When I start hearing about Thanksgiving and Christmas before summer has taken her last curtain call, I get just as annoyed as the next gal. But today I want to talk about Thanksgiving turkeys, and if you’ll hear me out I promise it will make sense that I’m writing this column now instead of two months from now.
Every year about mid-November, I am contacted by readers who want to know how and where they can buy a locally raised turkey. I always have to tell them that local birds are a great idea, but they’ve waited too long.
A number of farmers in Southwest Virginia raise turkeys and butcher them just in time for the holidays, but those birds usually are spoken for long in advance – sometimes a year in advance! So when it comes to this topic, procrastination is not an option.
I spent some time last week calling farmers to get an idea of how many turkeys still are available for order. While a good many have been put on reserve (for example, 200 of the 300 birds at Bright Farm in Floyd County already have been ordered), there still are several hundred up for grabs within reasonable driving distance of Roanoke.
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Turkey for you, turkey for me
The following farms still have a limited number of turkeys available for order on a first-come, first-served basis. It is best if the customer talks directly to the farmer about the specifics of the turkey breed, how their birds are raised and the pickup or delivery options.
Finding every turkey farmer in Southwest Virginia is a difficult task, so if you know of local turkey sources that are not on this list, please email me at email@example.com or call me at 981-3343 and I’ll try to spread the word.
* Tender Grass Farms: This is a cooperative of several Southwest Virginia livestock farms. Some of their birds this year will be sold at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, Tinnell’s Finer Foods in Roanoke and the Roanoke City Farmers Market. Others will be sold at Eats Natural Foods in Blacksburg, while the rest will be available for sale online at tendergrassfarm.com, by calling 800-929-1785, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If ordered direct from Tender Grass Farms, the birds can be shipped to your doorstep on dry ice or picked up in Floyd. If you want to pick up a bird on the Roanoke City Farmers Market, you must order it online at http://tinyurl.com/c7gqu59 and put down a $25 deposit.
* Eco-Friendly Foods: This Moneta farm has heritage breed turkeys for sale this year. For more details or to order birds, email email@example.com or call 540-297-9582.
* Bramble Hollow Farm: This Moneta farm is selling heritage breed birds this year. For more information or to order, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-947-0337.
n Bright Farm: Turkeys can be ordered directly through the Floyd County farm or through Good Food-Good People (see below). To order from the farm, call 540-745-5790.
* Weathertop Farm: The turkeys raised on this Check farm can be ordered directly from the farm or through Good Food-Good People (see below). To order from the farm, one may fill out an order form at http://www.weathertopfarm.com, email email@example.com or call 540-651-2010.
* Good Food-Good People: This cooperative of local farmers, based in Floyd, offers turkeys for sale by pre-order. To order, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If any turkeys are left over after the pre-sale period, Good Food-Good People will have them for sale at various farmers markets and other locations. For more details about those locations, email the pre-order address.
* Forever Young Farm: This Rocky Mount farm still has a few turkeys available. To inquire or to order, email email@example.com.
* Four Corners Farm: Located in Franklin County. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-334-1044.