Talking Turkey Again

"Can they guess I reheated this from last night?"

A couple weeks ago I posted on my Skagit River Ranch turkey and how my goal was to wrangle thirteen meals out of one bird. I'm happy to report that we're through ten meals, and I still have six cups of shredded, cooked meat in the freezer and two quarts of turkey broth. Meals #9 and #10 were actually the same batch of Turkey-Tortilla Soup--the first time around it fed me and my three children, and the second time it was the four of us and another family of a mom and three kids. She supplied the rolls and salad, and we were off to the races again!

(Which reminds me of another Thrifty Organic Tip: eating in community makes the most of individual surpluses and shortages. Seriously--we still have nine butternut squash in the pantry that my husband grew last summer. Anytime we're invited to a potluck, I immediately volunteer to bring the vegetable side.)

While I was placing my monthly Bellevue Buyers Club order from Skagit, I happened to notice a turkey article of their own, featured in Edible Seattle. It's worth reading in its entirety, but several points particularly struck me:

  • Skagit raises the same "Broad-Brested White" variety as conventional turkey farmers because of the American fondness for white meat. However, The Vojkoviches' turkeys roam pastures freely during the day and roost at night in a giant, mobile turkey house.
  • "The birds’ diet is a combination of foraged bugs and decaying plant matter (up to 30% of their total diet), native grasses such as clovers, fescue, and rye, and a supplementation of organic grains like camelina (an ancient Egyptian grain high in Omega-3’s) as well as spelt, emmer, and wheat, all milled on the ranch."
  • Skagit uses no antibiotics or growth promotants, and their turkeys take six months to reach slaughter size. Compare that to 14 weeks (female) or 18 weeks (toms) in the general industry.
  • Skagit processes all birds on site in their WSDA certified-organic facility, avoiding contamination from shared processing facilities. (Check this article for cross-contamination from shared facilities.)

If you're thinking of joining me in a Lucky Thirteen challenge next year, be sure to reserve your turkey when the Market opens in May. They do sell out!

And speaking of the Market opening, the dates have been set and the countdown officially begun. How easy it is, on a sunny day, to imagine Market season is just around the corner!

2012 Opening Days
Thursday Market opens on May 10th at 3 pm
Saturday Market opens on June 2nd at 10 am