Then you pick up your pre boxed or bagged order on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Caterpillar building parking lot at the Research Park. They are also looking for businesses or groups to host pick up locations, which will enable them to make pick up and drop off even more convenient. Not everyone can get to the farmers market every week, but this club enables you to support our local farmers and still have a direct link to the farmers without having to actually go out to the farms themselves. All you have to do is order online and swing by after work to pick up your goodies.

I had a wonderful chat with one of the co-owner’s of Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery. She explained that the goal of the CU farmers buying club is to provide food to the Champaign-Urbana community that is diverse and grown using strict sustainable agriculture practices, in provide it in a convenient and accesible way. We all wish that we had the time to lazily stroll through the farmer’s markets every week or take a relaxing drive out to the farm, but most of us don’t have time in our busy schedules to make that happen every week. This buying club brings the farm and the food to you. I recommend taking advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Go to CU Farmers and start shopping!

Logos from each farm’s website. Photos by Jessica Hammie. 

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