Turkey Talk

By Alan Sproles

IMG_6093If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving feast this year, you will have approximately 1,000 decisions to make before and during the holiday. Who’s supervising the kids’ table? Can you have too many pies for dessert? Should your turkey be organic, heritage, free-range, and locally raised? Or, should you pardon the bird all together and make meatloaf?

Do you have to wait until dinner to start drinking wine?

Fear not, brave host. Here are some great local resources to help alleviate decision fatigue and make you look good in front of the in-laws.

Corvallis Farmers’ Market


You’ll find plenty of everything you need downtown at 1st and Jackson on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. If you’re the ambitious type, this is a great place to pick up fresh produce for make-it-yourself side dishes. You can ask questions and order turkeys from area farmers. It doesn’t get any more local than that.

First Alternative Natural Foods Co-Op


First Alternative carries a limited number of Walker Farms turkeys. Raised in the nearby town of Siletz, these birds are free range and fed a grass diet supplemented by organic, non-GMO spent grains from the Rogue Brewery. The co-op also offers several different choices from Mary’s Turkeys out of California. You can select free range, OG free range, bone-in turkey breasts, and even free range ducks. No pre-ordering required.

Market of Choice


This is a local company headquartered in Eugene with higher end products, but not (always) higher end prices. The store at Circle and 9th carries Shelton’s All Natural Free Range Turkeys from California. You can pre-order your turkey now, but MOC plans to have plenty of whole birds from both Shelton and Norbest on hand right up until Thanksgiving. You can also order whole cooked meals from the kitchen, too.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage


The “new kid in town” also carries several choices from Mary’s Turkeys. These birds are fed a non-GMO verified vegetarian diet, have no antibiotics, no added hormones, no preservatives, and are gluten free. Unlike the co-op, Natural Grocers requires you to order your bird ahead of time, and they have a limited supply. These free range birds have twice the room to roam as those on larger farms. That is, until you order them.



WinCo on Kings Boulevard is employee-owned and has more of everything than anybody else in town. They don’t do special ordering for Thanksgiving, but have lots of turkeys in stock all the time. They sell all the big brands you’ve heard of like Butterball and Jennie-O, and have game hens and turkey roasts for variety. If you’re on a budget or prepping at the last minute, this is the place for you. Winco doesn’t take Visa, so bring plenty of cash or use your debit card.


I’ve left out the big name stores that most of us consider ourselves too progressive to shop at. These guys don’t need the free advertising. Especially the one that starts with a “W” and rhymes with fall fart.

There you have it, turkey-day entertainer. Now if you can just figure out the difference between a yam and a sweet potato, you’ll be all set.