By: Kristin Evenrud, Grocery Manager and Meat Buyer
The winds of seasonal change are in the not so distant future. Writing this in August means that I am still enjoying the summer sun, but the cool nights have already made appearances in Decorah. As each day passes, the fall and winter holidays get a little closer and I get excited to see family and friends enjoying delicious meals in cozy settings.
This may seem like I am rushing things, but my mind tends to hit the holidays a little earlier than most people due to the grocery retail industry of which I am a part. Not long ago it was July, the time of Nordic Fest…and holiday turkey ordering. In fact, July is the month when the holiday pre-orders are due for the majority of the store.
So, as I prepare my orders, I remind myself that long walks in the brisk air (sometimes accompanied by snow) will unfold before I know it. Family and friends will gather in kitchens and pans will clang together as meals are prepared and ultimately shared. I love this approaching time of year.
Good food is the delicious centerpiece of most holidays celebrated by cultures around the world. We are fortunate to have access to natural and organic food at the Co-op that not only tastes great, but is also raised humanely with minimal adverse environmental impacts. Practices that preserve the sustainability of systems for generations to come.
Talking turkey in particular, we have two producers. We are also fortunate to call both of them local – within 100 miles of the Co-op – Larry Schultz Organic Farms (Owatonna, MN) and Ferndale Market (Cannon Falls, MN). Both of these multi-generational family farms have been featured at the Oneota Co-op over the years and you may have even met them at our annual “Taste the Local Harvest” events held each fall inside the Co-op.
Larry Schultz Organic farm is a small family farm which Larry and Cindy have always operated organically. They certified their land and poultry in 1998. (We also feature certified organic eggs from them in our Chill cooler). The Oneota Co-op has carried Larry Schultz Organic Farms turkey, chicken and eggs for many years. We know from experience their turkeys have thick breasts with a deep, delicious flavor. One of Larry’s partner farms is just outside of Whalan, MN and you can drive past and admire the flocks outside in mid to late summer.
Ferndale Market turkey is raised by John Peterson and his family. The farm was started 70 years ago by John’s grandparents, Fern and Dale Peterson. Their turkeys are free range during the warm months. All of their turkey is naturally processed, so there are no artificial ingredients or antibiotics. In addition, Ferndale Market is strongly committed to the sustainability movement and sell their products locally in order to connect consumers with high-quality, local agriculture.
As always, the Oneota Co-op is committed to bringing you the best turkey at a fair price – be it free-range & antibiotic-free or certified organic. Our orders have been placed, so SIGN UP EARLY (HERE) to reserve your bird and you can be assured your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals will be tasty and wholesome.