All turkeys are now sold, thanks to everyone!
Why are we raising turkeys?
The easy short answer is for great eating. The bigger picture has to do with making Peregrine Farm an even more sustainable operation. We have known for years that we could have an even healthier farm ecosystem if we could include animals in the mix.
But animals add a level of management complexity to the already very complex system that we manage, so we hesitated on making it even more difficult. We didn’t want large animals or to have to manage them year round. We wanted to be able to easily move them to different fields on the farm so that they could forage on crops and bugs and spread beneficial manure for us. So in 2003 we began raising turkeys.
What kind of turkeys do we have?
We have raised a number of different breeds over the years. With our constant search for the most flavor in the easiest to raise products we have settled on one of the “modern broad breasted breeds”, the Broad Breasted Bronze.
Many of our customers have told us that they prefer the flavor and texture of this breed. We find they forage well in the fields, are very healthy and allow us to offer a reasonably priced pasture raised bird.
Who will process the birds?
We are pleased to have the birds processed at a USDA inspected plant in Siler City, only 30 minutes from the farm. As in the past they will then be flash frozen at a state of the art freezing plant and held there until just before Thanksgiving.
Flash freezing results in excellent meat quality and allows us to process the birds early, avoiding the chaotic rush that occurs at the plant prior to the holiday when everyone is trying to have fresh birds. It is better for the birds and for us.
When and where do you pick up your turkey?
The Carrboro Farmers’ Market is having a special Tuesday afternoon (2:00-6:00 p.m., Nov. 20th) pre-Thanksgiving market. Betsy and I will be there with your reserved turkey and other Thanksgiving meal needs. It is difficult to grow vegetables to hit a specific date but we have planted beets, Brussels sprouts, celery, collards, leeks, green Boston lettuce, kale, radish, spinach and turnips.
If you want your bird held frozen for Christmas just let us know that on your reservation form and we will arrange a pick up date.
How big a bird do I need?
The Broad Breasted Bronzes will mostly run from 10 pounds to 20 pounds, with just a few under 10 pounds and some over 20 pounds.
The general rule is for birds under 10# you need about 1 pound per person. For birds over 10# you need about 3/4-1 pound person. Now if you want lots of left overs then just adjust upward.
How much do they cost?
Wow even we are shocked at how much our costs continue to go up. The Mid Western drought has driven the cost of feed up yet again, currently 7 cents a pound over last years high prices. These are not your 79 cents a pound grocery store turkeys. Due to higher production costs and the increased management involved in pasturing them around the farm the Broad Breasted Bronzes will be $5.30 per pound. A single turkey will run from about $45 to $110 depending on size.
How do I reserve one of these special birds?
Just fill out the 2012 order form and return it to us with your $20 refundable deposit (cash or check), either at the Saturday market or by mail. We will confirm by email (preferred) or regular mail (only if you don’t have email) receipt of your deposit and availability. There are only about 70 birds available this season so get your reservations in early!
A word about the confirmation process
We wait to send out confirmations until after processing because until then we are just estimating the number of birds available and their weights. This is a fluid process in real time.
This year the birds go in for processing on October 1st. A few days later we pick them up, inventory them as to size and then take them down to the freezer plant where they will remain until about November 16th. Once we have them inventoried and know exactly how many we have and of what sizes, we will then send a confirmation email.
In years past we have been able to match up your requests nearly 100% of the time with the sizes we ended up with, almost everyone gets their first request.
This is all part of the adventure of real food, sometimes we don’t get exactly what we think we want but in the end it all tastes great!