DEWEY, Ariz. – With Thanksgiving one week away, 12 News headed to a local farm to compare its turkeys to those sold at grocery stores.
The co-owner of Mortimer Farms, Sharla Mortimer, said this year’s flock of 600 turkeys is their largest so far.
“We’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving for a very long time here at the farm,” Mortimer said.
Raising the turkeys takes six months with around-the-clock care critical for these poults to become the centerpiece of a holiday feast. Mortimer admitted all the extra work makes this farm-fresh main course a little pricier than its grocery store counterpart.
“We sell our turkeys for $3.99 a pound,” Mortimer said, adding that grocery stores normally sell their turkeys, “for as cheap as 69 or 49 cents a pound … people that have had our turkeys before recognize the difference.”
Mortimer said her cage-free toms and hens roam around, “eating lots of good food and also have lots of clean fresh water and great country air to breathe.”
Mortimer told 12 News all the TLC makes for a juicier bird.
“They’re more moist when they’re fresh and never been frozen before,” Mortimer said.
Not all were quite sold on the holiday tradition Tuesday.
Salvatore Candeloro of Phoenix was visiting the farm with a friend. The two didn’t agree on whether to buy a turkey.
“I don’t think we should get a turkey this year,” Candeloro told his friend, adding, “I just don’t feel like being traditional.”
Regardless, the Phoenician does buy into farm-fresh.
“I mean you can’t get a better bird than from a farm. They’re raising it, they’ll tell you how they feed. It’s pure honesty,” Candeloro said.
The truth is, according to Mortimer, the most important difference is making memories with friends and family while connecting with the farmers who raise your turkey on a day out in the country.
“I think it’s just a fun experience,” Mortimer said.
Anyone interested in putting one of these birds on their holiday table can still get one. Pickups begin Saturday. To order, customers can call 928-830-1116, click here or head straight to the farm at 12907 E. State Route 169. Mortimer said they can already take orders for next year.
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