East End Eats: Where to Reserve Your Turkey

turkeys10012008.jpgAfter selling heritage turkeys for three years, Eve and Chris Kaplan-Walbrecht of Garden of Eve organic farm in Aquebogue lost their entire flock of Bourbon Red chicks, or baby turkeys, in a fire. They still have winter CSA shares available, but they will have no turkeys to sell this year.

Those looking for a tasty alternative to the raise-it-fast-and-cheap-even-if-it’s-bland Butterball—not to mention the gastronomic karma that comes from rescuing a breed of farm animal from the brink of extinction—can still find these old-fashioned breeds at Singing Bird Farm in Bellport (631-874-0448). Husband and wife team Dan and Marilyn Morris run Singing Bird Farm and sell only 20 birds per year.

Slaughtered just a day or so before turkey day, a local bird is likely to be fresher than what you can get at the supermarket, even when local turkeys are the same Broad-Breasted Whites that constitute 99 percent of our nation’s flock.

After the jump, more farms offering local turkeys.

Mecox Bay Dairy is fattening a few hundred birds and still has some available for sale. 855 Mecox Road, P.O. Box 411, Bridgehampton NY 11932 (map); 631-537-0335; mecoxbaydairy.com

North Sea Farms at 1060 Noyac Road in Southampton, which specializes in chickens and eggs, also does a big business in turkeys. 1060 Noyac Road, Southampton NY 11968 (map); 631-283-0735

Iacono Farm heralded by a past generation of New York Times food writers, offers ducks in addition to turkeys for more adventurous holiday chefs. 106 Long Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937 (map); 631-324-1107

For those foragers on the North Fork, drive from Riverhead to Orient on the south road and a handful of farms, from Wells Homestead Farm in Aquebogue to Ty Llwyd in Northville, have poultry waiting for a home.
Wells Homestead Farm; 460 Main Road, Aquebogue NY 11931 (map); 631-722-3796; wellshomesteadmarket.com
Ty Llwyd; 5793 Sound Avenue, Riverhead NY 11901 (map); tyllwyd.wordpress.com