There is no sugarcoating it: a locally raised turkey will cost more money than the big birds at the grocery store. So why spend more on something you can get so cheaply?
The average grocery store turkey will likely cost around $1.27 per pound this year, according to the American Farm Bureau. The unbelievably cheap turkeys sold at big box grocery stores are often injected with a solution that includes water, salt, and other additives. This process, known as “enhancement” or “plumping,” is done to improve the flavor and juiciness of the meat, and to increase its weight, which can make the turkey appear larger. You may be paying much less per pound on these birds, but you’re paying for a lot of salt water.
The sticker price of a “cheaper” bird is reflective of an industrialized system where profits are prioritized over the quality and taste of product, health and happiness of the birds and the workers who raise them, and the future health of our ecosystems and communities. However, buying a locally raised bird is not feasible for everyone. If you can afford a local bird, go for it this year!
Buying a locally raised turkey can offer more transparency into the living conditions of the bird and farming practices of the farm that raised it. If you have questions, many local farmers are more than happy to talk with you about how the birds are raised, and why.
Turkeys that are able to forage in grass, eat bugs, and move around outdoors are generally smaller but are much more flavorful. Make the most of your bird and make a stock for soup with the carcass after the holiday.
Opting for a local bird also means that the farmers receive fair pay for their work. The average farmer only makes $0.17 for every $1.00 spent on the food they grew sold at a grocery store. Buying directly from a farmer means they will receive 100% of the profits they earned.
Buying a local Thanksgiving turkey is a choice that goes beyond a single meal, it’s a very simple, tangible way to support the small farms in your larger community.
Most local farms and retailers require customers to pre-order and place a deposit on their turkeys in advance, generally from September to early November. Browse the list below or contact a farm near you to reserve a local turkey for your Thanksgiving table.
Adirondack Harvest Member Farms Selling Turkey’s for the 2023 Holiday Season:
“Whole frozen turkeys, raised on pasture and processed humanely on our farm.”
“Our turkeys are not given antibiotics or growth hormones as they are naturally healthier and disease-free living on our chemical-free pasture instead of being condemned to the usual poultry confinement housing. Because our turkeys have constant access to the outdoors and their traditional diet of greens and insects, they are higher in essential omega-3 fatty acids and lower in saturated fat. We process our own turkeys on our farm ensuring the best quality that we can give to our customers.”
- Order: Online here
- Website: harmonyhillsfarmstead.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 518-483-7961
“These pastured beauties will be ready for pick-up the week of Thanksgiving! Your Turkey and giblets will be fresh upon pick-up – ready to prepare for your Harvest Celebration!”
- Order: Order online here
- Website: macechasmfarm.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 518-963-4169
“All naturally raised beef, chicken and turkeys. No growth hormones, pesticides or herbicides.”
- Order: Call (315) 323-1145
- Website: Facebook profile
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 315-323-1145 and 315-323-7011 (store)
“Woven Meadows raises free-range, pastured, organic-fed turkeys, perfectly timed for your Thanksgiving feast… by free-ranging turkeys receive more exercise, which seems to make for a denser meat which better retains moister while cooking, and overall is more flavorful…Like our chickens, we process our turkeys here on the farm… We aim to butcher on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, to allow pick-up of fresh turkeys for your holiday meals.”
- Order: Through Farmhouse Pantry, call 518-293-5174
- Website: wovenmeadows.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 518-293-5174
Other Local Farms Offering Holiday Turkeys:
“Pasture-raised turkeys from on our diversified small family farm in Saranac, NY.”
- Order: Email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: Facebook page
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 518-293-7297
“Our Pasture Raised Turkeys are raised on pasture with daily moves by our friends at Wrong Direction Farm in Canajoharie, NY. They live their life as a turkey should, pecking the ground for grass and grubs and chasing grasshoppers. And they are juicy and flavorful! For more information on how Wrong Direction Farm raises their turkeys check out this video. A note about Organic. Wrong Direction Turkeys will not be labeled as organic in 2023. Dave let us know a few weeks ago that his processor lost their organic certification due to some paperwork issues. Wrong Direction Farm is still certified organic, the turkeys are certified organic, but the frozen, processed bird cannot be called organic since the processor is not certified.”
Other Adirondack Harvest Members Selling Turkeys from the Region:
- Fred the Butcher, Halfmoon, NY (NY Raised)
Green Goddess, Lake Placid, NY (From Kate Mountain Farm in Vermontville and Harmony Hills Farmstead in Malone)
- Essex Food Hub, Essex, NY (From Hepatica Farm in Greenwich, NY)
North Country Co-Op, Plattsburgh, NY (VT Raised)
- Potsdam Co-Op, Potsdam, NY (VT Raised at Stonewood Farm)
Ticonderoga Natural Foods Co-Op, Ticonderoga, NY (VT Raised at Stonewood Farm or Misty Knoll Farm)