It All Starts with the Best Quality Turkey

By: Jessie Kuhn | Staff Writer
On: November 02, 2015

The tree-lined street guiding you to Bowman & Landes Turkey Farm in New Carlisle, Ohio, is painted with brilliant oranges, reds, browns, and hints of green as we drive to where our Dorothy Lane Market Fresh Free-Range Turkeys are raised. Behind the grain silos and quaint shop that greets you, the turkeys bob and weave with curiosity through stalks of corn planted in one field. Meanwhile, in another area, some gather outside while others roam the barn. Point being—they are free-roaming on this picture-perfect fall day, yet have the option of shelter should they desire it.

For Carl Bowman, whose grandfather first bought the land where Bowman & Landes stands 100 years ago, it isn’t just about making the most flavorful turkey, but providing conditions for a healthy turkey for generations to come. He says that it’s ideal when a turkey can be free-roaming as they burn more calories and generally seem happier. “A happy turkey is a healthy turkey. … We translate a healthier turkey to a more flavorful one.”

We tour the farm in a red pickup truck driven by Drew Bowman, Carl’s son who redirected his career a few years ago to focus on the family business. We round the bend and drive past the grain facility, just a few barn lengths away from where turkeys are. They grow their own crops of corn, wheat, and soybeans and mill the grains on the farm for feed. The folks at Bowman & Landes know that the key to a great-tasting, healthy turkey is nutrition, and they see to it themselves that those needs are met, including a diet that contains no antibiotics or growth promotants and that is 100% vegetarian. “We can custom mix the grain every day. … We cater to their dietary needs,” Drew says.

Inside the building that houses the storefront and deli, I meet several friendly faces from both the Bowman & Landes families, who joined together in 1948, coincidentally the same year that DLM was founded. Both families are now ushering in involvement for the business from the third and even fourth generations. I see a picture with Dennis Landes hanging on the wall. Next thing I know, Dennis, 93, walks in and sits down almost like he walked out of the picture showing him decades ago. His sons, Steve and Stan, are in the same room.

It dawns on me that it’s not every day that you see a business that has endured so many decades and that still remains family-operated by its descendants. Let alone, two families who have joined together for multiple generations. It seems appropriate given that Thanksgiving—a time when people come together—is the hallmark of this family-operated turkey business. “It really is an honor to be a part of that,” Carl says.

Place your order soon by calling or stopping by the store, or order online here. We will strive to get you a turkey the size you ordered, but please remember these turkeys are grown, not manufactured!

Click here to view our Turkey Tips PDF!