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Oct 14, 2008 08:53 PM

SLO county - Help Me Find a Yummy, Fresh, Organic Turkey

Hey everyone,

You've been so helpful in finding good eats around the area, thought you'd be the best to ask about great Turkeys.

I need to order a fresh, organic, free range Turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Any local farms, stores and brands you recommend?



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  1. Arroyo Grande Meat Co in the Village sells Deistal turkeys from northern CA. Deistal runs an "organic style" program but is not Certified Organic. Pre-order is recommended.

    AG Meat Co. will also be carrying Turducken.

    And they do custom fresh-smoking (non-injected) on their own or customer-supplied birds over 14#. They also sells geese, duck, and other poultry. They have specialty sausages for stuffings, treats, etc. Cranberry sausage anyone?

    If you haven't been to their shop yet, it's worth a stop. 'Custom meats' means old-time meat cutting skills and attention to details that are fast dissappearing from grocery store meat departments. These people are old-school and have wonderful meats. Their aged steaks are a revelation after supermarket meats.


    Arroyo Grande Meat Co.
    118 E Branch St
    Arroyo Grande, CA


    Spencer's also carries Deistal, you must pre-order.

    New Frontiers in SLO carries them, pehaps other brands as well. Not familiar.

    1 Reply
    1. re: toodie jane

      OK, I called AG Meats and New Frontiers....sounds like Diestel's Heidi Hens will be at AG Meats and New Frontiers. New Frontiers will also have Mary's Organic Turkeys.

      Just found out all these patured, vegetarian fed, organic birds are fed lots of soy so I'm going to add another

      We just have estrogen sensitive tumor type patients in the family so I'm trying to pick a safer bird for everyone.

      Any local farms you know of?

    2. Palen in one of his foodie books explained "free range" meant that only a door to the outside was provided, not that the poultry actually roamed free on the range. Apparently bird flocking behavior led to almost no birds walking out the door. But they met the technical requirement to call their birds "free range". Leads one to ask what the definition of "fresh" is as well - that it never has been frozen; that it was killed the same day as purchase; that it has been chilled for weeks but not frozen. What do those extra dollars for "organic et al" actually pay for.

      Quite frankly, the best turkey I ever had was the frozen house brand at Albertsons. Probably Costco also provides good birds too. But did those birds have a hypothetical chance of walking out a door, I dunno.

      Cooks Illustrated a few months ago did a taste survey of various turkeys and I think found the extra costs did not add up to extra value in taste or texture.

      1 Reply
      1. re: glbtrtr

        Sorry, I should have said pastured not free-range. Thanks!

      2. New Frontiers in SLO, Grande Market in Arroyo Grande, and any of the Spencer's Fresh Markets in the Central Coast may be able to help you order an Organic, Fresh, Free Range Turkey. I wouldn't rule out Shelton's brand Turkey and Poultry products.

        1. The best local fresh, organic and truly free range poultry (although not sure if soy is in the feed) I've tried is from Gold Coast Meats in Templeton. I first purchased chicken from the owner and operator, Alana, at the Paso Robles Farmer's Market. She took great pride in explaining how she raises her chickens and turkey and had photos of her custom built large coop on wheels that she moves to fresh pasture every day. She takes orders for Thanksgiving turkeys and you can buy chicken year round at many of the local farmer's markets and at the Nature's Touch Harvest store in Templeton.

          I've also purchased great grass fed lamb sirloin roasts from them.

          E-mail at or Phone (805) 610-1977 or read about them at

          3 Replies
          1. re: PattyOh

            Thanks PattyOh!

            Gold Coast Meats sold out in May, next Turkeys from them will be in 2009 and they said the poultry is non-GMO, fed non-GMO feed, allowed to pasture and NO SOY!!! But sold out :(

            Nature's Touch is still taking orders for Branigan Turkey's which are coming from a Watsonville farm not the main farm in Woodland. Melanie is e-mailing me the details and looks like they are selling for $3.50/lb.

            I found one more farm with 100% grassfed non-GMO Heritage Turkey but shipping is $65 and they are sold out of the smaller Turkeys. They have a limited supply of larger ones.

            Rainbow Ranch Farms
            4037 Phelan Road, Suite A-164
            Phelan, CA 92371

            1. re: Kendra Kinnan

              thanks for posting this query. Always good to get more local info!

              1. re: toodie jane

                You're welcome! I'm just hoping this info can help others. It took some sleuthing but we found some.

          2. Nature's Touch Nursery and Harvest carries locally produced 'organic' meats. Not sure about feed--but she's very familiar with all her producers, so she'd know.

            Melanie Blankenship owner

            140 7th St
            Templeton, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: toodie jane

              Thanks TJ, I called and Melanie is sending me all the ordering info. Yeah!!!!