SAN ANTONIO, Texas – While most San Antonians were still thinking of ways to cool off, the owners of a local farm already had their sights set on Thanksgiving.
Cody Scott took in about 60 newly hatched turkeys in the middle of summer at Green Bexar Farm, the St. Hedwig business he owns with his wife, Natalie.
“We’ll get them at a day old,” Scott said. “We have to plan way in advance, so we actually get them when it’s the beginning of July, 100 degrees outside.”
The birds, which now occupy a sizeable portion of his 10-acre property, are raised free of antibiotics.
He said it takes about 16 weeks and a lot of feed for them to reach their ideal holiday weight, 14-18 pounds.
Even though he knows from the beginning what the future holds for the turkeys, he doesn’t take it lightly.
“That’s what this breed is bred for,” Scott said. “I like to think that, at least, you know, they were able to live good lives outside in the sun, eating bugs and grass and doing what turkeys are supposed to do.”
While their destination may be someone’s dinner table, the turkeys also play a big role on the farm.
They’re a vital part of regenerative agriculture, a practice that involves using livestock and crop rotation to improve soil health. It also is believed to help a farm cut down on the amount of water it uses and reduce global warming.
“With the help of the turkeys, they help us clear the land, set up plots like this,” he said, pointing to neatly planted rows of vegetables inside a greenhouse.
Scott is relatively new to the farming business, and even newer to raising turkeys.
He bought the plot, what strictly had been a pecan orchard, back in 2015.
About six years ago, when his job in the oil industry began to dry up, he took the leap into farming full-time.
“I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to raise a family and survive the ups and downs,” Scott said. “I knew nothing about farming or agriculture or anything and jumped in with both feet.”
Now, he gets his hands dirty on a regular basis, planting and growing about 50 different kinds of vegetables.
He not only has enough to feed his own family but sells his products online to the community.