Gobble up locally raised turkey for Thanksgiving
Gobble up locally raised turkey for Thanksgiving
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- If you want a locally raised turkey for Thanksgiving, consider this week the last call for ordering. Several Northeast Ohio farms and food-buying clubs will be delivering over the weekend. Check our updated list below.
Buying a local bird at around $4 a pound is expensive when supermarkets are practically giving mass-produced turkeys away at 99 cents a pound or less. But you get what you pay for: More flavor, for one thing. These birds have had greater access to the outdoors, eaten more expensive, specialized feed, and were raised at small-scale farms. Buying a local bird also means investing in the local food economy from the ground up.
Trevor Clatterbuck raises turkeys at his farm in Holmes County, selling them through his buying club, Fresh Fork Market, and his store, Ohio City Provisions in Cleveland. He sent along a note this year about the process, an eye-opener. Only a minority of poultry farmers raise their birds from eggs, instead of relying on hatchling suppliers.
He breeds his own heritage birds, which means maintaining a flock of 5 toms (males) and 75 hens them all year.
He adjusts lighting to stimulate the birds’ hormone production, keeps eggs warm and humid in incubation, and continues to provide warmth for the chicks until they are ready to move outside.
“There, they scratch at the ground to dig up bugs and eat the fresh grass of summer. By Thanksgiving, they will be approximately 28 weeks old. The male heritage turkey, will grow as large as the commercial, broad breasted white. It just takes about 12 weeks longer.”
Truly fresh, never-frozen turkeys are leaner and cook faster. Some local farms, however, may freeze their turkeys to keep up with production. Be sure to ask about what you’re buying.
To assure the best results, rely on cooking instructions from the farmer who sells you the bird. ¶
Here are a few places to buy a local bird. For a longer list, check localharvest.org.
Bindel Farms: Jason Bindel’s pasture-raised Broad-Breasted Bronze turkeys, grown without antibiotics or hormones, on grass, clover and alfalfa plus non-GMO feed; $3.75 a pound. Find the farm at 6736 River Corners Road, Spencer (Medina County); or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, 330-648-2310, 440-570-8349 or bindelfarms.com.
Brunty Farms: Jeff and Melanie Brunty run farms in Bath Township and Ashland and Medina counties, as well as a retail shop called The Farmer’s Rail, 1572 North Cleveland Massillon Road, Akron, 44333. They offer fresh, never frozen whole turkeys from 8 to 30 pounds at $4.95 a pound, in addition to turkey breasts and specific cuts at varying prices; http://www.bruntyfarms.com/holidayorderform; 330-594-7315. Pickup at the store.
Front 9 Farm: Pastured Broad-Breasted Bronzes, non-GMO feed (including some of the farm’s kale), $4.50 per pound. Pickup is Saturday, Nov. 17, at the farm, 8421 Richman Road, Lodi, 44254, 330-388-6070, front9farm.com.
H&H Farm: Broad-breasted, pasture-raised turkeys, $4 a pound, 15 pounds and up. Pick-up at the farm Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Deposit of $20 to hold reservation. 4162 Wadsworth Road, Norton; 330-334-1325; Facebook.com/handhfarm; email@example.com.
Miller Grassfed: Pasture raised, non-GMO feed, Broad-Breasted Whites, $4.75 a pound. Email for info, order form at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pick up at the farm, 9590 Kinsman-Pymatuning Road, Kinsman; 330-876-5655; millergrassfed.com.
Plum Creek Farm: Free-range, non-GMO fed, antibiotic and hormone-free turkeys, $4.25 a pound. Selection of Bourbon Reds, Blue Slates, Narragansetts and Broad-Breasted Bronzes. 66 Station Road, Valley City; email@example.com; 330-483-0222; plumcreekfarmohio.com.
Premium Pastured Meats: Broad-Breasted Whites raised by Seth and Jessica Sharp, whose turkeys get 40 percent of their diet foraged on pasture, plus a custom non-GMO feed including sprouted grains, $4 per pound. Call the Alliance farm at 330-240-0663. Pickup location at Beachwood Mall, front of Nordstrom entrance, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 4-7 p.m.
Premium Pastures: (Formerly Spring Bud Acres) Pasture-raised Broad-Breasted Whites (plus pork, chickens and ducks) without antibiotics, fed locally grown, non-GMO feed, $3.75 a pound. Farm run by Colin Brown. 6556 Congress Road, Spencer Township; firstname.lastname@example.org; 330-242-1242; Instagram: Premium_Pastures.
Tea Hills Farms: Pastured American Broad-Breasted Whites, $4.50 per pound; Heritage Cross Broad-Breasted Bronze, $5 per pound; Heritage Blue Slate or Bourbon Red, $7 per pound. Pickups in Ashland, Chagrin Falls (Farmers Market), Cleveland (North Union’s Shaker Square Farmers Market), Peninsula, Westlake, Dayton. 269 Township Road 2450, Loudonville; 419-685-1689; teahillsfarms.com.
Tim’s Turkeys: Pasture-raised Broad-Breasted Bronzes $4.50 per pound, plus a waiting list for Bourbon Reds, $6.50 a pound. Pick up at Tim Stein’s farm, 3600 Allard Road, Medina, 44256. Call 330-606-3799 or go to timsturkeys.com. Cash or check only.
Voytko Farms: Broad-Breasted Bronzes, Broad-Breasted Whites, Narragansetts, $4 a pound. Pastured, non-GMO fed, frozen. Pick-up at the farm, 11391 Franks Road, Auburn Township, 44023. Call 330-221-4571 or email email@example.com.
Buying services, retail
Fresh Fork Market: Broad-Breasted Whites and Broad-Breasted Bronzes at $4 a pound; American Bronze Standard Heritage Breed, $5 a pound. All turkeys are pasture-raised, hormone and antibiotic free, and fed non-GMO grains. Full meal packages available. Fresh Fork is a Cleveland-based local food-buying club, with pickup sites across Northeast Ohio. Go to freshforkmarket.com or call 1-800-861-8582.
Ohio City Provisions: Pasture-raised hormone and antibiotic free, and fed non-GMO grains. Fresh turkeys, $4 a pound; heritage breed (American Bronze Standard), $5 a pound, brined or spatchcocked (flattened) turkeys, $4.75 a pound; several cooked variations, including broth and gravy, available at the store. 3208 Lorain Ave., Cleveland; 216-465-2762; ohiocityprovisions.com.