Let’s face it, Thanksgiving isn’t the most healthy food day but we can still do our best to tip the scales in the right direction by purchasing organic, pastured and free range turkeys from local New England farms.
The certified organic label usually means the turkey has not been raised using artificial growth hormones and antibiotics while being fed an organic grains diet. Pastured turkeys typically are allowed to roam free around green pastures that allow a more healthful, natural diet for the bird. Free range turkeys are also allowed to move around the land, but also could be limited to dirt pens.
In line with a nation interested in healthier living, there’s a movement amongst locally-owned and operated New England turkey farms to produce healthier turkeys. I’ve noticed that most small farms in our area adhere to fostering healthier turkeys as opposed to some large industrial farms that take a less healthy route. Personally, I would go for the certified organic turkeys to avoid any hormones or antibiotics, but chances are, too, that a responsible farmer might offer this type of turkey even without a certified label. Just ask farm staff if any hormones or antibiotics have been used on the turkeys, or inquire about any other criteria that you feel is important when purchasing a turkey!
Below, you will find six New England farms where you can find organic, pastured or free range turkeys, according to their web sites. Additionally, we recommend purchasing your turkey early as many of these small farms have a limited supply of turkeys that potentially could sell out quickly. For the record, we have no vested interest in any of the farms mentioned below.
Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm, 227 Ekonk Hill, Rd., Moosup, Conn. Tel. 860-564-0248. Pastured turkeys with no growth stimulants or hormones, and no additives or preservatives.
Wolfe’s Neck Farm, 184 Burnett Rd., Freeport, Maine. Tel. 207-865-4469. Pastured raised turkeys with no added preservatives, antibiotics or hormones. All supplemental turkey feed is organically certified.
Natick Community Organic Farm, 117 Eliot St., Natick, Mass. Tel. 508-655-2204. Pastured turkeys fed organic grains.
Walpole Valley Farms, 663 Wentworth Rd., Walpole, N.H. Tel. 603-756-2805. Pastured raised turkeys fed non-GMO grain seeds.
Helger’s Turkey Ranch, 2254 Main Rd., Tiverton, R.I. Tel. 401) 624-4087. Turkeys are hormone free and grain fed.
Maple Wind Farm, Huntington and Richmond, Vt. Tel. 802-434-7257. Pastured raised and certified organic turkeys.
Do you know of any farms in New England selling organic, pastured or free range turkeys? If so, please comment in the box below.