I’m not going to chide you for this one. Terry and I never buy a frozen turkey. First, we have no place to store it (I really need to upgrade our refrigerator…) and second, we’re impatient, and don’t want to risk having a partially unthawed turkey to put in the smoker.
There’s one other benefit: freshness. The turkey we will eat on Thursday is probably still poking its beak around Tewes Farm today, where we’re picking it up tomorrow. It won’t be pumped up with weird chemicals (Butterball, I’m looking at you) or all sorts of other nasty things you can read more about in Eating Animals or watch in Food, Inc. Family farmers are some of the best places to get your meat– I plan on picking up a couple of chickens while I’m there as well. At $2.25 a pound with no weird additives (and better living– and butchering– conditions) it’s worth it. If you want to read more about Tewes, here’s a great article from Cincinnati Magazine a couple of years ago. They’re not heritage turkeys, but they’re local.
Other family farm options:
Stehlin’s Meat Market, a Colerain staple, has 17-18 pound fresh turkeys available for $2.39 a pound.
Bowman-Landes, near Dayton, has free-range turkeys in the 15-18 pound range still available for $2.79 a pound. No online orders– you’ll have to call ahead. 937-845-9466
Luken’s Fish, Poultry and Seafood, in Findlay Market, has fresh turkeys for $1.59 a pound (though I’m not sure where they get them). I’ve bought poultry from them many times before and have always found their product to be good. (Thanks to commenter Rick for the tip!)
And a chain store, which has some local offerings:
Whole Foods in Hyde Park has free range turkeys for $2.49 a pound and organic for $3.49 a pound. Some of these are local.
Green Acres, which often has turkeys, currently has a long waiting list. Give them a call if you want to get on it, but at this point they cannot guarantee you a turkey (I called and asked).