Spring at Kilgus Farmstead - Tour Season Begins!

Spring is here and we are gearing up for another busy season on the farm. The weather is warming, the ground is thawing, and the animals are beginning to enjoy more time outdoors in the sunshine. Before long, our Jersey cows will be heading out to green pastures to graze on tender spring grasses, our tulips will begin to bloom, and we will begin planting our fields.

We are also preparing for visitors on the farm – our spring and summer tour schedule is set and we are now taking reservations for spring farmstead tours! 
The farm opened for its first open public tours this week and our entire spring/summer schedule is now available. Given the busyness of our schedules (and our children's schedules!) our tour schedule is a bit more limited this year. If you have a group or an organization that would like a tour, send us an email or give us a call and we can arrange a separate time just for you.    

Our tours begin with a visit to the barn and the milking parlor, introducing you to our Jersey heifers, steers, and Berkshire hogs along the way, and end in our creamery and farmstead store. There, we explain our milk bottling process and you can enjoy an ice cream cone and peruse the variety of local products we have available for sale.

Tours last roughly an hour, cost $4 per person, and require a reservation; they also include an ice cream cone! Before you come, take a minute to read about our tour logistics on our website. 

Spring is always an exciting time on the farm, with its promise of abundant new life and warmer, sunshine-filled days ahead. We hope you'll visit soon to see it for yourself!

DESTIHL Brewery & Restaurants 

Supporting Local Farms for Over 10 Years
DESTIHL has been a long-time partner and supporter of Kilgus Farmstead. In fact, DESTIHL began using our Jersey milk and cream in their first restaurant location in Normal, Illinois shortly after we began bottling our milk on-farm (circa 2009). Our businesses have grown alongside one another and we now supply three DESTIHL locations – two restaurants in Normal and Champaign and a newly constructed brewery and Beer Hall in Normal.

As a brewery, DESTIHL has garnered national attention, winning numerous awards for their unique craft brews. They are particularly known for their sour beers, which are also creatively integrated into the brewpub menus in salad dressings, marinades, and brines for potato chips and pickled vegetables. Given the popularity of their beer, they quickly outgrew the original brewery and in May 2017 opened a new 47,000 square foot state-of-the-art complex that includes a Beer Hall complete with a large patio for outdoor seating, 30 taps, and a menu of upscale bar food (still all made from scratch). 
The restaurants are top culinary destinations in Central Illinois with menus that incorporate unique and creative twists on all kinds of pub favorites; both DESTIHL beers and ingredients from local farmers are featured in many of these.

In a recent chat with Chef Jacob, we asked more about how he uses the 100+ gallons of Kilgus Farmstead milk and cream he orders each week. We learned that our milk goes into a range of menu items from soups and sauces (including nacho cheese sauce and a green chili macaroni and cheese sauce), to desserts like toffee date pudding and banana cream pie, to a house-made ricotta farm-style cheese that is used in a variety of dishes including pork ragout pasta, stout cherry & blackberry bruschetta, and chicken and dumplings. Is your mouth watering yet?! Mine is!

Because we were curious, we also asked Chef Jacob what he likes about our milk. The flavor was the first thing he noted, along with how thick and rich the cream is, making it well-suited for a variety of applications from making cheese to whipping cream. (We've always found this to be true, but it's nice to have it confirmed by our customers!)

Another way DESTIHL supports local farms is through their “features” program. These special menu items rotate every two weeks and are frequently planned around the ingredients local farmers have available (Kilgus pork and goat have both been included in the past). This program also allows chefs to invent and be creative, try out new local products, and also provide diners with new options that often become incorporated into the regular menu.

In partnership with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, DESTIHL also participates in the Local Flavor farm-to-table dinner series, creating at least one special each year that is comprised of only local ingredients. 

Menus at DESTIHL locations change seasonally and the spring/summer menu will be available soon; we’ve heard that the Mango IPA will pair well with many seasonal items. No matter what menu option you choose, we're sure you can't go wrong. The chefs at DESTIHL are thoughtful and talented and their food gets rave reviews from locals and visitors alike (their service does, too). 

A heartfelt thank you to DESTIHL for supporting Kilgus Farmstead all these years – we couldn’t do this without supporters like you! 

Upcoming Events

Breakfast on the Farm: Saturday, June 16th, 7am-10am.
Join us for our annual Breakfast on the Farm on June 16th! From 7am-10am we will serve breakfast, offer free farm tours, provide activities for the kids, and answer all your burning questions about farming in our "Ask a Farmer" booth. Breakfast includes biscuits and gravy, eggs, and milk, juice, or coffee -- all for only $1 per plate!

This event is sponsored by the Livingston County Farm Bureau Young Leaders and all proceeds will go to the Livingston County Food Pantry. Rain or shine, we’ll be there and hope you will be too!
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Photography by Jankun Studio, Forrest, IL
Copyright © 2018 Kilgus Farmstead, All rights reserved.

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