Let’s Talk Turkey!

At Tiller & Rye, we care deeply about sustainability and sourcing products from Maine. In fact, we offer a long list of products supplied Maine purveyors. So you may be wondering: Why aren’t our Thanksgiving turkeys from Maine?

It’s a great question. With a complex answer.

As a retailer, we are legally permitted to only sell turkeys that have been processed at a USDA-inspected poultry facility. In Maine, there is only one. Further, there are very few turkey farmers in Maine who raise turkeys for retail since, by and large, consumers order turkeys just once a year.

Given these parameters, we had just one farm in Maine that could possibly supply our store with turkeys, and we were concerned that it could not supply the number of turkeys needed to meet our customers’ demand.

So we made a business decision to expand our turkey search beyond our typical geographic region. We chose two suppliers for the following reasons:

  • Stonewood Farm in Vermont. Stonewood treats their turkeys humanely. Their turkeys are fed an all-vegetable & whole grain feed that has no added hormones, antibiotics, or animal byproducts. Their turkey-friendly barns are un-crowded and open-sided, providing lots of fresh air and natural sunlight. Their turkeys are harvested at a USDA processing plant located at their farm and operated by their family. Here at Tiller & Rye, we love how these turkeys are raised right here in New England.

  • Mary's Turkeys. Although located in California, the turkeys raised on this farm are Certified Organic. Mary’s Turkeys are free-range, fed a vegetarian diet, and are gluten-free. They’ve never been fed antibiotics, preservatives, or added hormones. They are fed non-GMO corn and soybean meal that has been treated without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or synthetic amino acids. We also adore this farm’s reputation and commitment to delivering a high-quality product.

Are these turkeys a perfect solution for Maine families? No, they are a compromise. But they offer the best quality compromise we could come up with this year. Next year, we’ll try again to source closer to home, which is always our goal.

In the meantime, if you’d like to reserve a turkey from Mary’s Turkeys, there’s still time (the Stonewood Farm turkeys are already sold out). A Mary’s Turkey costs $4.75/lb. All we ask is that you pay a $20 deposit when you order; you can pay the balance when you pick up your turkey!.

Regardless of where you buy your turkey this year, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope you keep us in mind for any food you need that is free of harmful additives and raised the way nature intended!

Jennifer Hooper is a contributor, friend, customer, and an amazing part of the Tiller & Rye family. Check out her website.

Jennifer Hooper is a contributor, friend, customer, and an amazing part of the Tiller & Rye family. Check out her website.