It was October 15th, 2008 and we were just about to open Ferndale Market for the very first time. Somehow, just before opening, we realized that our credit card processor wasn’t working. I called our local phone service technician (yes, our early credit card terminal ran on a dial up phone line), and he came right out.
Since I returned to our farm in 2008, my reading interests have become more focused. Although I’ve never met a good history book I don’t enjoy, much of my recent reading has been biographies of family businesses, particularly those in the world of food.
I’ve always loved having friends over to our house, so this is one of my favorite newsletters to send each year. It’s a treat to personally invite you to join us this Saturday for our annual Farm Tour Day, where you’ll have the chance to see our farm and turkeys, and experience for yourself what we’re up to here.
Warm summer greetings from the whole flock here at Ferndale Market! Although the summer season brings lots of work here on the farm, it’s a bit quieter on our delivery route, now that colleges and schools are out for summer.
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.
“What future trends do you see coming in agriculture over the next 10 years?” This was the question asked of a speaker at a recent local foods event I attended, and I didn’t envy the need to reply with a short, coherent answer. Reading a crystal ball is never easy, but the future of agriculture seems especially unclear.
Our son is six years old, so it seems most of the stories I read these days involve talking mice, bears learning manners, or aliens in the elementary school. Stories are becoming common in the world of food too, as consumers want to know their food was grown in a way that aligns with their values. I tend to think that’s a good thing.
The Star Tribune ran a recent series called The Future of Food. It was a lot to digest – bad pun, I know – but I’d definitely recommend the read to anybody who’s wresting with the intersection of modern food and farming. The story accurately captures the questions and concerns from both sides of the table: farmers and consumers.
I grew up on my family’s farm, so I attended public school here in Cannon Falls. It was a relatively small school system (I graduated with 120), so we tended to know our classmates and students in neighboring grades. I had a friend in my grade named Barbara, and another classmate, Ryan, who rode my bus and played on my junior high basketball team.