Picking your turkey out of a field seems a bit more authentic than grabbing that damp mesh bag at the supermarket, and wondering what’s inside. If you want to go the healthier route, we have the rundown of area turkey purveyors who sell farm-to-table, organic, ethical, or otherwise sustainably raised Thanksgiving birds. And, if you can’t fit a turkey into your oven with everything else, or are low on time, you can go an alternate route and order a sustainable Cornish Game Hen.
Tip: Order a turkey that weighs 1 pound per person; a Cornish game hen will feed two people.
This is a rare bird: Bred from a heritage breed brought over from England, KellyGold turkeys are plucked and dry aged in the traditional way that existed prior to mechanization. Prior to getting traditionally plucked, birds roam free and wild through the Crozet countryside — get it while you can, turkey…
Order by: November 16th
Pickup Location: KellyBronze provides home delivery before Thanksgiving — or you can pick the bird up at the farm (6975 Jarmans Gap Rd., Crozet) the Saturday before Thanksgiving (November 19th).
The pasture-raised Cornish hens from this Winchester farm are non-GMO and guarded by a couple of Great Pyrenees guard dogs. Coming in at about 2 pounds each, these birds are younger, more tender, have a better flavor than chicken, and are full of juice. If you’re having a large gathering, you can give everyone their own chicken on a tray. Or if you have a smaller family or are spending Thanksgiving solo, you can fit a few of these to a cooking pan and greatly reduce your cooking time.
Order by: Based on pickup times
Pickup Location: Pick up at 2737 Senseny Rd., Winchester, or at the drop point at Dulles Town Center in the park and ride lot (21100 Dulles Town Cir., Sterling) on November 19th.
All Ayrshire turkeys are pasture-raised, certified organic, and certified humane. The farm is also regenerative, and it’s predator friendly — which means the farm follows wildlife conservation protocols that respect the role that predators play in the farming ecosystem, and leaves space for predators to live and hunt. Turkey orders are selected based their size request, offering an average in the 20-pound size range. A $50 deposit is required to hold the turkey until you pick it up Thanksgiving week.
Order by: Turkeys will be reserved until they are sold out.
Pickup Location: 21846 Trappe Rd., Upperville
This family farm is ready to make your Thanksgiving Day meal as stress-free as possible. With multiple pickup and shipping options, the farm offers broad-breasted white, pasture-raised, GMO-free turkeys that range in size from 10 to 22 pounds.
Order by: Order deadlines are based on the desired delivery dates
Pickup Location: Grab your bird at a drop site listed here, have it delivered by the farmer, or have it delivered via UPS. For the authentic farm experience, you can pick the frozen bird up at the farm store at 4010 Swover Creek Rd., Edinburg.
Feature image courtesy KellyBronze.
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