Have you pre-ordered your Thanksgiving turkey from Ferndale Market yet? We spent some time talking with John Peterson, third-generation farmer and General Manager of Ferndale Market for our latest local producer interview. Read on to learn more about why their turkeys are so special!
How did Ferndale Market get started?
My grandfather Dale Peterson started our farm in 1939. He had studied poultry science in college and selected our land in the Little Cannon River Valley because it was well suited for raising turkeys outdoors. Shortly after, he married my grandmother, Fern.
Our farm is now managed by our second and third generations. My dad and mom, Dick and Jane, returned to the farm in the 1970s. In 2008, I returned with my wife, Erica, and we began direct marketing our turkey under the Ferndale Market label, to recognize my grandparents.
What items do you regularly supply to the St. Peter Food Co-op?
- Ground Turkey & Ground Turkey Breast
- Pepperjack & Cranberry Turkey Sticks
- Turkey Wieners
- Smoked Turkey Drumsticks & Breast
- At Thanksgiving, St. Peter Food Co-op also carries our whole turkeys (fresh and frozen) and smoked turkeys
What is special or unique about your turkeys?
Although our farm has now been around for over 80 years, our farming practices have remained the same. We continue to raise our turkeys free range, giving them plenty of room to roam outdoors. During the summer months, our birds live completely on pasture and are rotated to fresh grass weekly.
We also raise our turkeys without antibiotics or growth promotants. We take pride in creating an environment that maintains health without medications.
Why is local important to Ferndale Market?
We believe deeply in the strength and vitality that local businesses bring to a community, and we are proud to be part of that mix. We raise our turkeys, employ our staff, buy all of our supplies, and sell our finished products here. We also do all of our turkey processing and smoking at independent, Minnesota facilities.
The economic benefits multiply for all of us when we support local. Now more than ever, it’s important for consumers to support the farms and producers they value.
Can you share a favorite Thanksgiving recipe with us?
One of our favorite roasted turkey recipes comes from our friend, Chef Donald Selmer. It combines butter, fresh herbs, and lemon zest for a moist and flavorful bird. You can find the recipe on our website: Butter & Herb Roasted Turkey
Find Ferndale Market online, on Facebook, on Instagram, and at the St. Peter Food Co-op (pre-order your turkey before 9pm on November 18).
All photos courtesy of Ferndale Market.