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Farm Fresh Turkey

Take Your Thanksgiving Meal to the Next Level + Support Local Farms with Fresh Turkey

The star of many holiday meals is undoubtedly the turkey. Rich in essential vitamins, minerals and protein, it’s a wholesome part of dinner. This Thanksgiving season we’re highlighting southwest Ohio farms offering fresh turkeys for your big meal. 

The most significant taste differences between fresh and frozen turkeys are texture and moisture. Freezing causes ice crystals to form around the muscles which makes the meat chewier and drier. Fresh turkeys may have slightly different flavors due to a natural diet and are more tender and juicy. 

“A fresh turkey tends to hold moisture better, cook up faster and is more flavorful. A fresh, local turkey has been raised and cared for by a member of your community. When you support your local farmers, you are supporting your community,” says Dogwood Farm’s Samantha Steiner. 

Experts recommend planning for 1.5 lbs per person, which allows for leftovers. Fresh turkey should be stored in the refrigerator and cooked within a few days. 

“Purchasing fresh saves the hassle of days of thawing, still being frozen because you forgot to thaw or going bad because the turkey was thawed too early,” explains Kevin Koch of Valley View Turkey Farm.   

There are many ways to prepare a holiday bird. A few of the classic methods include deep frying, smoking, oven roasting, grilling and brining. Steiner and Koch prefer oven-roasting their turkeys. Cooking the breast down allows more moisture to stay in the breast meat while cooking the breast up results in crispier skin and a more rounded presentation. 

Dogwood Farm 

Steiner raises broad-breasted white turkeys in addition to grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and pork, farm-fresh eggs and raw honey. Turkeys are pasture-raised from hatch to full-grown and are processed the weekend before Thanksgiving, guaranteeing they are fresh and never frozen. Dogwood Farm turkeys can be preordered on a first-come, first-served basis, online or in person. Pickup is on 11/19. Deposit: $40 per turkey. Price: $4.75 per pound. Average weight: 16-23+ lbs.  

10993 Grog Run Road, Loveland | DogwoodFarmLLC.org 

Valley View Turkey Farm 

Valley View Turkey Farm is run by the third generation of the Koch family, now in their 85th season. Raising a new flock of turkeys annually, they offer whole and half turkeys, turkey breasts, wings, leg/thigh packs, giblet packs and ribs (used for soups and grilling). Turkeys are free-range and provided natural poultry feed with no added antibiotics, animal proteins or hormones. Pickup begins 11/16. Check the website for prices and availability. Average weight: 14-35+ lbs.   

4900 Yankee Road, Middletown | ValleyViewTurkeyFarm.com

Saylor Pastures 

While Saylor Pastures is primarily a chicken and egg farm, they do offer a limited selection of fresh, pasture-raised Thanksgiving turkeys. Their turkeys are raised outdoors which provides a diet enriched by grasses, fresh air, adequate exercise and sunlight. Their white feathered turkeys are supplemented with organic grains, resulting in moist, flavorful birds. Turkeys are ready by 11/20. Deposit: $40 per turkey. Price: $4.50 per pound. Average weight: 18-20 lbs.

 7191 Starkey Road, Pleasant Plain | SaylorPastures.com

Gorman Heritage Farm 

Turkeys raised on Gorman Heritage Farm pastures eat seeds, bugs and weeds while enjoying warm sunshine. Their diet is supplemented with non-GMO feed, if needed, to support growth and optimal health. Reserve your turkey in advance as they sell out every year! Pickup is 11/20 after 6 p.m. Deposit: $50 per turkey. Price: $5.50 per pound - pay remainder upon pick-up. Average weight:15-23 lbs.

10052 Reading Road, Cincinnati | GormanFarm.org

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