It's Turkey Time! Holiday Shares Are Here!

Is it that time of the year already?! We’re excited to now be offering holiday shares for thanksgiving! We have a large selection of local specials (like whole turkeys and egg nog!) that we’ll be highlighting over the next couple of weeks. Thanksgiving shares are separate from your regular share and can be ordered here: BUILD A THANKSGIVING SHARE

We also have an updated post on the blog that talks about why our whole turkeys are so special!

Why Pasture-Raised Turkeys Are Different

With Thanksgiving right around the corner — it’s time to talk Turkey! Every November, we at Walden face the unique challenge of getting ethically raised birds to thousands of dinner tables in a short amount of time. Why so fast? We are firmly dedicated to providing members with the freshest turkeys possible. In fact, they are still on pasture a mere week before they are processed and delivered for the holiday — a standard unthinkable for our large, industrial competitors.

For years now, Walden has teamed up with local farmers committed to raising birds using sustainable farming practices. Walden Thanksgiving turkeys freely roam green pastures, eating grass, grubs, and even some pesky parasites. These pastures span several acres, have built-in shade structures, and include roosting areas. Not only that, but farmers constantly rotate animals from pasture to pasture — an environmentally important practice that helps pastures sequester CO2 and gives the grass time to regrow so it can be grazed repeatedly without being destroyed. Turkeys roaming the pasture help with this regeneration by fertilizing the soil with their Nitrogen-rich droppings and tilling it with their claws. This doesn’t happen in large, industrial turkey farms where turkeys live their lives in barns with no space to roost and nothing to do, eating an unnatural diet. Walden is proud that its farming partners allow turkeys to live as they’re meant to — wandering on pasture and eating an omnivorous diet.

Beth and Bruce Hennessey in Richmond, Vermont

Unlike large commercial poultry processors, we freeze, but don’t pre-brine our turkeys. Although a pre-brine can sound appealing, frozen, pre-brined turkeys are stored sometimes for weeks or months, causing them to get water-logged and have a squishy texture. Instead, Walden moves turkeys from the farm, to the processor, to our warehouse (where they are quickly frozen), into our delivery vans, and finally, onto a member’s doorstep all in a matter of days — just in time for a member to de-frost and brine their bird with their own recipe.

Why frozen? Frozen turkeys allows Walden to work with a wider range of farmers, it’s less stress on the birds in regards to travel, and we’re able to better accommodate member size requests.

Beth and Bruce Hennessey in Richmond, Vermont

Providing pasture-raised Thanksgiving turkeys requires a lot of long hours over many weeks in the cold November weather, but it’s worth it knowing that we can deliver our members tastier, healthier food straight to their door. Not only that, but keeping our farm-to-home network locally focused cuts down on our carbon footprint, helping our fuel use per 100 shares delivered fall by 6.3% year-over-year! High quality is hard work, but it’s also our mission. And with your support, we can continue to celebrate delicious, sustainable Thanksgivings for years to come.

So enjoy your feast this holiday! Don’t gobble it all up too fast!

— All of us at Walden

P.S. Cooking a pasture-raised turkey is a bit different than an industrially produced one. See our tips here for preparing a delicious feast!


Thank you for this informative post! This will be our third year getting our Thanksgiving share from Walden. Last year we brought Walden turkey and ham to our family gathering. Our family had never tasted fresh meat directly from a farm before, and everyone remarked upon how much more flavorful and moist the meat was. Allowing the turkeys to graze on rotated pastures is key, in our opinion.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

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It makes us so happy to hear that! We’re thrilled to be able to get you another fresh pasture-raised turkey this year. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family as well!