From Your Farmer: December 2019

Buy now with one click!  Next day shipping!  Free delivery!  Although speed and convenience may be the fuel for our world today, it stands in stark contrast as we reflect on our Thanksgiving season and look ahead to Christmas. There are few things fast about farming.  We spend months planning our farm schedule to best-guess sizing for the Thanksgiving season.  Once the birds have hatched, our days are tied to their natural growth rate, which means we invest months in growing our turkeys.  There’s no high-speed mode or accelerated pace, and success in farming comes from attention to the daily, minute husbandry details that lead to a healthy, happy flock.  It’s oftentimes slow, deliberate, and intentional, but it’s worth the investment of time and care. Likewise, we know you have many convenient options for holiday gift giving.  In a world of speed and convenience, we appreciate that you make the trip to visit us at Ferndale Market to build [...]


From Your Farmer: October 2019

There are only 30 days until Thanksgiving, so it’s our season to shine at Ferndale Market. This time of year, I can feel the pace quicken with preparation on the farm, in the market, and in our warehouse. The turkeys look good, the store is busy stocking holiday items, and the delivery trucks are humming. This is what we work toward all year. I’m reminded of Howard Buffet’s concept of “40 chances” during our Thanksgiving season. The basic premise is that a typical crop farmer, growing an annual crop and working an average career span, will have 40 crop seasons – chances – to leave their mark. I love the way this frames the work in agriculture; instead of a continuous cycle of plant-to-harvest, it’s instead an opportunity to start anew each season. Although we turkey farmers get to cheat quite a bit (growing more than one flock each year), the Thanksgiving season is still the bookend of our [...]


From Your Farmer: September 2019

The Minnesota Twins went 2-and-1 and I hardly saw a minute of the games, but I won’t forget my favorite baseball series of the year.  You may have seen that Ferndale Market had the opportunity to be a vendor at Target Field for the Twins vs. Tigers series in late August.


From Your Farmer: August 2019

It’s been a great summer here on our farm and I hope the same has been true for you. Our older flocks are active and happy on range, and our brooder barns are busy with the excitement of young poults, now just a couple weeks old. It’s the time of year that keeps us very busy, but also prime time to capture the benefits of having our turkeys outside. In addition to the usual farm work, our July was busy with farm tours. Hosting guests is sincerely one of my favorite parts of my work, and I thought it would be fun to share a couple fun stories from the past few weeks: I was leading a tour with a mix of adults and children, and found myself talking about the difficulty we face in finding equipment for ranging our turkeys, since so few farms still grow poultry outdoors. Using a figure of speech, I said “this is one [...]


From Your Farmer: July 2019

Have you ever pondered the origins of the aluminum can your favorite beverage lives in? I’m reading a fascinating book on the transportation economy and the seemingly endless miles our goods travel from source to consumer.


From Your Farmer: May 2019

Great products with great stories. Simply put, this is what we’re all about at FerndaleMarket. We strive to produce and source the very best in distinctive local foods, and share the stories of the people and practices behind them. In that spirit, I wanted to share the stories behind two of our Ferndale turkey items, just in time for grilling season.


From Your Farmer: April 2019

Watching for the delivery truck to return home has been a ritual on our farm for decades. In my Grandpa Dale’s era, the truck would depart with newly-hatched poults heading to an area farm. The poultry truck driver had to watch temperature closely to make sure the birds were warm and cozy in back, and my grandpa often did the delivering himself to ensure the birds got off to a good start.


From Your Farmer: March 2019

There are a lot of unsung heroes in agriculture. I was reminded of this during our terrible late January cold spell, with our farm reaching temps of -32 degrees. As (bad) luck would have it, we happened to be brooding our first flock of poults for the year, so I was concerned about maintaining enough heat in our brooder barn to keep the baby turkeys comfortable. At its worst, we were trying to maintain a temp 130 degrees warmer than it was outside the barn door.


From Your Farmer: January 2019

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.


From Your Farmer: December 2018

Our son’s first grade class had an assignment to write about a Thanksgiving turkey. Now, our son should have a leg up on his classmates here, because he regularly accompanies me to check our flocks, and this summer he proudly learned how to catch and hold a turkey by himself.