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Sunday
Nov012009

Resource Guide to Buying your Thanksgiving Turkey

Photos c/o Ekonk Hill Turkey FarmAnaliese Paik, Founder of the Fairfield Green Food Guide has compiled this exhaustive shopping guide to purchasing your free-range, organic, all natural Thanksgiving turkey. Everything you need to know about where to find the centerpiece of your holiday is here. 

There is no better time to aim high for superior freshness and quality in our food than when we’re playing hostess to friends and family at Thanksgiving. All eyes are sure to be on the turkey so now is the perfect time to check that most important food purchase off our to do list. If you’re like me, you are also thinking about where and how the turkey was raised and what it was fed. Well, you are in luck because there are many excellent choices of all natural, free-range, organic, and kosher turkeys available in local stores. If you are looking for extremely rare locally-grown organic Heritage Turkeys, they are available for home delivery. Choosing Heritage Breeds, which have been passed down from generation to generation because they taste good, helps preserve genetic diversity as well as American culinary traditions. Please note that the most coveted birds sell out fast.

Here is a complete guide to buying your Thanksgiving turkey with brands from your local Fairfield County markets. 


Connecticut Farm Fresh Express (CTFFE)

Let’s start with the local and Heritage birds. You can buy local organic or local free-range Heritage turkeys from two family-owned CT farms through Connecticut Farm Fresh Express for home delivery by Thanksgiving. Please do not delay in placing your order since these birds are limited in supply and will sell out quickly. If you want one of the rare Heritage breeds, please order it using the instructions outlined below.

Connecticut Farm Fresh Express, the online retailer of exclusively CT Grown foods, is offering fresh turkeys from Ekonk Hill Farm and frozen turkeys from USDA Certified Organic Old Maid’s Farm for purchase and home delivery. Turkeys from a third farm will be available soon. All the turkeys are free-range and are raised without growth stimulants or hormones. They are all pasture-raised which means that the majority of their diet has been grass and bugs, their favorite meal. They are grain fed as a supplement only.

If you are interested in a free-range Heritage Breed, Old Maid’s Farm still has Black Spanish available and Ekonk Hill, the largest grower of free-range turkeys in the state, will fill your Heritage order with one of the many breeds they raise. Please cook your turkeys according to instructions for the breed you buy. The rule is low and slow for fresh free-range and Heritage breeds.

As with all poultry in CT, you are actually purchasing the live bird, and the farmer is doing you the favor of processing it for you. This is called custom processed and you must fill out a form for the farm requesting the turkey.

How to Place an Order:

Please follow ordering instructions carefully!

1)      Download and complete the order form for either Ekonk Hill Farm or Old Maid’s Farm, indicating a second choice if your first choice is not available. Please allow 1 - 1 ½ pounds of turkey per person on the Heritage breeds.

2)      Write a $20 deposit check payable to the Farm.

3)      Mail the completed order form and check to: CT Farm Fresh Express, 479 Town Street, E. Haddam, CT 06423, Attention: Turkey Order.

CT Farm Fresh Express will place your order with the farm, pick it up and deliver it to you on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, November 24. You will be charged a $3 farm pick up fee and a $15 delivery fee in Fairfield County. If you place a CT Grown food order on http://www.ctffe.com for delivery that same Tuesday, you can amortize the $15 delivery fee across your whole order. Thanksgiving week ordering deadline is midnight Saturday, November 21 for delivery to your door on Tuesday, November 24.

 

If you prefer buying your turkey in a local supermarket or specialty grocer, here’s the Official Buying Guide to Sustainable Turkeys. If you feel you need a refresher on how to carve a turkey, Whole Foods Market Westport is holding a How to Carve a Turkey Demo on Saturday, November 7 from 11-11:30 and again from 2-2:30. 


Whole Foods Market

(Greenwich, Westport, Milford)

Whole Foods Market in Greenwich, Westport and Milford (opening Nov. 11!) are taking orders for four different turkeys: all natural, organic, free-range and kosher. Not sure which turkey is right for you? Join Analiese Paik, Founder of the Fairfield Green Food Guide at Whole Foods Market Westport on Friday, November 13 from 4-7 pm for a Turkey Tasting & Sustainable Discussion. 

  1. Plainville Farms All Natural Turkey is a fresh, humanely raised, all natural turkey grown on family farms in New Oxford, PA in the heart of Amish country. An exclusive Animal Friendly trademark, endorsed by the USDA, recognizes Plainville Farms’ efforts in the humane treatment of animals. The company is committed to “producing the finest natural food products available, treating people and animals well, living and doing business in a more environmentally sustainable manner, and positively impacting our communities.” Turkeys range from 10-30 pounds.
  2.  If you’d like to eat turkey from the same farm that’s supplied the White House for over 40 years, opt for a Whole Foods Market Free-Range Turkey bred selectively by Jaindl Farms, a family owned and operated business located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Jaindl turkeys have been selected by the National Turkey Federation to supply the turkey that graces the holiday table at the White house each Thanksgiving.” Jaindl’s “Blue Ribbon” all natural, free range turkey is raised in a specially designed area of their farm without the use of antibiotics and animal by-products. Choose from 8-30 pounds.
  3. Whole Foods Market Free-Range Organic Turkey is raised in Pennsylvania by Eberly and Koch’s Turkey Farms. Eberly Free-Range Organic Turkeys are U.S.D.A. inspected and certified organically grown by the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and Pennsylvania Certified Organic. These free-range turkeys are raised on small Amish and Mennonite family farms in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country without the use of growth stimulants, antibiotics or animal by products in their organic feed. The result is a tender turkey with more abundant flavor and greater meatiness. Sizes range from 8 to 30 pounds. Koch’s Turkey Farms’ turkeys are antibiotic free and have free range access to grassy outdoor areas that provide natural sunlight, fresh air and food. Their turkeys meet strict Humane Guidelines and Welfare Standards for Turkeys and Koch’s scored a 100% on the Turkey Welfare and Humane practices independent audit by Steritech.
  4. Kosher Valley Turkey is an all natural, antibiotic-free, humanely raised, certified kosher turkey that is available between 10 and 16 pounds. According to a recent press release, “Unlike conventionally raised kosher poultry, they are fed a diet of pure corn and soybeans that is free of animal by-products. The chickens and turkeys are humanely raised with room to roam and ready access to vegetarian feed and fresh water at all times.  All Kosher Valley products are certified by Rabbi Yechiel Babad and the Orthodox Union and produced in Plainville, New York.”

 

Trader Joe’s Stores

(Fairfield, Darien, Westport, Danbury)

Three choices of fresh, all natural, antibiotic free, brined turkeys are available at Trader Joe’s beginning November 9. Choose from the 12-16 pound, the 16-22 plus pound bigger bird, or the Glatt Kosher 12-16 plus pound turkey brined with Kosher salt. Turkeys are sold fresh with giblets except for the Glatt Kosher. 


Palmer’s Market, Darien

  1. Palmer’s Exclusive: Fresh, free-range turkeys from Willie Bird Turkeys in Sonoma, CA are famous for their superior quality and taste. If the name rings a bell, it’s probably because you’ve seen their smoked poultry products featured in Williams-Sonoma catalogs.
  2. Plainville Farms All Natural Turkey is a fresh, humanely raised, all natural turkey grown on family farms in New Oxford, PA in the heart of Amish country. An exclusive Animal Friendly trademark, endorsed by the USDA, recognizes Plainville Farms’ efforts in the humane treatment of animals. If Plainville Farms sounds familiar, it’s because the new for 2009 Martha Stewart Young Turkey is produced in partnership with the farm, and that’s also available at Palmer’s. The company is committed to “producing the finest natural food products available, treating people and animals well, living and doing business in a more environmentally sustainable manner, and positively impacting our communities.”
  3. If you’d like to eat the same turkey that’s being served at the White House, opt for one bred selectively by Jaindl Farms, a family owned and operated business located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. According to their web site, “For more than 40 years, the "Grand Champion" brand turkey has been selected by the National Turkey Federation to supply the turkey that graces the holiday table at the White house each Thanksgiving.” Jaindl’s broad-breasted “Grand Champion” turkeys produce up to 54% more white meat than other brands and their “Blue Ribbon” all natural, free range turkey is raised in a specially designed area of their farm without the use of antibiotics and animal by-products. 
  4. Bell & Evans turkeys all come from the same farm in Pennsylvania Dutch Country where they are raised without antibiotics or hormones and are “fed a diet that consists of corn, soy, vitamins and minerals, never any animal by-products” according to the company web site. Now this is a revelation: the web site also states that “the same producer of Bell & Evans turkeys has been the White House choice for holiday dinners for more than 30 years. Our turkeys are all-natural and bred to grow slower, produce an extremely broad breast (up to 20% more breast meat) with a moist, tender and flavorful taste.” I figured it had to be Jaindl Farms growing their turkeys and my research confirmed it!

 

Mrs. Green’s (Fairfield, Stamford)

Mrs. Green’s is taking orders for these fresh turkeys, including a free-range, organic kosher option. Please pre-order for Thanksgiving with a $10 deposit online or at the store.

  1. Eberly Free-Range Organic Turkeys are U.S.D.A. inspected and certified organically grown by the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and Pennsylvania Certified Organic. These free-range turkeys are raised on small Amish and Mennonite family farms in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country without the use of growth stimulants, antibiotics or animal by products in their organic feed. Sizes range from 8 to 28 pounds.
  2. Murray’s All Natural Turkeys are “raised in the idyllic Blue Mountains in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster countryside with plenty of fresh air and room to spread their wings” according to the company web site. Murray’s 100% natural turkeys are Certified Humane raised and handled, never receive growth hormones or antibiotics, and are free of preservatives or other artificial ingredients. Turkeys range in size from 10 to 32 pounds.
  3. Wise Organic Pastures Free-Range, Organic, Kosher Turkeys are double certified – Certified Kosher and USDA Certified Organic!  Former homemaker Rachel Wiesenfeld became an entrepreneur in 1992 when she founded Wise Organic Pastures. These birds are raised at Greenwood Farm in Lancaster County, PA and processed in a kosher facility. Turkeys range in size from 10 to 18 pounds. 
  4. Kosher Valley is an all natural, antibiotic-free, humanely raised turkey that is available between 10 and 20 pounds. According to a recent press release, “Unlike conventionally raised kosher poultry, they are fed a diet of pure corn and soybeans that is free of animal by-products. The chickens and turkeys are humanely raised with room to roam and ready access to vegetarian feed and fresh water at all times.  All Kosher Valley products are certified by Rabbi Yechiel Babad and the Orthodox Union and produced in Plainville, New York.”

 

Wilton Village Market (Wilton) 

  1. Gozzi  Guilford White Turkey from Gozzi’s Turkey Farms are either raised on their farm in Guilford, CT or on farms in Iowa using their own special breed grown according to their specifications. These turkeys are raised in enormous barns where they can roam while remaining safe from coyotes and wolves. Raised on corn and grain, the turkeys receive no hormones or antibiotics. Fresh turkeys are delivered to the store the weekend before Thanksgiving.
  2. Plainville Farms All Natural Turkey is a fresh, humanely raised, all natural turkey grown on family farms in New Oxford, PA in the heart of Amish country. An exclusive Animal Friendly trademark, endorsed by the USDA, recognizes Plainville Farms’ efforts in the humane treatment of animals. The company is committed to “producing the finest natural food products available, treating people and animals well, living and doing business in a more environmentally sustainable manner, and positively impacting our communities.”
  3. Eberly Free-Range Organic Turkeys are U.S.D.A. inspected and certified organically grown by the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and Pennsylvania Certified Organic. These free-range turkeys are raised on small Amish and Mennonite family farms in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country without the use of growth stimulants, antibiotics or animal by products in their organic feed. Sizes range from 8 to 28 pounds.
  4. Round Hill All Natural Fresh Young Turkey is available year round at the market and is a product of Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the largest poultry companies in the US and Mexico.

 

Walter Stewart’s Market  (New Canaan)

Walter Stewart’s turkeys are available fresh and phone or walk in orders are being accepted now for pick up before Thanksgiving.

  1. Bell & Evans turkeys all come from the same farm in Pennsylvania Dutch Country where they are raised without antibiotics or hormones and are “fed a diet that consists of corn, soy, vitamins and minerals, never any animal by-products” according to the company web site. Now this is a revelation: the web site also states that “the same producer of Bell & Evans turkeys has been the White House choice for holiday dinners for more than 30 years. Our turkeys are all-natural and bred to grow slower, produce an extremely broad breast (up to 20% more breast meat) with a moist, tender and flavorful taste.” I figured it had to be Jaindl Farms growing their turkeys and my research confirmed it!
  2. Gozzi Guilford White Turkey from Gozzi’s Turkey Farms are either raised on their farm in Guilford, CT or on farms in Iowa using their own special breed and grown according to their specifications. These turkeys are raised in enormous barns where they can room and roam while remaining safe from coyotes and wolves. Raised on corn and grain, they turnkey receive no hormones or antibiotics. Fresh turkeys are delivered to the store the weekend before Thanksgiving.
  3. Grateful Harvest USDA Certified Organic Free-Range turkeys can be ordered in all three sizes - 8-12, 12-16, and 16-20 pounds. According to Alex Stewart, these turkeys are grown on third generation family-owned Mary Pitman’s Free-Range Organic Turkey ranch in sunny California and are fed a certified organic high protein diet complete with the finest grains and vegetable proteins. You won't find any antibiotics, animal by-products, preservatives or hormones in a Mary's Free-Range Organic Turkey.

 

The Pantry (Fairfield)

  1.  If you’d like to eat the same turkey that’s being served at the White House, opt for one bred selectively by Jaindl Farms, a family owned and operated business located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. According to their web site, “For more than 40 years, the "Grand Champion" brand turkey has been selected by the National Turkey Federation to supply the turkey that graces the holiday table at the White house each Thanksgiving.” Jaindl’s broad-breasted “Grand Champion” turkeys produce up to 54% more white meat than other brands and their “Blue Ribbon” all natural, free range turkey is raised in a specially designed area of their farm without the use of antibiotics and animal by-products. 

 

Balducci’s (Greenwich, Westport)

  1. Eberly Free-Range Organic Turkeys are U.S.D.A. inspected and certified organically grown by the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and Pennsylvania Certified Organic. These free-range turkeys are raised on small Amish and Mennonite family farms in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country without the use of growth stimulants, antibiotics or animal by products in their organic feed. Sizes range from 8 to 28 pounds.
  2. Plainville Farms All Natural Turkey is a fresh, humanely raised, all natural turkey grown on family farms in New Oxford, PA in the heart of Amish country. An exclusive Animal Friendly trademark, endorsed by the USDA, recognizes Plainville Farms’ efforts in the humane treatment of animals. The company is committed to “producing the finest natural food products available, treating people and animals well, living and doing business in a more environmentally sustainable manner, and positively impacting our communities.”

 

Stop ‘n Shop

  1. Bell & Evans turkeys all come from the same farm in Pennsylvania Dutch Country where they are raised without antibiotics or hormones and are “fed a diet that consists of corn, soy, vitamins and minerals, never any animal by-products” according to the company web site. Now this is a revelation: the web site also states that “the same producer of Bell & Evans turkeys has been the White House choice for holiday dinners for more than 30 years. Our turkeys are all-natural and bred to grow slower, produce an extremely broad breast (up to 20% more breast meat) with a moist, tender and flavorful taste.” I figured it had to be Jaindl Farms growing their turkeys and my research confirmed it!

 

Shaw’s Supermarkets

(Fairfield, Darien, Shelton, Stratford)

Beginning one week before Thanksgiving, Shaw’s will offer fresh Wild Harvest all natural, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free turkeys and Bell & Evans turkeys. 

  1. Wild Harvest is the Shaw's brand for natural and organic products.
  2. Bell & Evans turkeys all come from the same farm in Pennsylvania Dutch Country where they are raised without antibiotics or hormones and are “fed a diet that consists of corn, soy, vitamins and minerals, never any animal by-products” according to the company web site. Now this is a revelation: the web site also states that “the same producer of Bell & Evans turkeys has been the White House choice for holiday dinners for more than 30 years. Our turkeys are all-natural and bred to grow slower, produce an extremely broad breast (up to 20% more breast meat) with a moist, tender and flavorful taste.” I figured it had to be Jaindl Farms growing their turkeys and my research confirmed it!

 

The Fresh Market (Westport)

The Fresh Market All Natural Turkey and Bell & Evans turkeys are available at the newly opened The Fresh Market in Westport. Complete information was not available at publication time, so please visit or call the store for details.

  1. Bell & Evans turkeys all come from the same farm in Pennsylvania Dutch Country where they are raised without antibiotics or hormones and are “fed a diet that consists of corn, soy, vitamins and minerals, never any animal by-products” according to the company web site. Now this is a revelation: the web site also states that “the same producer of Bell & Evans turkeys has been the White House choice for holiday dinners for more than 30 years. Our turkeys are all-natural and bred to grow slower, produce an extremely broad breast (up to 20% more breast meat) with a moist, tender and flavorful taste.” I figured it had to be Jaindl Farms growing their turkeys and my research confirmed it!

If you feel you need a refresher on how to carve a turkey, Whole Foods Market Westport is holding a How to Carve a Turkey Demo on Saturday, November 7 from 11-11:30 and again from 2-2:30. 

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

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    Resource Guide to Buying your Thanksgiving Turkey - CT Bites - Restaurants, Recipes, Food, Fairfield County, CT

Reader Comments (5)

thanks for posting this comprehensive list of choices for where to buy turkey. advance planning is the key to cooking and celebrating with less stress and you have provided the tools. THANK YOU!!

Liz

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Do you have any suggestions for turkeys from the Caraluzzi's chain in Northern Fairfield County (Georgetown, Bethel, Newtown)? Wondering what's the best choice from that store.

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Caron

Caraluzzi's will be carrying D'Artagnan Certified Organic free-range turkeys, Bell & Evans all natural turkeys, and Shady Brook and Round Hill all natural turkeys. Thanks for asking!!

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergreenfoodgal

where can I find a smoked turkey wing in F-field/w-port area?

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjane

Shop Rite in Norwalk has smoked turkey wings...

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole Straight

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