We interviewed our Golden Turkey accredited farmer Jill Adron from Maryfield Farm in Scotland, near Banchory and the River Dee. The family have been rearing turkeys at Maryfeild for nearly 40 years so have plenty of experience! Jill describes how they first became accredited Golden Turkey farmers and life on the farm…
We are a family farm in Tilquhillie, near Bancory, Kincardineshire, and have been rearing turkeys since 1981. William who now mainly runs the enterprise has worked with the birds from the age of ten. Due to an outbreak of Newcastle disease in England at that time, there was no movement of poultry across the Scottish border and the only strain of turkey available to us was the Large White, so it was a great relief when the restrictions were lifted and we could purchase bronze turkeys from Essex. As we farm so far north in Scotland, we wondered how hardy the bronze birds would be, but with the encouragement of Paul Kelly, we opened the barn doors and the birds have been free-range ever since!
On Paul’s recommendation we joined the TFTA around four years ago as we felt we fitted the criteria and are pleased to be producing to the Golden Turkeys certification ever since.
Although William does most of the rearing of the birds from when the poults arrive mid June, the whole family are involved. Rebeccah deals with the orders and the website, in addition to running her flower nursery for florists, farm shops etc. William also works in forestry and Grandson Finlay serves in the farm shop. Jill runs the production side and John does the deliveries.
For the children, life has always evolved around the farm.
If you ask me why I still do it? Perhaps it’s remembering our customers coming with their young children, and watching those children grow up, marry and still come to Maryfield because Christmas would not be Christmas without a Maryfield turkey!
Maryfields, bronze free-range, dry plucked turkeys are sold through butchers and farm shops as well as through our own Christmas farm shop.
We pride ourselves on supplying everything to complete that festive meal, including locally grown vegetables, sausages, stuffings and of course Maryfield farm’s award winning Christmas pudding and clootie dumplings from other local suppliers.
The Maryfield farm shop customers receive a newsletter and order sheet in October and we process their orders ready for collection in the days before Christmas. With no fairs or shows, we are relying even more on word of mouth recommendation and our website this year.
However this year, due to the Covid pandemic, we wanted customers to feel completely safe when collecting their Christmas turkey. So we have developed a drive through system of collection so that customers do not even have to get out of their vehicles. They wind down their window, give us their name and we put their order in the boot of their car and take a card payment which is sanitised after each customer payment.
We’re very much looking forward to seeing our regular and new customers, for a slightly different drive through collection at the farm this year.
The traditional method of dry plucking, game hanging and dry-aging as part of the Golden Turkey standard means our customers return every year to enjoy the rich old fashioned flavour and texture.
Facebook: @Maryfield Turkey Farm