It’s official. We’ve moved our first flock of turkeys to range, so spring has officially begun! There’s always something special about seeing this first flock run out onto the fresh spring grass for the maiden voyage through the pasture, and it’s the most visible reminder of what makes our type of farming so distinct.
Spring is the time of year most farmers are busy planting, burying the snowplow deep in the shed, and pulling out the planter instead. On our farm, spring also bring the re-emergence of our bike brigade, with many of us cruising around by bike to check turkeys, or run a quick task. In an era when any self-respecting farmer has an ATV, or at least a beat-up farm truck, we still do a good deal of our running on two wheels instead of four. No cause for pity, we’ve got the beat-up farm truck (and van) too!
The biking tradition seems to have started with my dad, who gets his bike out on the first nice day of spring, and attempts to ride until December when the weather cooperates. Growing up, I assumed this was how all farmers got around. Given that I live on the farm, my “commute” often involves balancing my work boots or a stack of papers as I peddle over. Now even our staff is in on it, biking from one end of the farm to check feed or relay a message. We’ve even added a bike rack at the Market, although on the farm it’s more typical to see a bike resting against an oak tree.
I learned to love biking by lazily riding my bike around our farm as a kid. In fact, I vividly remember pretending to give tours of our farm as I rode, which has proven to be prophetic for our annual Farm Tour Days in a way I couldn’t have imagined then. Now we’re teaching our son to ride along the same gravel paths, and I’m betting this will be the summer his training wheels come off.
We look forward to the summer days ahead and hope to see you at Ferndale Market. Whether you come on two wheels or four, we appreciate your support for our free-range turkey products and on-farm market!