Happy New Year from the team and turkeys at Ferndale Market! I love to recap and celebrate at the end of each year. I learned from an early boss that no process is complete without celebrating the accomplishment, and I agree. Although this year’s toasts are masked and socially-distanced, the wild ride of 2020 is all the more reason to look back at the roads we traveled here.

In our market, I marvel at how much has happened over the past 12 months. Like all businesses, we did our best to respond to the needs of 2020, and I believe we are better off for it. Our team quickly added new staple food items to our mix to better serve as a one-stop-shop for our customers, adapted to our now-popular curbside pickup, and soon thereafter launched boxes to ship to your door. All of these were wish list items that rapidly got moved to the front-burner with the encouragement of our customers. We know we have some room for improvement in 2021 (stay tuned!), but we are incredibly grateful for the support of our community and customers as we figured it out on the fly.

It was a bumpy and unpredictable ride for so many of the restaurants and foodservice folks we partner with, and we mourned the real losses for so many. When they’re closed, they’re not serving turkey, so we all felt the impact. But, we did what we could to support our community through the challenging year, donating turkey to multiple food banks and the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, and partnering with our friends at Minnesota Central Kitchen on a continuing basis to address food insecurity in our area.

On the farm, while the world was pivoting and going virtual, our turkeys were, well, oblivious to it all. In fact, we were blessed with a year of healthy flocks and good weather.  As I’ve said before, the patterns on our farm provided a healthy sense of normalcy during such an otherwise challenging year.

Finally, I can’t say enough about our staff. The world may have overused the term “essential employees” over the past year, but it’s the truth for front-line farm and food workers. When the big food system felt fragile, our team kept showing up, caring for our turkeys, our customers, and our local food partners. Through endless changes, they never missed a beat, and I couldn’t be more proud.

In the spirit of kicking off the New Year right, I’d love to hear what more you’d like to see from Ferndale in 2021. Is there a product you wish we carried in the market?  A turkey item you wish we’d make? Please feel free to reply to this email with your input and ideas.

Thanks for your continued support of our farm, market, and our turkey products!