Make like a Pilgrim and eat LOCAL!

If you really want to celebrate Thanksgiving like the pilgrims and indians (and you do not have time to catch your own wild turkey) consider ordering a local turkey for your Thanksgiving feast.

Wild Turkeys in Linn County, Kansas

How does your Thanksgiving Turkey grow?

  • Free-range means your turkey was not raised in a cage.
  • Organic turkeys are raised on organic feed and usually are free range/live outdoors.   It also means they are raised without hormones and steroids and have been processed without preservatives.

    Turkey at the Paddock
    Beautiful male Heritage Turkey–raised free range. Image from istock by Getty Images
  • Heritage turkeys are a growing trend.    We all know the Heritage turkey because it is the Thanksgiving turkey Icon we recognize and love.    The heritage turkeys are known for the colorful patterns in their feathers.    The breeds include Standard Bronze, Black Spanish, Slate, Royal Palm, Bourbon Red, Jersey Buff,Narragansett and White Holland.     These turkeys have a longer life span which is one of the reasons they are not used for mass production.   You can read more about Heritage turkeys at Local Harvest and The Livestock Conservancy.
  • Factory farmed means mass production.   You should beware because if you are buying a frozen store turkey most likely what you are eating has been injected or fed hormones, antibiotics and/or steroids.    The Broad Breasted White Turkey is the most popular domestic turkey for production.
    Image from Compassion in World Farming.

    As you may guess from the name it naturally has more white meat, which everyone craves.  These turkeys have been manufactured to fit demand the tradeoff is that these poor birds are plagued with health issues.   One interesting fact is that Broad Breasted White turkeys require artificial insemination to produce fertile eggs.    Learn More!

How to find your Turkey?  For anyone living close to the Kansas City area here are some possibilities for a local turkey.    All others just google for your gobble……local, organic, turkey (whatever your preference).   Or you can see the end of the blog for some online resources for turkeys and other local/organic resources.

  • If you live close to Lawrence or don’t mind the drive then you can pick up your turkey at The Merc Co+op.   They will have local turkeys arriving Saturday, November 19th.   The turkeys come from Bauman’s Cedar Valley Farms of Garnett and Vesecky Family Farms of Baldwin City.
  • You can order your pastured raised turkey directly from Vesecky Family Farms.    You can also rent a chick for Easter.
  • Bryant Family Farm are not selling turkeys for 2016 but you can check out the website for grass-fed beef and other meat products.   Family farm that does not use any chemicals or hormones.   Included in the Eat Wild Kansas directory.
  • Walnut Crest Ranch sells beef and turkeys.   Something to note for next year if you are a Herd Partner (eat their beef) you can get a discount on your Turkey.

During the Thanksgiving meal you can be very THANKFUL that you know where your food comes from.

Learn More!  Links and resources for local, free-range and/or organic year round.   Become a member and sign-up for newsletters!   Be informed about what you eating.   Be good to your body!

Door to Door Organics blog re Thanksgiving  Door to Door Organics (delivers to Kansas City).   Check website to see if will deliver to your zip code.    Door to Door has frozen organic turkeys but there may still be time to preorder a fresh humanely raised Turkey from Plainville Farms a family farm in Pennsylvania Amish Country.   The turkeys are vegetarian-fed, antibiotic free and hormone free.    The blog also has vegetarian alternatives for Thanksgiving.

KC Food Circle is a resource in the Kansas City area to local, organic, free range food.    KC Food Circle members love to have fund and host several fun food and farm events through the year including wine tastings, seed exchange, and learning events.   One event I attended last year was a tea party with a local beekeeper.   Educational and fun!

From the Land of Kansas is a website to find all different produce, meats, wines that are grown in Kansas.

Organic Farm Food is a website you can use to find organic farms in your area.

Eat Wild is another resource to help you find farms using healthy practices in raising food. The premise being that we are probably not going to go back to foraging in the wild for our own food.   Finding responsible farmers and supporting them is the next best thing.

Local Harvest is yet another resource to help find local, organic, healthy foods.

Thanksgiving Resource Guide from Compassion in World Farming.


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