It’s almost Thanksgiving–for which two boys in our house are giving thanks! Joe and Keith have raised about 30 turkeys this year. They’ve realized the jump from 15 to 30 is a significant one. It’s been a good summer with the turkeys, but they are ready to process the birds on Monday.
The turkeys have not had medicated feed and have been raised on pasture. What does “on pasture” mean? It means they were raised from about 10-12 weeks of age till now in a large field where they roamed freely, ate grass and bugs, soaked in the sun, and roosted on Mark’s farm implements. The last one wasn’t so good, but all the rest mean that the turkeys are well mineralized and vitaminized–especially vitamins D and E. That translates to lots of flavor. Being raised outside means the birds will have a nice firm texture even though they are young enough to be tender.
We plan to process them on Monday, meaning that on Monday evening until Wednesday evening, you can come by and pick out the one that looks good to you. They will be as fresh as possible for the holiday on Thursday. Of course, if you won’t use it for Thanksgiving it can be frozen for a future occasion. Turkey is one of my favorite meats, so the boys raised five for me this year (this post is part of my contribution) and I’m looking forward to turkey a few times this year!
We are busy this weekend processing for other people. We are doing quite a few turkeys that folks raised themselves. Every fowl has its own peculiarities, but it sure is a great way to put meat on the table. There is a youtube video going around of some Butterball turkeys being handled. Mark said it was pretty bad, I declined to watch. It merely reinforced to me that you want to know where your body’s nourishment comes from, who raised and handled it, and what kind of care was taken in producing your sustenance. “Who’s your farmer?” is the latest mantra. It’s a good thing for the health of the food, the farmer, the consumer, and the environment when everyone has met and faces and names are familiar. I love having a face and name to pack meat for and take pleasure in tailoring certain details to that individual or family. Cutting chickens is not fun; serving people is. I make sure the animals are healthy and the meat is handled well because I know the people who will be nourished by it. That is food security and is why small farms rarely, if never, have food recalls. That’s my soapbox tonight: raise it yourself or know the folks who do.
If you still want a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, we have a few left. Please e-mail or call (231-85-0293) as soon as possible. We will be going to Traverse City and to Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo this week and can arrange a meeting.
Have a great day of thanks!