On Thanksgiving Day, families across the United States will gather their loved ones together for a meal focusing on gratitude and togetherness. By feasting and celebrating in abundance, we nourish the bodies and minds of those dear to us. It can also offer us an opportunity to extend that care and gratitude beyond those seated around the table. We can also give our attention to the plants and animals that create our holiday spread, the farmers that raise them, and the stores that partner with those farms.
So this year, as you reach into the grocery freezer to carefully select your holiday bird, perhaps consider who raised this bird and what kind of conditions it was raised in. By sourcing a turkey from an independent family farm, you give the farmer the power to decide how to raise their animals while having the freedom to pay themselves a wage that keeps sustainable agriculture alive and well.
If you live in the Midwest, and are looking for a turkey that was sustainably raised by independent farmers, Ferndale Market is a great choice. It is a third generation family farm in Cannon Falls, MN that raises their turkeys on fresh pasture and without ever using antibiotics or growth promotants.
“Chefs tell us all the time that the color is so rich, particularly the dark meat, because those birds are getting such muscle movement,” John Peterson, the third generation turkey farmer and owner of Ferndale Market, explains. When his birds are mature enough, John rotates them on acres of fresh grass each week, a practice that exceeds even organic standards for outdoor access.
A smaller scale farm, like Ferndale Market, also means a fresher bird because they grow the flock destined to be their Thanksgiving turkeys special for the holiday. Large turkey producers stockpile frozen turkeys throughout the year, from hundreds of different farms, to ensure they can meet holiday demands, meaning you could be getting a holiday turkey that was frozen last January.
Ferndale Market also offers the rare opportunity to get a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving. These turkeys arrive at stores just days before the holiday and have never been frozen.
If a Ferndale Market turkey sounds like a good fit for your Thanksgiving, visit their on-farm grocery in Cannon Falls, MN, or stop by one of the many natural food stores that carry Ferndale Market turkeys. To find a location carrying their turkey near you, click here and use the LOCATOR button in the top menu bar.
If knowing where your food comes from and how it was raised is important to you, seek to source directly from your farmer. It is a great way to give thanks for the bounty on our table this holiday season.