I always appreciate the brief pause for reflection that the New Year brings. In theory, this is the quiet season on our farm, but it’s fleeting and quickly filled with planning and preparation for the year ahead. 2018 was a milestone year at Ferndale Market, as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our on-farm store and direct marketing our turkey. We commemorated the anniversary with a remodel of our market space, to better showcase our turkey and the other local meats, dairy, and specialty foods we proudly carry. This was also a year of building partnerships, as we added a new young partner farmer, expanded into new retail locations, and launched a delicious new turkey burger in partnership with our friends at Birchwood Café in Minneapolis.
No year in farming would be complete without adversity, and we faced great challenge in September, when a tornado struck our farm and community. The tree cutting and fence repair will last well into 2019, but the worst is behind us. And, as we are mindful of the economic challenges facing nearly every sector of the agricultural world, we are grateful for our customers like you, who see the difference in our Ferndale turkey products.
Around here, we feel a bit like we’re turning from one anniversary to the next, because 2019 marks 80 years since my Grandpa Dale purchased our farm and started his first flock of turkeys. I imagine the deep satisfaction he must have felt then, farming on his own and doing what he loved. Much has changed in the world of food and farming over these 80 years, and I often wonder what he’d think of it all. Endless convenience and choice, evolving customer food trends, high-tech farming methods. Yet, our farm and turkeys are still sustained by the values and practices we’ve used from the beginning.
With that in mind, we’ll start our new year by doubling down on the farming legacy he started. We just purchased a load of lumber to rebuild our turkey ranging shelters lost in September’s tornado. In the world of agriculture today, this makes us throw backs, constructing portable shelters by hand so our birds can be outdoors, but it’s a great reminder of our daily mission: growing happy, healthy turkeys, and crafting the very best products to put our name on. It’s a boldly simple resolution to start the 2019, the anniversary of our farm’s founding. I’m proud to carry the story forward.
Happy New Year!