On the first morning of our very first attempt at drive-through TurkeyFest, our website crashed. We’d built our plan over the past many months and countless conversations, and it all hinged on solid technology. We needed to see each order online and know when each customer would arrive so we could have orders ready, bring them to the right car, and match the right turkey to the right recipient. It all worked perfectly in trial runs, but here we were on opening morning: our website was down and all the information we needed went with it. Nothing could get started. Thankfully, we were quickly able to get a hold of our web programmer. Within minutes, the site was up and we were back in business.
I tell this story not to recount the short moments of terror on that first day, but because it’s a reminder of how many people are behind our Thanksgiving season. We could grow the world’s best turkeys, but success still hinges on web programmers, feed truck drivers, and a little help from Mother Nature with sizing and weather. In the quiet moments following all the commotion, I’m struck by an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all it takes to pull off our peak season, and for all the people connected to our Thanksgiving turkeys.
From healthy flocks to a healthy staff, 2020 was a year in which both seemed especially noteworthy. The pandemic-related challenges created extra work on our farm and at our processor, as well as a lot of extra hours in the market. We rely on so many drivers making connections along the way to get our turkeys out quickly to our retail partners, and they kept things moving without a hitch. From the refrigeration crew that keeps our cooler cooling, to our dedicated staff that weathered long days in the cold, our Thanksgiving season happens only with the support of so many. Each individual making their contribution from farm to table. This is our local food system in action, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
This year, I’m also more grateful than ever for you – our customers and fans. In a year so full of disruptions, you were gracious in adapting to our curbside pickup process, and you continued to seek out our Ferndale Market turkeys, both here and at our retail partners, even in a year where we know so many of your traditions looked very different. Your kind words and stories of a good Thanksgiving turkey bring such validation to our way of farming.
Thank you for being a part of the Thanksgiving season with us.