White Earth Land Recovery Project

Heritage Turkeys

Heritage Turkeys are here! The White Earth Land Recovery Project has teamed up with local organic farmers Curt and Darlene Ballard to raise varieties of traditional turkeys. Almost all of the turkeys available in grocery stores today are test tube turkeys floating in a shallow gene pool. For fifty years the improved, broad breasted bronze has been the standard. What this means, is that a turkey gets fat so quickly, it can’t even mate naturally, but must be reproduced artificially. We then baste and brine what remains of those poor birds after slaughter, but the joy of eating turkey wasn’t always in the dressing. Generations ago, raising turkeys was a serious business. As with corn, there were different turkeys in different regions, each with its own unique taste, texture and colorful feathers. This past spring, (2004) we began raising twenty Bourbon Red Turkeys, some of which will be available for order this coming winter. We are hoping to begin breeding the birds, and expanding the farming operations of these traditional turkeys.

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