People ordering smaller turkeys for this year's Thanksgiving

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VANDALIA, Mich. -- Let’s talk turkey! As families are preparing all week for the holiday, one main dish in particular is being impacted by the most recent COVID-19 guidelines.  

“Grocery sales have been up, and I assume it is because people are not going out to as many restaurants,” said Maureen Wijen, employee of Purple Porch Co-Op.  

Located in South Bend, the Purple Porch Co-Op has had a busy week as people in the community prepare for Thanksgiving. The store offers organic turkeys delivered from Hebron Farms which is located in Vandalia, Michigan.

“They just say if they want small, extra-large, large, or medium turkey,” said Naomi Presley-Blackman, employee of Purple Porch Co-Op.  

However, as people plan for the holiday under COVID-19 restrictions, this year the store says that turkey sales are looking a little different. For 15 years, Hebron Farms has been providing consumers locally with meats and fresh produce. 90% of the farm’s sales are directly from farm to consumer. November is a busy month for the multi-generational family farm, and this November it is looking a little…smaller.

“It’s been a little bit different this year, everyone is requesting smaller turkeys. The turkeys we have left today are bigger ones which we usually would have sold out of first in years past,” said owner Chris Hebron.  

The farm started with 1,000 turkeys in total, and now, will end up with around 60 leftover this year. Hebron says all of them are large turkeys. The decision of the size and quantity of their turkeys is based off an order made back in March.

“It is kind of out of our control after March about what size of turkeys we will have in November,” said Hebron.

Even with the expected large turkeys leftover at their farm, Hebron says his family has another main dish in mind for the holidays.

“This year, we will have turkey but it will be more of a side dish. This year we are having ribs,” said Hebron.

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