Turkey Timeline: When and Where to Order Your Local Thanksgiving Bird From These Virginia Farms

Turkey Timeline: When and Where to Order Your Local Thanksgiving Bird From These Virginia Farms

Photo courtesy of Canva

By Jay Simms

October 31, 2023

There’s nothing better than enjoying a delicious turkey with your family during a lovely Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. Instead of opting for a store-bought turkey this year, consider purchasing a locally raised bird.

If you’re looking to buy your turkey from a Virginia-based farmer, we’ve got you covered with a list of six farms as well as details about how to make a reservation.

Flanagan Farm

Location: Virginia Beach

Flanagan Farm is owned and operated by Roy and Jeannie Flanagan and their five children. It has been farmed by five generations of the same family. “We pride ourselves in giving our customers the best produce directly from our fields for their tables. Freshness and quality of produce at a fair price, is the basis for everything we do,” the farm’s website reads.

During November and December, the farm has turkeys for sale that the site states “make a great Thanksgiving or Christmas lunch.”

Restoration Acres Farm

Turkey Timeline: When and Where to Order Your Local Thanksgiving Bird From These Virginia Farms

Photo courtesy of Restoration Acres Farm

Location: Big Island

Matt and Rachel Palma started Restoration Acres Farm in 2012 after watching Fresh, a documentary by Ana Sofia Joanes about the industrial food and farming system.

“Neither of us came from a farming background but we were instantly drawn to the idea of full-time regenerative farming. We jumped headfirst into learning all things food and farming,” the couple states on their website.

The farm operates under the tagline “Food that Restores,” placing a heavy emphasis on land management, animal husbandry, health, and community. During the first few weeks the turkeys are on the farm, they’re raised in a brooder and protected from the elements until they are fully feathered. Then they’re moved to pasture, where they’re given a new spot every four to five days.

“The constant movement into fresh pasture and away from their manure keeps our turkeys robust and healthy. They live a full life on our farm, with plenty of fresh grass, bugs to chase and eat, protection from predators, and all the sunshine they could ever want,” the website reads. “At harvest time, we catch each and every one by hand and process them in our on-site facility. Each bird is inspected for quality and health before ultimately heading into the cooler and eventually onto your family’s table.”

This year, the farm is raising a limited number of turkeys, so you’ll want to act fast. Information about reserving one can be found here. There is a $50 reservation fee, with the amount being applied to the final cost. The turkeys are $5 per pound, with each turkey weighing between 15-20 pounds. Pickup will be at the farm on Saturday, Nov. 18 from noon-4 p.m.

ShireFolk Farm

Turkey Timeline: When and Where to Order Your Local Thanksgiving Bird From These Virginia Farms

Photo courtesy of ShireFolk Farm

Location: Palmyra

ShireFolk Farm is a family-owned and operated farm that prioritizes raising and producing healthy poultry. “We work hard to bring you GMO-free pasture-raised eggs and poultry,” the farm’s site reads.

It buys its Broad Breasted White turkeys from a regional hatchery. The breed is the commercial standard, so the product will look and taste familiar to most.

“We get out birds as day-old ‘poults’ and keep them safe and comfortable in a heated brooder (we converted a shipping container for just this purpose) until they are fully-feathered and ready to go into the elements,” the farm explained on its website. “They are fed a non-GMO feed that is milled locally at Sunrise Farms in Stuarts Draft, Virginia. Once they are ready to go out onto the pasture, they are able to roam freely in our pastures, kept safe in electrified fencing that is rotated frequently (weekly at first, and more frequently as they grow larger).

Reservations for Thanksgiving turkeys are now being accepted. Size options range from extra small to extra large, costing $6.75 per pound. Information about reserving a turkey can be found here. Be prepared to pay a $25 reservation fee, which will be deducted from the price of your turkey upon pickup.

Pickups for this year will be on the farm on Saturday, Nov. 18 from noon-4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19 from 1-3 p.m.

Liberty Hill Farm

Location: Berryville

The family that owns and operates Liberty Hill Farm started it in 2010 because of a desire to consume pure, delicious, and nutritious food. “We saw and were reading about the commercial practices that were behind the food that is bought in stores and what it was doing to the health of society and could do to us personally,” the family wrote on their website.

Although the farm originally started with just chickens, the family later added cows, sheep, hogs, ducks, and turkeys.

The farm’s turkeys are pasture-raised, fed certified organic feed, and processed and packaged on the farm. Each turkey is raised on a pasture for at least six months.

Whole frozen turkeys are available for Thanksgiving, with other various cuts including breasts, legs, quarters, thighs, and wings available year-round. Information about ordering a turkey can be found here.

Honey Brook Farms

Location: Brandy Station

Honey Brook Farms is a multi-generational farm that seeks to produce top-quality organic produce. It was started in 2011, partially inspired by stories from “grandma and grandpa” about their time growing up in North Dakota where “farming was not just a livelihood but a way of life.”

“Growing up, our family did not understand how compromised the food supply was becoming in America,” the owners wrote on their website. “We want to improve farming practices and improve the farmland instead of draining it of all its nutrients.”

The farm’s turkeys move across chemical-free pastures where they forage in the sun on a mixture of chemical-free grasses, clover, and flower while being supplemented with organic feed.

“We look forward to providing your family a turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner,” the site reads. But quantity is limited, so don’t miss out.

Information about Thanksgiving turkey reservations can be found here. Sizes include 6-10 pounds for a small one, 14-22 pounds for a medium, and 29-36 pounds for a large. Deposits are $40, with the price per pound being $7.49. There are various pickup options between Nov. 18-22.

Tilman Turkeys

Location: Charlottesville

The story of Tilman Turkeys began in 2018 when the owner, Colin, moved back to his hometown and bought a farmhouse.

“We raise our turkeys with care, giving them plenty of access to fresh pasture and space to roam,” the farm’s website reads. “Unlike factory farm birds that are often grown in enclosed spaces and processed before they ever see sunlight, Tilman Turkeys are given a full 6+ months to grow to maturity.”

Information about reservations can be found here. They’re $11 per pound. Deposits to reserve a turkey are $50, with the remainder of the payment due upon pickup. Turkeys can be picked up at the farm on Monday, Nov. 20 for Thanksgiving and Friday, Dec. 22 for Christmas. The farm notes that the turkeys need two to four days to fully defrost.



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