Our Thanksgiving Turkey Table Has Other Uses

November 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

Update: Just because Thanksgiving has passed, does not mean you’re holiday shopping needs have passed. Use our list below to put a turkey on your Christmas table. In addition, many of the places below can supply your other holiday needs including gooose, rib roasts, and rack of lamb.

clancy Photo courtesy of TurkZilla via Flickr If you didn’t send in your deposit or order your turkey several weeks ago, put down the Jennie-O and don’t despair — there’s still time to have a local Thanksgiving. There’s even still time to snag an elusive heritage bird. The Local Beet has compiled a list — a Turkey Table, if you will — of local turkey producers and purveyors just in time for Thanksgiving. There’s even something on this list for those who procrastinate as late as Wednesday (though if you wait that long, your only option may be a fresh, locally-produced Ho-Ka turkey available at Treasure Island or Gepperth’s). It used to be that you had to order a local turkey months in advance from the farm, but now, much less planning is required, and purveyors like Butcher & Larder, Publican Quality Meats, City Provisions or Fresh Picks might have turkeys for you with only a few days (or no) advance notice. Like all Local Beet guides, this one is searchable and sortable. Some notes about local turkeys: Most local, pastured, small farm-raised turkey comes to you frozen. But there are good reasons for that. First and foremost– it’s timing. Meat, like vegetables, is seasonal. So even if it’s not quite Thanksgiving, and the turkey hits a certain weight class, it can be ready for your table (at a manageable size). Freezing ensures a healthy, timely way to harvest the turkey.  Second, if you want a fresh turkey, a bigger one is your best bet, as the larger birds can continue eating in the days leading up to the holiday. Finally, frozen turkeys are easier to store.  I’ve had many frozen heritage birds throughout the years, and I’ve never tasted a difference between a fresh or frozen bird.  Besides, these heritage birds — which tend to have either more or just as much dark meat as white — are more flavorful than a fresh conventional bird bred for its large chests. Most farms will take into account the fact that their birds are frozen, and set their pick up times during the weekend so that you’ll have plenty of time to thaw it in time for the holiday. If you must have a fresh local turkey, there are still plenty of options. Butchers and retailers such as Butcher & Larder, Publican Quality Meats, and City Provisions are all stocking fresh turkeys, as are some farms, such as Mint Creek,  which is offering fresh turkeys (in addition to frozen) for pickup on Monday at the Dill Pickle Coop  (though you must order in advance). If you want to buy directly from a farm, I’d suggest you move quickly and contact them soon, as most are scheduling either delivery or pickups for this weekend. And, per usual, if you notice any errors or omissions in the table, please drop me a line at wendy@thelocalbeet.com. Have a great local Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Turkey Table

Name/Location/WebsiteType of Turkeys (heritage?)Organic or Pasture-raised (or both)Fresh or Frozen?Pick Up Location or DeliveryPrice (if known)Ordering InformationSold Out for 2012?Comments
Butcher & Larder
1026 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL
Broad-breasted white from Gunthorp FarmsPastured; on-farm processing plantFreshPick up pre-ordered birds at shop starting Sunday 11/18$5/lb.Call shop to pre-order until 11/2 773-687-8280Pre-orders taken until 11/2, call for more detailsTurkey sizes vary and can be ordered as follows: 12-15 lbs., 15-20lbs., 20-25 lbs. and 25 lbs. and up. Weight requests will be accommodated as closely as possible, but please understand there will be some variance.
C&D Family Farms
Knox, Indiana
web site
Partners with small family farm to source its turkeysPasturedContact farm for detailsPick up in Chicago on 11/15 (Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Hyde Park, North Center, Division Street, Beverly)$4.25/lbEmail crystal(at)cdfamilyfarms(dot)comPre-orders taken for pickup on 11/15, contact Crystal for possible additional pickupsContact farm for additional meat products
City Provisions
1818 W Wilson
Chicago, IL (Ravenswood)
web site
Broad-breasted white from Gunthorp FarmsPastured; on-farm processing planFreshPick up pre-ordered birds at shop starting anytime; open Thanksgiving until noon$4.95/lb.Call shop to pre-order until 11/17NoTurkeys are from 15-20 lbs.; can't guarantee size
Caveny Farm
Montincello, IL
web site
Bourbon red (heritage)Pastured; processed by small processor located 40 miles from farmFrozen (contact farm for details)Pick up at Farm until Thanksgiving ($9 discount) or Evanston on 11/17, 8 am- 12 pm; Geneva on 11/18, 10 am -2 pm; Chicago (Lincoln Park, Green City Market) on 11/17, 8 am -12 pm; Springfield on 11/19, 4 - 8 pm; Chicago (Old Town, House of Glunz) on 11/17 from 3 - 5 pm
approx. $8-9/lb.Go to website for more informationSome sizes are sold out
Dill Pickle Coop
3039 W Fullerton
Chicago, IL
Broad-breasted white from Mint Creek Farm and TJ's Poultry Pastured (both); organicFresh (Mint Creek) & Frozen (TJ's)
Pick up for TJ's is on 11/17 from 2 -5 pm

Pick up for Mint Creek on 11/19 from 4 - 8 pm
$7.00/lb (Mint Creek)

$4.95/lb (TJ's) w/$25 deposit (5% discount for coop members)
Contact the coopNo TJ's turkeys range from 12-23 lbs.

Mint Creek's turkeys range from 12-16 and 16-20 lbs.
Empty Bottle Thanksgiving Farmers' Market
1035 N. Western Ave
Chicago, IL
Facebook page
Turkeys from Paulie's Pasture PasturedContact Paulie's Pasture for more detailsPick up at market on 11/18 from 12 - 5 pm Contact Paulie's Pasture for more detailsPick up at marketNo
Green Earth Farm
Richmond, IL
web site
Bourbon Red, Narragansett (heritage)PasturedContact farm for detailsContact farm a few weeks before Thanksgiving for details$15 deposit required; contact farm for pricingEmail kathy(at)greenearthfarm(dot)comContact farm for details
Green Grocer
1402 W Grand
Chicago, IL (West Town)
web site
Broad-breasted white from Gunthorp FarmsPastured; on-farm processing planFrozen below 15 lbs., Fresh above 15 lbs. Pick up at shop on 11/17-11/21$59.99 for 10-15 lbs.
$74.99 for 16-20 lbs.
$92.99 for 21-25 lbs.
$105.99 for 25+ lbs.
Go to website or call shopNo
Howard Kauffman Turkey Farms (HoKa)
Waterman, IL
Broad-breasted whitePastured (diet supplemented w/corn & soybean and fishmeal); free-rangeBothPick up at farm, local meat markets, independent grocers, and in some specialty chains. See website for specific retailers in Chicagoland.Contact farm or retailers for pricingPick up at farm or purchase at retailersNo
Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks*
Chicago, IL
web site
Broad-breasted white and bronze from Gunthorp Farms and Triple S FarmsPastured; on-farm processing planFrozen (thawing begins at store)Delivery 11/17-11/21 if they already deliver in your zip code in Chicago or suburbs (visit website for delivery zip codes)$4.25/lb for 12-14.99 lbs
$3.99/lb for 15+ lbs
Email answers(at)freshpicks(dot)comNo; contact shop to confirm availability Thanksgiving Fixins box available for delivery
Midnight Sun Farm
Grayslake, IL
web site
Broad-breasted whitePastured; organicContact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsPickup in Chicago (Rogers Park, Glenwood Sunday Market) and GrayslakeContact midnightsunfarm(at)gmail(dot)com to be on their email listYes!
Mint Creek Farm
Stelle, IL
web site
Broad-breasted whiteOrganic; pasture-raisedFrozen (pickup @ Green City Market)

Fresh (Dill Pickle Coop or via UPS for extra charge)
Pick up in Chicago on 11/17 (Lincoln Park, Green City Market, 8 am - 1 pm or 61st St Farmers' Market, 9 am - 2 pm) or on 11/19 (Logan Square, , 4 - 8 pm)

Delivery (extra charge)
$7.00/lbOrder on website or call farm 815-256-2202; pay @ pickup time8-12 lb. turkeys sold outOffers turkeys in the 8-12, 12-16 or 16-20 lb. ranges
Nature's Choice
Grant Park, IL
web site
Broad-breasted whitePasturedFreshPickup at farm, Frankfort, and BolingbrookContact farm for detailsEmail natureschoicefarm(at)yahoo(dot)comYes!
Publican Quality Meats
825 W Fulton Market
Chicago IL
Narragansett (heritage) or Broad-breasted white from Slagel Family FarmPastured (both); organic (heritage)Fresh (both)Pickup at shop anytime Monday through Wednesday 11/19-11/21$4.25/lb for Slagel turkeys

$6.75/lb for heritage organic turkeys
Contact shop at 312.445.8977No
Slagel Family Farm
Fairbury, IL
Partners with local farm; contact farm for details on breedsContact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsContact farm for details$3.79/lb (under 18 lbs)
$3.39/lb (over 18 lbs)
Contact farm for details No
TJ's Pastured Free Range Poultry
Piper City, IL
Broad-breasted whitePasturedFrozenPick up in Chicago (Lincoln Park, Green City Market) on 11/17 from 8 am - 1 pmContact farm for detailsEmail tji4(at)maxwire(dot)net or call 815-686-9200 or 815-848-8961No
Trail's End Organic Farm
Putnam, IL
Narragansett, Chocolate, American Bronze (heritage)Pastured; organicFrozenPick up in Evanston on 11/21 from 3 - 6 pm; contact farm for other possible locations/timesContact farm for detailsEmail trailsend56(at)yahoo(dot)com or call 815-437-2606Year-roundTurkeys are 15-20 lbs.
Wettstein Organic Farm
Carlock, IL
Broad-breasted whiteOrganic, free-rangeContact FarmOak Park (Buzz Cafe) on Saturday 11/17 from 12-3 pm$4.00 a pound for a whole and $4.50 a pound for a half turkey (one wing, one leg and thigh, one breast) dennis(at)wettsteinorganicfarm(dot)comYes!