It goes without saying that this Minnesota winter has been out of the norm. As a turkey farmer, that’s had its advantages. We’ve spent less time moving snow around, which gives us time to tackle other off-season farm projects. We’ve spent less time worrying about keeping poults warm. We’ve hardly had to salt the market parking lot. And, I doubt we’ve ever had turkeys running outside this early. It’s one for the record books!

I’ve really enjoyed playing with this “Greatest Hits” theme in belated celebration of our 15th anniversary and I’d like to share another fun one here. One of our most recognized Ferndale Market visuals is our “turkey t-shirt.” Our staff wear them, we sell them in the market, and I’ve worn through many of them over the years. They catch your eye from a distance with a big white turkey and up close you can see the feathers make up words that describe us: free-range, raised with pride, pure, local, and so on.

I wish I could tell you this design grew out of my own marketing genius, but like most of our greatest hits, it was pure good fortune. One of our early Twin Cities turkey customers was – and remains – Chowgirls Catering. They’re an absolute leader in local, sustainable food sourcing. Back in 2012, Chowgirls sponsored an event called the MN Local Food & Beverage Poster Show, with a fun and simple premise. They paired local artists with local farmers and food makers to create one-of-a-kind art representing Minnesota’s local food scene. We were fortunate to be paired with Jason Craig, a Twin Cities artist who came to visit us on the farm.

The rest, as they say, is history! Jason created our poster that featured the iconic turkey made from words. We were so excited about the poster design that it soon became a t-shirt, then a canvas bag, and now even a can cooler. Twelve years since that poster show, the turkey image is a part of our identity. You can even see one of the original posters behind the counter at the market.

We’re grateful to the team at Chowgirls and to Jason for his enduring design. Who’d have known where we’d go when we decided to join that poster show? It’s another stroke of good fortune in the story of Ferndale Market.