CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A handful of farmers scattered across the most rural parts of West Virginia have been patiently working since early June to satisfy an increasing demand for fresh-from-the-farm turkeys just in time for Thanksgiving feasts.
Few and far between, these specialty poultry farmers take pride in providing hormone-free, free-range, organic birds fresh to the consumer.
Bluestone Mountain Farm
“People enjoy connecting with the land, and local farms are one way that’s happening,” said Rhonda Dortch, of Bluestone Mountain Farm, near Hinton. She raises a variety of poultry including ducks, chickens and, of course, turkeys on her 15-acre farm.“My birds have total freedom to forage,” said Dortch, an Animal Welfare Approved farmer.
While they eat kale, apples and pears, and graze from the fields, birds must also have grains to digest properly.
Dortch used to own and operate an educational farm in North Carolina, and she has been active locally since 2007.
While she will harvest chickens through the winter, she has pre-sold all her Thanksgiving turkeys already this season.
“I just took the order for the last of my 80 birds,” she said. “But if people want to pre-order for next year, they can give me a call,” she said. Dortch sells her broad breasted white, the most popular commercial turkey in the United States, and broad breasted bronze turkeys for $3.99 a pound.
For more information, contact Dortch at 304-466-9288 or visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BluestoneMountainFarm.