The Franklin Farmers Market hosted our inaugural Pardoning of the Turkey event this past Saturday, sponsored by Herban Market. Kids and parents alike arrived in eager pursuit to get a chance at taking a picture with the star of the show, Danny the Turkey of our very own Earth Advocates research farm. Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson conducted the official pardoning of Danny, and Charlie Hatcher of Hatcher Family Dairy served as master of ceremonies. Farmer Teresa Thoni of Kirkview Farm recited a special Thanksgiving poem and market manager Deb Grant read letters written by our local school children asking commissioner Johnson to pardon our beloved turkey.
The morning kicked-off with crisp blue skies and an extra-busy market! Moms and dads shopped for fresh local produce for their Thanksgiving meals and kids colored pictures at the art tents. Lots of freshly-baked muffins, biscuits, and doughnuts prepared by our bakers were gobbled-down all morning, and the spirit of giving thanks was in our shoppers hearts on their faces.
The star of the show was inarguably the majestic heritage-breed gobbler, Danny the Turkey. Danny belongs to Adam and Sue Turtle of Earth Advocates Research Farm, and without their participation, this event could not have been possible. Adam and Sue have been vendors at our farmers’ market for many years, and we are extremely grateful for them, and for bringing Danny, who sparked much interest among our market shoppers.
This was really good for the kids, but also for the adults, too” Sue remarked about the event. “The kids were all very gentle, and many of the adults said they had never been this close to a turkey before.”
Families gathered around Danny to stroke his feathers and ask questions. Kids climbed hay bales to sit beside the bird as mom and dad took photos with cell phones. We even spotted a few turkey-selfies that day at the market!
We were also extremely honored to include our local elementary school children in this Thanksgiving event. The students wrote letters to commissioner Johnson prior to the day of the market and asked him to please, please, please pardon Danny. Coloring sheets with space for writing requests were passed-out at the schools and were also available at the market for children to color and compose a short letter. Market manager Deb Grant read a few selected letters aloud during the Pardoning of the Turkey ceremony. “It was wonderful to receive such heartfelt letters written by our school children,” Deb said. “The letters touched my heart.”
“This was a wonderful event that sparked a lot of interest in our school children, ” Charlie Hatcher said. “It was a great opportunity for the Franklin Farmers Market to connect both kids and adults with agriculture.”