Where to Order a Local Turkey for Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving 1952, from the AADL Image Gallery

Yet another chance to appreciate and take advantage of the bounteousness (bounteousity?)  of our great state, and lovely Washtenaw County in particular. People are looking for pasture-raised turkeys this year! No need for a frozen brine and preservative injected factory farmed turkey fed hormones, steroids and antibiotics  - lots of people on family farms in our area are still raising and selling healthy free-range turkeys! Eat them to save them, heritage or not. 

Rockin H Horse Farm in Manchester
Lauri says her turkeys eat "feed custom ground using an organic base I purchased from Murray McMurray hatchery." These organically raised Broad-breasted whites will be $3.85 a pound, for a 10-20 pound bird. Email Lauri at: rockinhhorseplace@yahoo.com  Pick up after November 21.

Dawn Farm Turkeys  in Ypsilanti
"Fresh, local, humanely raised turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner. We are now taking orders for holiday turkeys raised right here on Dawn Farm.  Call Ashley at 734-485-8725 to order, and your turkey will be ready for pickup from the Farm on Monday, November 24. Turkeys are $36 each again this year. It's so easy!"

Dawn Farm
6633 Stony Creek Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Ernst Farm Turkeys in Ann Arbor
The Ernst family farm has fresh turkeys on offer. They are Broad-breasted Whites and will be in the range of 18-25 lbs. dressed.  They are free-range and fed with grain the Ernsts have grown on their Ann Arbor area farm. The fresh birds can be picked up at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving from 7am - 12pm. Or, they can be picked up at the Ernst Farm at 9440 Spies Rd. west of Ann Arbor that afternoon, by prior arrangement. They are $2.25/lb. To order, call  Ernst Farm at 734.662.8085.

Fletcher Farm Turkeys in Ann Arbor
Bob and Carol Fletcher of Ann Arbor will have Broad-breasted White turkeys from about 18-30 pounds each. These birds are free-range and Bob said they were fed grain and vitamins, no antibiotics, no steroids.  They will arrive frozen. Pick up (and can also order) at 1331 S. Zeeb Rd. (take Liberty west to Zeeb, turn left,  second house on left side.) Order at least 2-3 days before Thanksgiving. Price will be around $3.25/lb.  Contact Bob Fletcher: 734.663.8649.

Aric VanNatter Turkeys in Dexter 
Aric has heritage Naragansett turkeys. They are fed natural soy, corn, oats, minerals, and fish meal for protein. They are outside on pasture and moved around every week. Aric  grows about 25 turkeys that he processes himself on his farm. They are $5/lb. and will be around 15-16 lbs. dressed. There will also be some smaller ones. Order now by calling: 426-7932  OR email - ajvann@sbcglobal.net

Aric will give a call the week before Thanksgiving about when to pick up the fresh birds. Turkeys will be ready for pickup Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving  at 6359 Joy Rd., in Dexter between Zeeb and Mast Rds.

You can also find Aric at the Dexter Farmer's Market. He will have fresh chickens in the spring, but has  frozen ones now. They are $2.25/lb. and approximately 4 and a half pounds. He will have fresh eggs again in a month.

Our Family Farm Turkeys and Roasting Chickens in Manchester
Our Family Farm of Manchester will have Broad-breasted White, free-range turkeys for Thanksgiving, between 18-25 pounds, and also roasting chickens from 4-6 pounds. Farmer John said the turkeys will be $40 each and the chickens around $14 each. Call John Hochstetler at: 734-428-9100 or email: ourfamilyfarm@sbcglobal.net

"John Harnois in Webster Township has 25 heritage Narragansetts available this year and approximately 100 pasture-raised Broad-breasted White turkeys. The Narragansetts (heritage) are $10/lb and the Broad-breasted White turkeys are $4/lb.  Production Method: 100% Vegetarian Feed, Cage Free, Grass-fed, Grain supplemented, Heritage, No Added Hormones, No Antibiotic Use, Pasture-raised.

To order your turkey from John, email: harnoishappyhens@gmail.com  or call John at:   734.645.0300

Send your name, address, phone number and whether you'd prefer a heritage or conventional bird. Also indicate whether  you'd like a small (8-12lb.) or large (13-18lb.) bird. Size is not guaranteed, but John will accommodate as best he can.  The turkeys will be available for pick-up the weekend before Thanksgiving."

People's Food Co-op in Ann Arbor
The PFC in Ann Arbor will have organic turkeys available from Indiana, Michigan, and New York.  Regular Broad-breasted Whites will be $ 2.89/lb. from Plainville, Indiana, and  $2.19/lb. for Peacock turkeys from Marhsall Johnson farm in Michigan. They will also be selling heritage turkeys for $6.29/lb. from New York. Phone the People's Food Co-op for more information: 994.9174

A friend who spent last Thanksgiving at a cabin on Lake Michigan ordered the take-out holiday dinner from the Henry Ford last year and said it was simply scrumptious, well-packed, and an incredible amount of food. They also do the same dinner for Christmas. The price for servings for 8 people is $280.  Here's what they say:

"Here at The Henry Ford, we’ve spent years developing a network of local farmers to supply first-rate, historically accurate ingredients so we could develop a menu of American classics. Now, we want you to take some of that home with you.

Oven-Ready Meals, we call them. We do the preparation. We do the cooking. You heat it up at home. The Wood-Roasted Turkey Dinner is just one example. The centerpiece is a plump, wood-roasted whole turkey pasture-raised for us on a small farm in nearby Washtenaw County, Michigan.

Here's what is included:

  • Wood-roasted Local Free Range Turkey
  • Giblet gravy
  • Caramelized Onion Cranberry Relish
  • Hard Squash Streusel
  • Chestnut Sausage Dressing
  • Leek and Potato Gratin
  • Braised Cabbage in Red Wine Jelly
  • Bread Bowl
  • Vanilla Sauce
  • Dried Fruit Bread Pudding

Dinner package available for pickup only November 23-26 (reserve by November 19) and December 21-24 (reserve by December 17).

ONLY AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP AT HENRY FORD MUSEUM. Call 800.343.1929 to reserve your holiday dinner today. Serving dishes and utensils shown not included. Beverages not included."

From the Library's Ann Arbor Cooks collection
The 1899 Ann Arbor Cook Book offers this suggestion for making a roast turkey:
											Young hen turkeys weighing from 7 to 10 lbs. are the best for roasting. Stuff the breast and body with dressing prepared as follows: Season according to taste a quantity of fine stale bread crumbs with salt, pepper, summer savory and sage, then pour 1/2 or 2/3 of a cup of boiling water on a large lump of butter and moisten the crumbs with the melted butter and water.
											The dressing should be moist, not wet. Fill the breast and put the remainder of the stuffing in the body. Truss the turkey by fastening the legs and wings securely to the sides with skewers and with string across the back from the skewers. Now dredge well with salt. Take soft butter in the hand and rub it thickly over the turkey; then dredge thickly with flour. Dredge the bottom of the roasting pan with flour, place a meat rack in the pan and lay the turkey on its side in the rack. Put the turkey into a hot oven and when the flour is brown put in hot water enough to cover the bottom of the pan. When one side of the turkey is nicely browned, turn it and brown the other side; then place it on its back. Baste it every 15 minutes with the water in the pan, renewing the water as it cooks away, and dredge with salt, pepper and flour. The last basting should be with soft butter. Allow 1 3/4 hours for a turkey of 8 pounds, and 10 minutes for each additional pound. For the gravy, the liver should be boiled until thoroughly cooked. After removing the turkey from the roasting pan, place the pan on the stove, and add to its contents 1 cupful of water, or more if necessary. Stir it well, scraping everything from the bottom and sides of the pan. Let it boil up once, and if it is not thick enough mix a little, flour with a little cold water, and stir it into the pan as it boils. Then strain it, mash the liver very fine and add to the strained gravy.
Mrs. F. W. Kelsey.

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