How to Create a Local Thanksgiving in Vermont

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We’re such a small state. But everything you need for your Thanksgiving feast can be found right here in Vermont.

That isn’t the case everywhere. During this season of gratitude, we’re thankful that we know exactly where our Thanksgiving meal comes from … and for the farmers and producers who make that possible.

Want to create a Local Thanksgiving? You needn’t look far for these essential components of your holiday spread.

Local Turkeys

There’s a big difference between your standard commercial bird and all-natural turkeys raised on Vermont family farms. No antibiotics and large, open barns = healthier, tastier turkeys. We’ve partnered with three farms in Vermont so that you can feel good about the turkey you put on your table this Thanksgiving. Place your turkey order today! Visit our Thanksgiving page for details.

Here’s what’s available:

  • Misty Knoll Farms (New Haven, VT) – $3.99/lb
    Antibiotic-free. Raised in large, open “turkey houses.”
  • Stonewood Farm (Orwell, VT)* – $3.99/lb
    Antibiotic-free. Raised in large, open barns.
    *Woodstock location only
  • Maple Wind Farm (Richmond, VT)* – $4.99/lb
    Non-GMO, pasture-raised.
    *Waterbury location only

Vermont Cranberries and Apples

It’s hard to imagine a Thanksgiving meal without cranberries and apples. They show up in sauces, pies, chutneys, and even stuffing recipes. And both are well-suited for our northern clime.

Throughout the holiday season we’ll have freshly harvested cranberries from the Vermont Cranberry Company in Fletcher, Vermont. The cranberries were dry harvested in late October by owner Bob Lesnikoski, who built the bog and planted the cranberry vines himself. Moore’s Orchard (Pomfret, Vt) and Scott Farm (Dummerston, Vt)  keep us stocked with several varieties of Vermont-grown apples for your baking pleasure.

Locally Grown Veggies

Potatoes, winter squash, and beets. We all have family recipes that feature these classic Thanksgiving veggies. And for good reason; they’re part of the late-season harvest in New England, where the first Thanksgiving took place.

Laughing Child Farm (Pawlet, Vt)  keeps us rolling in sweet potatoes all season long. And we have fingerlings, German butterballs, russets, and red potatoes from Fresh Roots (Sharon, Vt), Hurricane Flats (South Royalton, Vt), and Edgewater (Plainfield, NH) farms. Our beets and several varieties of winter squash come from a collection of local growers, including Four Corners Farm (Newbury, Vt) and Pierson Farm (Bradford, Vt).

Vermont Cider, Wine, and Mead

Hard cider was likely the beverage of choice at holiday gatherings in Vermont during the 18th and 19th centuries. Before the days of refrigeration, cider was easy to make using local apples, kept longer than milk (and was safer to drink than water), and was preferred to ale.

In this century, our love of cider is more about taste and presentation than practicality. You can find a wide assortment of locally produced hard ciders in elegant bottles and beautifully decorated cans. For your Thanksgiving table, consider Farnum Hill‘s Extra Dry Cider (Lebanon, NH), one of Fable Farm‘s (Barnard, VT) tempting varieties (Emanation is the crowd favorite around here), and Eden’s Ice Cider for dessert. We’ve also got a few cranberry-apple cider blends in cans, including Champlain Orchard Cidery’s Foxboro Rose and Citizen Cider‘s Americran. And keeping with the cranberry theme: Boyden’s Valley Winery‘s Cranberry Wine and Artesano’s Cranberry Mead with Bubbles.

Bread

Nothing completes the Thanksgiving meal like a melt-in-your-mouth roll or slice of good bread. But making your own takes time and preparation—both of which are in short supply around the holidays. Thankfully we live in a state chock-full of fantastic bakeries, and a few of them even deliver!

Red Hen Baking and Klinger’s Bread Company are available in both of our store locations, along with La Panciata and Great Harvest Bread Company  in Woodstock and Elmore Mountain Bread in Waterbury.  For special orders (Red Hen or Klingers), please call no later than Nov. 21. La Panciata orders should be placed even earlier (by Nov. 17).

And this just covers the staples. We haven’t even mentioned all of the amazing Vermont artisan products to compliment your feast. Made-in-Vermont butter, chutneys, cheeses, smoked meats, sweets, and more. Come peruse our shelves (and look for the “Local” sticker) for more ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving planning!

 

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