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What Makes a Pasture-Raised Turkey Different?

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 fixins(like turkey brine and egg nog!) in addition to these unique birds that we’ll be highlighting over the next several weeks. Thanksgiving shares are separate from your regular share and can be ordered here:


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.

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.

As an additional benefit of a life on pasture, these turkeys are leaner than their industrially-raised counterparts, richer in flavor, and take much less time to cook! You can read all about the proper preparation of your turkey (including what size to order!) here!

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, to your doorstep — 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.

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 up too fast!