Meet Your Turkey Farmers: Howe Turkey Farm

Nathan and Julie Howe bought The Howe Farm (previously known as Little Washington Farm) in 2008. Prior to the Howe's, Bill Balderson bought the farm in 1973 and established the turkey business. He offered to sell the farm to Lamar Howe, Nathan's father in 1988. When Lamar passed away in 1999, Mary, Nathan's mother, continued to raise turkeys until 2007 when she expressed interest in selling the farm. Nathan and his wife, Julie, felt the need to continue the family business and made settlement in July 2008, changing the name to The Howe Farm. The Howe's are currently raising around 4,500 fresh, all natural turkeys a year. They arrive as one day old poults in the beginning of July and are with them until the week of Thanksgiving, with the exception of a few hundred, who make it until the week of Christmas!

Julie and the children feed the turkeys a vegetarian diet, 3 times a day and take care of day to day operations on the farm, while Nathan works in construction during the work week.

“Our favorite time of the year is “turkey time,” says the Howe's. Nathan take a few weeks “off” in November to oversee the processing production, which begins the Friday before Thanksgiving every year. With lots of help from faithful friends and family, the Howe's can process the birds within three to four days, leaving the week of Thanksgiving for delivery to of their wholesale customers.

Read more about their farm in the 2014 fall issue of Edible Philly.