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We had been preparing for our 10th Anniversary Open House for months, and thought we’d anticipated everything.  After all, we’ve hosted our annual Fall Open House since 2009, so this was simply going to be a “bigger and better” version, focused on thanking our customers for 10 years of support.  We never imagined that our farm would be hit by a tornado only two weeks prior to the event.

The storm-related events of the past couple weeks have only reinforced our gratitude for our customers and friends of Ferndale.  Many of you checked-in on us or followed our progress on social media.  Some of you stopped by with chainsaws, or asked how you could help.

Although we lost a lot of our beautiful oak trees on the farm, we are thankful to have suffered fairly minimal damage to our farm buildings.  Our turkeys were spooked, but weathered the storm alright.  I’ll never forget the scene of emerging from our basement, and running through the dark sea of downed trees to check on our flocks, and the relief in seeing that our birds were fine.

Quite honestly, the immediate days that followed the storm were the most challenging, as we tried to get our farm roads open and keep life going without electricity for two days.  The task of keeping turkeys fed and watered and inventory refrigerated, all without electricity, was the hardest slog.  Now we’ve got a lot of tree removal and range shelter rebuilding ahead, but the worst is behind us.  As the old farmer saying goes “if farming was easy, everybody would be doing it.”

I never imagined that I’d recap our 10th Anniversary Open House by talking about a tornado, but it’s now a part of our story.  Your support of our farm is the central part of our story, so it’s somewhat fitting that the two are now woven together as we celebrate 10 years at Ferndale Market.  We appreciate so many of you joining us to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday, and we’ll look forward to connecting with you as the Thanksgiving season approaches.

Rain or shine, thanks for cheering us on.