Thanksgiving FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you cannot find an answer to your questions below or would like more information on our Thanksgiving birds, please contact Fair Food at thanksgiving@fairfoodphilly.org, or leave a message on our Thanksgiving hotline at 215-386-5211 ext. 105. A Fair Food staff member will be in touch to answer your questions.

How do I reserve a Thanksgiving Turkey?
All preorders for local turkeys, baked goods, and other items can be placed through our Shopify store. Simply select the bird of your choosing, select your desired weight range and pickup date, and pay the specified deposit amount to place your order. If you wish to have assistance with the online ordering system, stop by the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market and we can assist you with placing your order.

How do I pay for my turkey?
When you place your online order, you will reserve your turkey with an initial deposit. Pay the remainder (based on the exact weight and price per pound of your individual turkey) at the time of pick-up.

Unfortunately, due to legal restrictions on how SNAP/EBT benefits can be used, we cannot take deposits with SNAP/EBT. However, SNAP/EBT and Double Dollars can be used when you pick up your items and pay for the remaining balance in person at the Fair Food Farmstand.

Why are there different order deadlines for different products?
We work closely with local farms to source products, so our ordering deadlines reflect the unique production and delivery schedules of each farmer/producer. 

When and how do I pick up my turkey?
Please note that when you place your order, you also choose your pickup date of either Tuesday, November 22 or Wednesday, November 23, 2016. Pick up your turkey at the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on your pickup date. When you arrive to pick up your turkey, it will have been weighed and the remaining balance due already calculated for you to check out. We will be happy to validate your parking if you choose to use one of the nearby garages.

How much time should I allow for picking up my order? 
We have a system in place to minimize your wait time. Once you check in with your order info, one of our designated volunteers will retrieve your assigned products from our storage areas in the market while you check out. Please allow 5-10 minutes for the entire process. Or plan ahead and shop for all your Thanksgiving meal ingredients when you come to pick up your turkey! 

How does the "early bird" discount work?
This year's "early bird" discount runs through Saturday, October 15, 2016. If you placed an order and paid a deposit for a qualifying item on or before October 15, your discount will be reflected in the total price per pound in calculating the balance due on your pickup day (based on total weight X reduced price per pound). Savings will be automatically applied when you checkout at the Farmstand. 

How large of a turkey should I order? How many pounds of meat does the average person eat at Thanksgiving?

Since all our birds come from small and midsize farms, we cannot guarantee an exact weight, so please keep in mind that your bird will be within +/- 2 lbs of the weight range you specify. It is recommended that you order approximately 1 – 1.5 lbs per person you intend to feed, plus another 4-5 lbs if you want leftovers. You may wish to adjust these numbers if, say, you know that the majority of your guests have a strong preference for breast meat (you would want a larger turkey, which would therefore have more breast meat to go around). Concerned about having enough turkey for your festivities? Consider ordering more than you need or supplementing with one of our smaller bird options or with an additional turkey breast.

I don’t like/don’t want Turkey this Thanksgiving. What other options do you have?
If turkey isn’t your thing, or if you’re interested in trying something new this year, the Farmstand will also be offering several non-turkey options for your holiday culinary extravaganza: capon, goose, pheasant, and duck from Griggstown Farm in Princeton, New Jersey.

Can I pick up my turkey earlier than the designated pick-up times?
No. The farms deliver the turkeys to us by Monday of Thanksgiving week, thus determining the pick-up dates.

What are Broad Breasted White Turkeys?
Broad Breasted Whites (also known as “conventional” or “standard” turkeys) are the most popular breed of turkey, making up almost 99% of the national turkey population. They have been crossbred over many generations for characteristics desirable to the larger public: large size, substantial breast meat, mild flavor, and rapid growth.

What does “Naturally Raised” mean?
Naturally Raised, in the case of our turkeys from The Howe Farm and Koch’s Turkey Farm, means that turkeys have been raised without the addition of hormones or antibiotics in their feed and with plenty of access to sunshine and fresh air. The birds are fed a vegetarian diet and are raised in a humane manner.

What is a Bronze Turkey?
Bronze (or Bronze Breasted) turkeys are a cross between heritage breed Bronze Standard turkeys and the more conventional Broad Breasted White turkey. The resulting bird presents a pleasing combination of turkey characteristics, at an affordable price point. These Bronzes are larger in size, like conventional turkeys, with substantial breast meat, but also retain the positive taste qualities of their heritage breed forefathers – a rich, fatty skin and deep flavor.

What does "pastured" and "organically fed" mean?
Heritage Breed Red Bourbon turkeys from Griggstown Farm are raised on pasture. This often results in a higher level of beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the meat than one might find in birds not raised on pasture. Pastured turkey meat is also high in CLAs (conjugated linoleic acids), one of the beneficial nutrients found in 100% grass-fed beef, which may lower chances of heart disease and cancer. 

What is a Heritage Breed Red Bourbon Turkey?
Red Bourbons are a heritage breed variety, meaning they have not been modified by contemporary agricultural breeding practices. As a result, rather than being crossbred for certain industrial characteristics (larger size, quick growth, extra-large breast, etc.), they maintain the original qualities of this older breed that once made it so popular – rich, fatty skin, smaller, leaner size, darker meat (don’t worry, there’s still enough white meat to go around), and a deeper flavor. Think of heritage breeds as the animal equivalent of heirloom vegetables, such as tomatoes.

What are Capons?
Capons are roosters that have been castrated before they reach sexual maturity. The resulting lack of certain hormones results in a less gamy meat, and a larger size bird (think the size of a small turkey) with sweeter, moister, and more tender flesh.

If your question is not listed here, or you'd like more information on our Thanksgiving options, please contact Fair Food at thanksgiving@fairfoodphilly.org or 215-386-5211 ext. 105.