The end is here

We are sold our and have no prospect of receiving enough cancellations to accommodate any more requests.  So, sorry to say, we cannot take more orders or waiting-list requests.  This is practically an annual event, and we suggest that you place your order earlier next time.  We start taking orders in August.

In the meantime, we have a few suggestions for this year.  First is to contact one of the stores to which we wholesale.  Those listed below still had birds when we contacted them this week.  Their pickup times and prices will differ from ours.  The stores: Eastern Maine, Natural Living Center, Bangor; A&B Naturals, Bar Harbor; John Edwards Market, Ellsworth; Central and Western Maine: Lakeside Orchards, Manchester; Farmers Gate, Wales; Good Food Store, Bethel; and, Southern Maine: Pine Tree Seafood, Scarborough; The Farm Stand, South Portland.

If you can’t find a nearby store that has our Turkeys still for sale, try these alternatives.  First for us to recommend is Tide Mill Farm in Edmunds.  Carly delSignore and Aaron Bell raise fine and organic Turkeys and have increased the size of their flock.  Or, in Southern Maine, try Serendipity Acres in Yarmouth, also organic.  It is possible also that Greaney’s Turkey Farm in Mercer and Mainely Poultry in Warren have birds.  Both of those growers raise birds indoors.  The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association might have a master list, though it usually lists only organic growers and those who offer Community Supported Agriculture, as we do.  If you know of other growers who might have birds, contact them.

Good luck, and contact us earlier next time.  Thank you.

The end is (very) near

We are nearly sold out.  We can accept orders until midnight tonight, Nov. 18.  We will honor and confirm all email and website orders sent by 11:59 p.m., Nov. 18.

We can take order for birds larger than 20 pound.  All other sizes were sold out several days ago.  We can also take orders for half Turkeys of 12 to 16 pounds and for boneless breast roasts of 2 to 5 pounds.

We will keep a waiting list starting Nov. 19.  We usually have cancellations during the week before Thanksgiving.  If you don’t get in an order before midnight but want to be on the waiting list, click on Our Products and scroll down to the bottom of the page to fill out the order.  Send it to us, and that puts you on the waiting list.  As cancellations come in, we will contact people on the waiting list to let them know a Turkey is available.  That process will run through Sunday evening, Nov. 23, so if we can’t get you a Turkey by Sunday night, you will know to look elsewhere.

If it starts with the digit 2, we’ve got it

Yes, we still have Turkeys available, but only from 20 through 29 pounds.

If you’re not feeding an army and don’t want to be eating leftovers come Christmas, you have a trio of options.  The first is to order a boneless breast roast (for white-meat eaters) and thighs or drumsticks (for dark-meat eaters).  This would yield the meat you want but far less of the waste that fills the compost the week after Thanksgiving.  We have breast roasts, farm-fresh of course, from 2 to 5 pounds.  Figure that one pound of breast roast (or thigh or drumstick) will feed two to three people for Thanksgiving dinner.  Breast roasts, boneless, are $6.95 lb.  Thighs, bone-in, are $5.70 and drumsticks are $2.25.

The second option is to order half a Turkey, We always have more than enough Turkeys in the range of 25-30 pounds, so we can cut them in half for you to get the poundage you want.  Roast the half Turkey cut side down.  Slide the stuffing under the half bird so the drippings will help moisten the stuffing.  To order, click on Our Products, scroll to the bottom of the page and submit your order.  You will receive an email confirmation.

Finally, some stores to which we wholesale still have Turkeys available.  The pickup times will differ from those on our order form, and the price will certainly differ.  Order directly from the store.  Those that still had birds when last we checked were:  Eastern Maine, Natural Living Center, Bangor; A&B Naturals, Bar Harbor; John Edwards Market, Ellsworth; Central and Western Maine: Lakeside Orchards, Manchester; Farmers Gate, Wales; Good Food Store, Bethel; and, Southern Maine: Pine Tree Seafood, Scarborough; The Farm Stand, South Portland.  Note that as it turns out, Rosemont Market in Portland will not have our birds.




Down to the wire (again)

We had thought we were sold out, then a store released 50 birds back to us that it couldn’t sell, and now we are nearing sellout again.  All birds smaller than 18 pounds are spoken for, with the exception of a few at 10-12 pounds.  The 18-20 category will sell out very shortly (like Saturday morning, Nov. 15).  We expect to have birds larger than 20 pounds for quite a while, though.

If you really have to have a bird between 12 and 15 pounds, consider ordering a half-bird.  When we cut a 24-pounder in half, you get a 12-pound Turkey.  It’s not the same, with the “ooh”s and :ahhh”s from your family and guests as the bird comes out of the oven, but the flavor, texture and moistness remain.

Or, just go for the big bird and plan to wrap the leftovers tightly and freeze them for some beautiful eating as winter settles over us.  The largest birds (24-30 pounds) will be available for quite a while, perhaps right up until Thanksgiving.  But the wee ones are gone.

Thanks for finding us, and we hope that we can still meet your needs for Thanksgiving.  By the way, we expect to have all sizes available again at Christmas, which is only 28 days after Thanksgiving.

Back in the swing . . .

One of our wholesale accounts has released 50 Turkeys back to us, so we are again accepting orders for farm-fresh Turkeys for Thanksgiving.  Most sizes are available.  These are birds we raised that we had allocated to the Rosemont Market for them to resell to their customers.  But as of Nov.14, Rosemont hadn’t sold any, so now you can have one (or more).

To order, click on the Our Products page and scroll to the order form.  Fill it out, send it to us, and we will send a confirmation.  This will be a frantic weekend, so don’t panic if your confirmation doesn’t come right away.  We will fill orders first-come, first-serve, starting with the people who had been on the waiting list.

Thank you for your patience.


. . . gone. But there may still be hope.

We have taken reservations for all the Turkeys we have available for Thanksgiving.  But there are two ways you may still get one or more of our fine birds.

Here’s how it works.  We have allocated 483 birds to wholesale and 707 to retail.  The 707 are  spoken for, and we will know in a few days whether all of the 483 at wholesale have been taken.  When we checked with the wholesale accounts this week, about 47 percent had been reserved.  If some stores don’t sell their allocations, their birds come back to us, and we make them available to you.  For that, we keep a waiting list.  Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13, all orders that come in from the website or through email will be put on a waiting list.  Starting Wednesday, Nov. 19, stores will call in their numbers and we will start contacting, via email, the people on the waiting list.  In 2012, nearly 50 people on the waiting list got Turkeys.

If you don’t want to wait, you may order directly from one of the stores.  The pickup days will be different from those listed on our order form, and the price is almost certain to be different.  One store is sold out, but those that still had birds available this week were:  Eastern Maine, Natural Living Center, Bangor; A&B Naturals, Bar Harbor; John Edwards Market, Ellsworth; Central and Western Maine: Lakeside Orchards, Manchester; Farmers Gate, Wales; Good Food Store, Bethel; and, Southern Maine: Pine Tree Seafood & Produce, Scarborough; The Farm Stand, South Portland; Rosemont Market, Portland.

If you order from a store, be sure to specify you want our Turkey.  Some of these stores also sell warehouse Turkeys, and some sell from more than one Maine grower.

Thank you for seeking us out.  This is about our usual sellout day, two weeks before Thanksgiving, so if you miss out this year, try earlier next year.  And, we still have Turkeys available for Christmas 2014, farm-fresh or smoked.

Bob Neal, The Turkey Farm

Going, going . . .

As of Nov. 11, we have taken reservations for 93 percent of the Turkeys available.  We have sold out in two size categories:  12-14 pounds and 30+ pounds.  We expect to be sold out in all sizes by the end of the week.

When we take our final reservation, we will begin a waiting list.  Last year, about 50 people on he waiting list got Turkeys as our wholesale customers didn’t all sell out their allotments.  But you can avoid the uncertainty of a waiting list by ordering now.

Go to Our Products and scroll to the bottom of the page.  Then, check the chart for size availability.  Order the available size that best fits your needs and send in the order.  We will confirm by email.  If you order in a size that is sold out, we will take your order for the next largest size available and confirm your order at that size.  Fewer than a dozen birds remain available in several sizes, so act now.

Holiday harvest and Harvest Festival

As the second weekend of November begins, we have orders for more than 83 percent of the Turkeys available for Thanksgiving.  If you’ve been thinking about ordering, think quickly, because at this rate, we are sure to sell out.  And, especially if you’re thinking about a small bird, because customers are gobbling up the 12-14 and 14-16 pound ranges. The price this year is the same as last, $3.79 a pound.  We held the line despite rising feed prices.

To order, click above on Our Products and scroll to the bottom of that page.  Fill out and send in the order form.  We will confirm orders by email next week.  We’re away from the computer for two days for the Maine Harvest Festival in Bangor, so the orders will pile up.

Or, you could join us in Bangor and put in your order there.  The Maine Harvest Festival at the Cross Insurance Center has rapidly become the state’s premier showcase for Maine’s best farms and kitchens, including ours.  About 150 vendors will set up, chefs will give cooking demonstrations, Erica Brown and others will make music, and you can find terrific food to eat there or to take home, including ours.  The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.  It will be well worth your effort to head to Bangor Saturday or Sunday.

At the Cross Center, we are booth no. 44, just inside the main entrance and slightly to the left.  Visit us, sample our Turkey items, buy those that most appeal to you, and we will happily hold your purchases while you visit the rest of the festival.

You can’t go wrong this weekend if you join us for the holiday harvest or for the Harvest Festival,  Or for both.

Thanksgiving Turkeys are going fast

More than 66 percent of our Turkeys available for Thanksgiving have been reserved as of Oct. 30.  It is beginning to look like an early sellout for 2014.

We still have the full selection of sizes, from 10 or 11 pounds to more than 30 pounds, but the smaller sizes (10-12 and 12-14) will be all spoken for soon.

We have held the price from last year, $3.79 a pound.  Smoked (fully cooked) whole Turkeys are $5.99 a pound.  Predicted lowering of feed prices, which would have lowered the prices of our Turkeys, did not happen.  Commodity farmers are harvesting record crops of corn and soy beans, the major ingredients in Turkey feed, but the railroads won’t deliver the grain because they make more money delivering petroleum.  You can read about that by clicking on Newsletter.  When The Turkey Times pdf comes up, scroll to pages 5 and 6 for all the information on ordering and pickup of your Thanksgiving treat.

And remember, we have nearly 40 other items that you can pick up when you get your Thanksgiving Turkey or that you can order ahead with your Thanksgiving bird.   We have five sites where you can pick up your Turkey, too.  To order, click on Our Products and scroll down through the menu to the order form.  Remember, the early bird gets the bird.


National Farmers Market Week

This is national Farmers Market Week, declared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  That’s a big deal because the USDA has not always been friendly to the kind of farmer, such as us, who sells at farmers markets.  But even the feds cannot ignore the more than 8,000 farmers markets in the country, perhaps 100 of them in Maine.

Take the opportunity to shop at market this week.  And every week.  You won’t find better food, and the prices are, as Mark Bittman reported in The New York Times on Wednesday, Aug. 6, can be surprisingly competitive.  Despite the wet weather all year, veggie farmers are coming into their peak season, and we’re selling fresh Turkey the first three weekends in August.  This week, we have new batches, both fresh and frozen, of all 10 sausages plus smoked kielbasa and Andouille.

Visit us at the Skowhegan Farmers Market, where our son Robbie will staff the stand this week.  The market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Court Street, right next to the Somerset Grist Mill.  Or visit us at Bath, where Bryanna Ringrose will be back after taking a week off for the Peace Fair. Bryanna is the face of our farm at Bath, where the market runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon.  The market is in Waterfront Park on the bank of the Kennebec River.  Or come see us between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Crystal Spring Farmers Market on the Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick.  Breana Doherty and Bob Neal will staff that stand.  A magazine in southern New England last year called Crystal Spring the best farmers market in New England.  Who’s to argue?

Wherever you choose, celebrate national Farmers Market Week by coming to see us this week and every week at the farmers market.  Skowhegan and Bath run through October, Crystal Spring runs through Nov. 1.