Ingredient: Fresh, local turkey makes all the difference

Western New York is home to a plethora of small farms, which is especially nice during harvest and around the holidays, when we are looking for delicious, seasonal foods with which to dress our Thanksgiving tables.

At the center of that great American meal sits the turkey, a proud and delicious example of our country’s many native foods. The turkeys we eat today, like most of the livestock raised in feedlots on factory farms, taste almost nothing like their ancestors. Raised in pens and bred for quick maturation, most of the meat in your supermarket tastes nothing like it did a century ago. Turkey is no different.

As food contamination scares occur and people begin to ask questions about where their food comes from, the interest in eating heritage breeds, or meats unadulterated by modern farming practices, is on the rise. Buying a fresh, unfrozen bird from a farm whose practices you can observe is the safest and most satisfying way to plan this important holiday meal. Studies show that the number of Americans seeking fresh, heritage, or traditional breed turkeys for their Thanksgiving supper is quickly rising, and after you’ve tasted the difference, you’ll know why.

With these thoughts in mind, we have compiled a list of local farms that raise and sell turkeys during the holiday season. It is important to place your order now, as all turkeys are typically accounted for by the end of October. Most farms organize a day or two when they allow pick up on site, or, at an off-farm location. This insures that customers receive their turkeys as fresh as possible, while allowing them ample time to brine, smoke, or otherwise prepare them.


Blackman Homestead Farm
Lockport, Niagara Co.
PICK UP: On farm: 4471 Thrall Rd., Lockport -or- Farmers & Artisans, Main St., Williamsville
BREED: Traditional: Broad-Breasted White
$2.75 PER LB.


Painted Meadow
Franklinville, Cattaraugus Co.
PICK UP: On farm: 1644 Elton Rd., Franklinville -or- Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market
BREED: (Pasture raised)
Heritage Breed: Red Bourbon, Royal Palm, and Bronze.
$4.50 PER LB.


Sojourner Farm
Olean, Cattaraugus Co.
PICK UP: On farm: 943 East Windfall Rd., Olean
BREED: (Pasture raised, all natural feed)
Traditional: Broad-Breasted White
$2.75 PER LB.


Wendel’s Poultry
Olean, Cattaraugus Co.
PICK UP: On farm: 12246 Baughn St., Rt. 240, East Concord
BREED: (Grain fed, no by-products)


Freeman Homestead Farm
Stockton, Chautauqua, Co.
PICK UP: One-day pick-up locations: 909 Harlem Rd., West Seneca; 1050 Girdle Rd., East Aurora; 1700 North French Rd., Getzville
BREED: (Pasture raised)
Traditional: Broad-Breasted White
$2.75–$3.10 PER LB.


Good Grass Farm
Ashville, Chautauqua Co.
782-4937 / 782-3322,
PICK UP: On farm: 2943 Open Meadows Rd., Ashville
BREED: (Pasture raised, Reserve ahead)
Heritage Breed: Bourbon Reds
Traditional: Broad-Breasted White
$3–$4.50 PER LB.


Parable Farm
Ripley, Chautauqua Co.
PICK UP: On farm: 9584 NE Sherman Rd., Ripley
BREED: (Pasture raised, all natural diet)
Traditional: Broad-Breasted White
$3 PER LB.


Purdy Neat Place
Lockport, Niagara Co.
PICK UP: On farm: 4069 Purdy Rd., Lockport
BREED: (Pasture raised, fed locally grown grain)


Emerald Green Acres
Lockport, Niagara Co.
PICK UP: On farm: 4375 Lower Mountain Rd., Lockport
BREED: (Pasture raised)
Heritage Breed: Bourbon Red, Black Spanish
Traditional: Broad-Breasted White
$4.50 PER LB.
Reserve ahead


Genzel’s East Hill Farm
Colden, Erie Co.
PICK UP: On farm: 7580 Lower East Hill Rd., Colden
BREED: (Call for information)


The Moore the Merrier
Delevan, Cattaraugus Co.
PICK UP: One-day pick-up location: 2043 Lakeview Rd.,  Lakeview
On farm: 10631 McKinstry Rd., Delevan
BREED: (Pasture raised, fed locally grown grain)
Heritage: Bourbon Red
Traditional: Broad-Breasted White

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