Local and Heritage Turkey Guide 2015

By Analiese Paik

Local free-range broad-breasted whites and Heritage turkeys are available for special order. Please consult the 2010 Guide to Sourcing a Local Thanksgiving Feast.

Skip the industrial, store-bought turkey this year and opt for a locally grown, Heritage breed or Broad-Breasted white instead. The turkey will not only taste better, but will also make for great table conversation. You can even tell your family and guests the name of the farm your turkey came from, the breed, and if you’d like, the name of the farmer. I can hear the Portlandia jokes already. Seriously though, it feels good to support our farmers this time of year and give thanks for those who feed us.

As a result of the bird flu that entered the US, poultry stocks are down and some growers were afraid to grow turkeys. Recognizing possible shortages, there has been a bit of a scramble to buy Thanksgiving turkeys I’m told. Please choose from the options below and place your order today to avoid disappointment.

On the Rocks Farm, Newtown, CT

First Come First Served, Almost Sold Out

On the Rocks Farm in Newtown raises chickens, ducks and turkeys organically. Farmer Bill Pieragostini raised 125 Bourbon Reds, Standard Bronze, and White Holland this year, and all but a handful are sold to regular customers and those of you who bought your turkeys from him last year after reading our guide (thanks for being great repeat customers!). Heritage turkeys run $7 a pound and vary in weight from 12 to 20 pounds, much smaller than industrial Broad-Breasted Whites. They’re leggier too with less breast meat and overall more dark meat. If you’re looking for an authentic Thanksgiving flavor, this is it. On the Rocks Farm has some 20 pound Standard Bronze toms and a few 12-15 pound Bourbon Red hens. No White Hollands are left. To order your turkey, email Bill at  wpieragostini@yahoo.com with your order (name, phone, turkey breed and size) and he’ll call you to take a $40 deposit. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving Bill will arrange to meet you to pick up your turkey and pay the balance. Don’t delay if you want one of these organic, Heritage turkeys!

Ox Hollow /lnFarm, Roxbury, CT

Order your pasture-raised, Broad-Breasted White turkey directly from Ox Hollow Farm at the Winter Westport Farmers’ Market.  Pick up your fresh turkey on Tuesday, November 24, from 10-12 noon at a special holiday farmers’ market being held at Gilbertie’s. Wednesday, November 25 (the day before Thanksgiving) directly from the farm at the special holiday farmers’ market being held that day at their summer Imperial Avenue location. Expect to give a deposit and your contact information when placing an order.

Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm, Moosup, CT

Ekonk Hill is the largest grower of free-range, pasture-raised turkeys in the state and this year their turkeys are again available for home delivery through CT Farm Fresh Express (more information below). While the breed is Broad-Breasted White, they taste nothing like supermarket turkeys from industrial farms. These turkeys are raised on pasture where they forage for bugs and insects and are raised without antibiotics and hormones. For anyone accustomed to eating store-bought turkeys, these are an excellent step up and a vote for local food!

CT Farm Fresh Express (CTFFE)

Connecticut Farm Fresh Express (CTFFE), an online seller of exclusively CT Grown foods, is selling fresh and frozen turkeys from three CT farms for home delivery. Delivery fees vary depending upon where you live and are calculated when you place your order online.

Free-range fresh (not frozen) Broad-Breasted Whites from Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm (see above) are $4.99 per lb. Broad-Breasted Bronze, a Broad-Breasted American Bronze (Heritage cross-breed), is available from Monument Hill Farm at $7.49 per lb. B4 + After Farm Heritage Birds at $12.99 per lb.

These birds are pasture-raised without the use of chemicals or antibiotics. Whole, breast, legs or bones for stock are available fresh frozen priced per pound. Please follow the ordering instructions on the CTFFE website carefully when you place your order with a $20 deposit now through November 20. Home deliveries are on the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

CTFFE’s web store is open between Thursday evenings until Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for you to place your order. You can pay by Visa, MasterCard or PayPal. PayPal account holders can pay with a simple click.

Mike’s Organic Delivery

Mike’s Organic Delivery is an online seller of NY and CT Grown foods that delivers to your door. Mike serves Greenwich, Riverside, Cos Cob, Old Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, and New Canaan and is accepting orders for fresh (not frozen), pasture-raised, Broad-Breasted White turkeys from third generation run Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt Manor, NY. Visit the website to learn more and place an order.  Read our feature story about Mike’s Organic Delivery.

Fleisher’s Craft Butchery, Westport and Greenwich (just opened)

Hidden Camp Farm’s pastured organic turkey. Photo c/o Hidden Camp Farm.

Fleisher’s Craft Butchery is offering pasture-raised, Certified Organic, Broad-Breasted White turkeys from Hidden Camp Farm in Canahojarie, NY for $7.99 a pound. Reserve your turkey online with a $40 deposit, then pay the balance when you pick up in the Greenwich or Westport store November 23-25. Pasture-raised, non-GMO Project verified (and no corn or soy) Heritage breed turkeys from BN Ranch in California are also available for $11.99 per pound and can be reserved online with a $40 deposit, then picked up in store.

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