Can you believe Thanksgiving is just 35 days away?! To help you get excited for the big feast, we’ll be profiling some of our Thanksgiving vendors here on the blog over the next few weeks. First up: The Howe Turkey Farm in Downingtown, PA.
This 10-acre turkey farm has been in the Howe family for two generations, since Lamar Howe bought it back in 1988. Today, Lamar’s son Nate owns and operates the business, along with his wife Laurie and their five children. From their first deliveries of one-day-old turkey poults in the beginning of July, to Thanksgiving week, when the plump, fully grown birds are processed on-site, every member of the Howe family pitches in to ensure that each turkey they sell is of the highest quality.
All Howe turkeys—around 4,200 this year—are raised in two large barns on the homestead, where they are fed a 100-percent natural, vegetarian diet and treated periodically with probiotics (instead of antibiotics) to keep them healthy. But the Howes’ humane agricultural practices don’t end there. Slaughtering the birds by hand in their own on-site, USDA-inspected processing facility (rather than shipping them off in a truck to a larger slaughterhouse), results in a much less stressful experience for the turkeys in the end.
Plus—as though you needed another reason to love this family and their farm—for the second year in a row, the Howes are donating 10 turkeys to be raffled off to participants of Fair Food’s Double Dollars program for Thanksgiving. “We wanted to make these turkeys available [as a donation] out of gratitude for our relationship with Fair Food,” says Nate Howe.
Location: Downingtown, PA
Farmers: Nate and Julie Howe, plus children Emilie, Andrew, Jeremiah, Aubrey, and Mallory
Main product(s): Fresh, never frozen Broad-Breasted White turkeys
Agricultural practices: The turkeys are raised naturally in two large barns on the Howe homestead without the assistance of hormones or antibiotics. They are fed a completely vegetarian diet and treated periodically with probiotics to keep them healthy, and they are processed by hand in an on-site, USDA-inspected facility.