Talking Turkey and Giving Thanks

Let’s talk turkey. Much maligned for being dry and bland, turkey is nevertheless the centerpiece on the table for most Thanksgiving dinners. But do not write off the noble bird just yet. This year, embrace the ‘shop local’ mantra and try your luck with one of the area’s local turkey farms. It’s the season, so here we go – we all love talking turkey and giving thanks.

Massachusetts actually has several turkey farms to choose from. Breeding anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands, here are some of our favorites for your Thanksgiving feast’s star dish.

For many people the ritual of a perfect Thanksgiving starts long before the actual day. Similar to visiting the same vendor for your Christmas Tree each year, many like to source their turkeys locally. In fact, for some select locations, if you want to order your local turkey, you’re practically too late!

So, if you would like to support your local farms, here is a list of our favorite places to get your free range and heritage turkeys:

Stone Pony Farm

  • 171 Pine Hill Road, Westport, MA 02790
  • 508.636.9819Talking Turkey and Giving Thanks: Stone Pony Farm

A small family-run farm located along the banks of the beautiful Westport River on the South coast of Massachusetts, Stone Pony Farm raises old-fashioned turkey breeds like the Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Royal Palm, and Chocolate. These beautiful heritage birds are fed with organic feed and allowed to free-range on pasture whenever possible, grazing on a combination of grasses, clovers and bugs.

Coonamessett Farm

  • 277 Hatchville Rd, East Falmouth,Talking Turkey and Giving Thanks : Coonamessett Farm Massachusetts
  • (508) 563-2560

Coonamessett Farm is a twenty-acre farming and research enterprise located on Cape Cod. The operation is organized in three Divisions: Agricultural Production, Research, and Consulting. The believe in the responsible stewardship and maintenance of the biodiversity of our planet and an environmentally sound and sustainable future. For Thanksgiving they raise about 50 turkeys, so if you haven’t already, get your name on the list now. If you’ve missed out on the turkey, you can still take solace in one of their delicious pies.

Bob’s Turkey FarmTalking Turkey and Giving Thanks: Bob's Turkey Farm

  • 181 Old Common Road, Lancaster MA
  • 978-365-9271

Bob’s Turkey farm is a family owned and operated business started in 1954 with just 125 turkeys. They now raise 10,000 turkeys on the home farm in Lancaster and 3,000 in Ashburnham. Though they very sadly lost one of their 4 barns in a fire this year, they are full steam ahead with their turkey orders. And if turkey’s just not enough, the farm store also sells prepared turkey dishes, sides and desserts, all prepared on site.

Savenor’s Market

  • 92 Kirkland Street, CambridgeTalking Turkey and Giving Thanks : Savenor's Market
  • 617-576-6328

Not interested in a turkey day trip out to Bob’s Turkey Farm? Lucky for you their Broad Breast White Turkeys are also available at Savenor’s Market in Cambridge. Along with Bob’s classic white’s, Savenor’s also sells foraging turkeys, heritage breeds, and the almighty Turducken.

Going Turkey Free

veganshepherdspieWe would be remiss if we didn’t mention that you can actually successfully pull off a Thanksgiving without a turkey. Here are some of Food & Wine’s favorite recipes for a vegetarian Thanksgiving. A favorite around here is Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie – give it a try!

Being Thankful Through Giving

Talking Turkey and Giving Thanks, giving back

With bounty in friends, family and life, many choose to celebrate the spirit of the season by giving and volunteering to help their neighbors in need. If you choose to celebrate by sharing, here are two great opportunities this Thanksgiving.

The Family Pantry of Cape Cod  is asking the community to donate 500 medium sized turkeys this year. The organization would also like to offer a pie with each dinner. Donors can donate a FROZEN pie if they are able. Donations may be dropped off at The Family Pantry location at 133 Queen Anne Road, Harwich Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m, Thursdays 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., 5:00– 7:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 am – 12 Noon. A monetary donation may be made on the organization’s web site.

Sometimes a fresh meal and a friendly smile can be the difference between hope and hopelessness. United Way’s Thanksgiving Project has expanded exponentially over the years to meet the high demand in our communities, growing from serving 1,000 families in 2009 to 6,500 in 2015. Join with your family, friends or co-workers to support The Thanksgiving Project, the largest collective initiative of its kind in the Greater Boston area.