Just as pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and stuffing are a staple of the Thanksgiving feast so is a Young's Farm turkey. Well it should be anyways!! I was reminded yesterday while reading an article of the battle that Young's Farm had been fighting since 1998 to save their family farm. I don't want to go into too much detail, but as of December 2006 Young's Farm in Dewey, AZ is no longer. From what I've read on the Young's Farm website (click here) there was a water usage issue that for all intents and purposes forced them to sell the land they've owned and farmed since 1946 to residential housing developers. I know what you are saying, "How could they be forced to sell their land for the development of housing?" But because an agricultural farm uses far more water from the water table than would a develpment of houses, and because they were depleting the levels of the water table every year, their option came down to A) sell the land to a developer who would no longer deplete the water levels, or B) purchase the development rights so that the land would remain agricultural land forever. A strong effort was made to accomplish the latter, but to no avail. In June 2005 the Young family decided that Monogram Companies and Tom Chamber Properties was the right group to preserve as much of the Young's Farm legacy as possible while developing the land for housing.
According to the Young's Farm website the Young family has moved to Oregon where they will operate a cattle ranch, hopefully without the risk of being forced to sell their land again. I wish them the best of luck. It was one of my fondest memories as a kid to be picked up by my uncle (who was responsible for picking up the Young's Farm turkey every year) during the middle of my school day and drive with him in his sports car to pick up our Thanksgiving turkey......the best turkey in the whole world I might add! It's been many years since I last made the trip to Dewey on Thanksgiving Eve, but he did it every year.
So my questions are these.......1. What the heck are we going to eat for Thanksgiving this year? A frozen turkey from the grocery store? That's blasphemy!!! And 2. I'm sure that my uncle has to drive somewhere the day before Thanksgiving. Is he just going to dirve around town for a few hours, or maybe he'll drive to Dewey and just wave as he races by where Young's Farm used to be and then drive home? Or maybe we can convince him to make the short drive to the new Young's Farm.............in Oregon. What do you mean that's way too far??? We need something to eat for Thanksgiving!!!
Anyway, I hope the Young family who have been and will always be a legacy in Arizona will continue to prosper wherever they land.