Thursday, 11 November 2021 14:38

A Farm-to-Table Thanksgiving Guide: The Meats (& Meat Alternatives)

Written by Emily Meagher
Photo by Emily Meagher. Photo by Emily Meagher.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and at the farmers’ market, there will be holiday offerings aplenty the next two Saturdays. Whatever the size of your gathering or the dietary preferences of your diners this year, market vendors are bringing plenty of options for every course. This week, we are looking at the various local meats in stock.

If you plan to host a traditional Thanksgiving meal, a turkey is likely to be on your shopping list. Preorder a pasture-raised, non-GMO-fed turkey at Ramble Creek Farm, with various bird sizes available from 10 to 18+ pounds. Order at the market or online, and pick up at the market on November 20.

Other meat vendors offer a full range of meats for those looking to try a different main course this year. Chicken may fill that turkey craving but better serve a smaller group of diners. This year, Squash Villa Farm offers Delaware breed heritage birds, a critically endangered species that is rare to find but offers great meat. Longlesson Farm offers whole chickens as well, and Ramble Creek Farm has various parts available.

For non-poultry meats, find many different cuts of lamb, such as shanks, loin chops, and riblets, at Elihu Farm. Hebron Valley Veal will have roasts, chops and cutlets of veal available. Squash Villa Farm offers goat leg roasts. Pork, including roasts, hocks, and sausages, will be available at three vendors: Pork & Greens (a new vendor at the farmers’ market offering various breeds of sustainably raised pork), Ramble Creek Farm, and Longlesson Farm, where pork returns in stock on November 20. The latter farm has plenty of beef available, as well.

Looking for a vegetarian or vegan centerpiece instead? You can use various in-season produce items to create a flavorful and visually stunning meal without meat. Try dishes like whole roasted cauliflower, lentil shepherd’s pie with a parsnip and potato mash, or a “squashducken” (a squash, stuffed in a squash, stuffed in another squash!).

For the other courses, the farmers’ market is sure to fill your needs as well. More on the vegetable sides, desserts, and dressings you can source at the market in next week’s edition.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Wilton Mall Food Court. The CDTA’s routes 450 (from Schenectady) and 452 (from Skidmore College via downtown Saratoga) run to the Wilton Mall on Saturday mornings. Find us online at, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @SaratogaFarmersMarket.

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