By Chelsea Rose Moore
Depictions of holidays dinners are wrapped in nostalgia and romanticism. From Bob Cratchit’s family dinner of roast goose and Christmas pudding to relatives gathered together in Norman Rockwell paintings, there are countless stories, songs, and movies written about holiday meals at the table.
Here in Middleburg, we are fortunate to be surrounded by sustainable farms offering Christmas birds to grace our tables. We’ve curated a guide to finding local turkeys, so that all you have to do is light the candles, turn on familiar Christmas tunes and enjoy a roast turkey dinner, with a bird raised here in Middleburg.
With its parent company Ayrshire Farm, Gentle Harvest uses Certified Humane®, non-GMO, Certified Organic farming practices.
Gentle Harvest offers two turkey options: A Heritage breed, USDA Certified Organic, Certified Humane®, non-GMO turkey and a Certified Organic, Certified Humane®, non-GMO turkey. The heritage breed contains a larger amount of dark meat that carries a richer flavor profile than traditional turkeys.
“People really want to know what they are eating. They want to avoid antibiotics. They don’t want hormones. They don’t want injected food. They want to know where it lives,”Suzanne Smith, a spokesperson from Gentle Harvest’s Marketing Department
“That’s one of the really interesting aspects of Gentle Harvest. This is not commercial farming. We are literally getting the food right down the street. That’s the biggest difference for us. You can’t get fresher than down the street.”
Curious about heritage turkeys? Head to Gentle Harvest for a turkey sampling or chat with employees about the flavor profile. While you’re there, pick up some “heat and eat” foods to add to your table, like the delicious corn pudding, wild rice and mushroom dressing, or venison stew with chestnuts.
Turkey orders can be placed online, by phone, or in the store. To secure a turkey for Christmas, orders must be placed by Dec. 17. Gentle Harvest will ship turkeys anywhere in the country using FedEx Overnight. What better way to savor a taste of home while celebrating the holidays from afar?
Gentle Harvest is located at 8372 West Main St., Marshall, Virginia.
For a wonderfully curated selection of meats located in the heart of Middleburg, visit Le Petit Marche for your holiday orders.
Le Petit Marche offers three turkey selections to customers: all-natural turkeys raised on a private farm without antibiotics, Bell & Evans turkeys raised without antibiotics, and organic turkeys raised in Pennsylvania. If you’re not up for the challenge of cooking a whole turkey, consider their turkey breast options.
In addition to turkeys, the store offers an extensive selection of meats, game, and seafood, including pheasant, goose, quail, and duck. Seafood options include live lobsters, mussels, clams, and whole fish or fillets. Browse the extensive list on their website and try not to feel hungry.
“The point of having this business is to offer something better, a step up from the mass-produced foods,”Owner Gail Reardon
“There’s a big difference in quality and flavor. The meats and the game here are not commodity meats. They are raised by smaller farms.”
To order a turkey, call the store, join the email list and respond with your order, or visit the store and place your order there. Turkey orders must be placed the week before Christmas and can be picked up from the store.
Le Petit Marche is located at 5 W. Washington St., Middleburg, Virginia. To join the email list, visit www.LePetitMarche.org.
Day Spring Farm offers grass fed and finished beef and pasture raised pork. Learn more at www.dayspringfarmva.com.
Fields of Athenry Farm takes holiday orders for geese, duck, ham, leg of lamb and an assortment of other tasty meats that can be delivered right to your door. Their meats are pasture-raised and antibiotic-free. Order online at www.fieldsofathenryfarm.com.
This Christmas, may you raise your glass amongst loved ones and remember Tiny Tim’s iconic words: And may God bless us, every one. ML
This article first appeared in the December 2019 issue of Middleburg Life.