The farmstand is offering locally grown, pre-cut Christmas Trees harvested a few days ago from our Christmas Tree farm in Beltchertown. These trees have a more open and casual style of branching ideal for the larger ornaments we see these days. We also offer densely-branched premium Fraiser Firs well groomed for strings of popcorn or lights or flocking if that is your style of celetration. These are trees with personality that stay fresh indoors or outdoors with sizes ranging from tabletop to 15 feet.
Liberty Family Farms offers pasture-raised turkeys for Christmas dinner. The birds roamed freely in a fenced pasture next to a small brook that wanders the property. If you stopped by the farmstand this summer, you will remember them behind the old barn where our egg-laying chickens keep them company in the next yard. Fed on healthful grains with supplemental vegetables from the farmstead at the end of the day, our turkeys have bigger weights and a better taste. No antibiotics, animal by-products, hormones or additive are used. The flock is limited in number; over half are sold already.
Order your turkey at 413-426-6636
or stop by the farmstand in Ludlow or Wilbraham.
$10 OFF CHRISTMAS TURKEY
WITH PURCHASE OF CHRISTMAS TREE
XMAS TURKEY PICK UP HOURS
1099 Center Street, Ludlow, MA
Wed 12/21 = 10am-5pm
Thu 12/22 = 10am-5pm
Fri 12/23 = 10am-5pm
SIZES AND PRICES
(15-20 lbs) = $4.50/pound
EXTRA LARGE DISPOSABLE
ALUMINIUM ROASTING PAN
no extra charge
available at pickup
$10.00 processing fee added to all sales
Call 413-426-6636 to order.
Cash only. No credit cards or checks.
Come out to the farmstand on Saturday, December 03, and support one of our local schools. Liberty Family Farms will give 20% of the purchase price for all products bought on that morning. As a Ludlow farm, we believe in supporting our community and the families that live in the Valley. Please consider buying one of our fine local trees this Saturday morning and give our kids a financial boost in the process.
Go Slow at 325°F
Turkeys over 15 lbs benefit from a slow roast technique. The heat gets inside the meat before the exterior drys out, a major holiday faux pax. Nearly all our birds run past this weight because they are well-fed, so a patient cook is rewarded with a richer flavor and juicier bites.
Schedule Half a Day or Better to Oven Time
We recommend about 12 minutes in the oven per pound of bird (about 3 to 4 hours for our small 15lbs hens and 6-7 hours for the really big 35lbs toms). Bear in mind that oven temperatures vary widely, so these time estimates are there to get you into the ball park.
Test Your Oven First
Ovens are notoriously sloppy in reporting their temperatures. Even if 350° is dead accurate (and maybe it isn't), the same oven can be off at 325°. It's best if you preheat the oven for 30 minutes with an oven-safe thermometer before you begin, especially if you don't bake that often with a cooler oven. Measure twice, bake once, as the saying goes.
A Meat Thermometer Is the Voice of Authority
For a home run, use a meat thermometer. It is the final word on whether the turkey is ready or not. Insert the probe where the meat is the thickest, the breast or the thigh, and don’t let it touch bone. Keep it in place during the whole cooking process.
When the probe reads 165°/breast or 175° thigh, take out the bird. It doesn’t matter if the bird is stuffed or not because the meat needs to cross that line. Let the turkey rest on the counter for about 30 minutes to let the flavor really develop. The internal temperature will continue to rise another 10°F; but, more importantly, the bird will re-absorbed the roasted/seasoned juices and the flavor will bloom inside the meat. For the big birds, the heat loss is slower and so is the re-absorption, so the wait is closer to 45 to 60 minutes before you carve.
The Role of Convection Heating
If you have convection heating, our birds will cook about 20% faster, but at the cost of drying out the breast. If you like to baste your bird, this isn’t a problem. You can coat the skin with butter or oil to retain some of that moisture. However, you tend to crank out dry meats, you don’t want the convection option turned on. Better to keep that moistness inside the bird and slow-cook it into tender tastiness.
Our turkeys are farm raised and run around a pasture all day, so they are leaner than commercial-farm birds. They are also minimally processed, so they don’t come back water-logged. As a result, our birds release real juices into the pan, but not with a flood of water to dilute it all. Summed and totaled, they will release less liquid that you would expect, especially if you cook the giblets separately.
The only problem would be the wing tips sticking over the pan, or a pan with a tight fit. Drippings over the edge can be stopped by placing foil or cookie sheets underneath the pan or on the rack below. The oven will smoke if oil drips down to the floor of the oven where the metal is very hot.
Really, Really Good Soup Bones
If you make soup afterwards, you will discover another great aspect of our pasture-raised turkey: high-protein, gelatin-rich stock. Soups and stews become extra silky and more nutritious with our bones as a stock base.
We roast our leftover bones for about 30 minutes at 350°, then simmer them in a slow cooker for the day. Once the bones are sieved out and the broth cools, it congeals because it is so high in gelatin. Store in the fridge until needed.
To protect the turkey skin and achieve moist breast meat, we will put an aluminum tent over the top (shiny side up) about 2/3rds through the cooking time.
Slow cooking at 325° is the best speed for large birds like ours.
An oven thermometer is the voice of authority
Cook to 165°/Breast or 175°/Thigh, then pull out for 30 minutes. Internal temperatures will rise an additional 10°
To retail moisture, turn off convection heating
1102 Center Street