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Turkey farms booming before Thanksgiving

Turkeys awaited their patriotic duty at Lilac Hedge Farm in Berlin on Thursday.
Turkeys awaited their patriotic duty at Lilac Hedge Farm in Berlin on Thursday.Lane Turner/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

The turkey business is booming for local farmers, as families flock to fill their tables for Thanksgiving dinner.

Ryan MacKay, the 26-year-old co-owner of Lilac Hedge Farm in Berlin, said their turkey business has exploded in the past few years.

“We’re hoping to sell about 700 this year,” MacKay said. “We’ve been in business for five years and we’re growing every year. Last year we sold around 500.”

MacKay said the farm has several locations across the state where people can pick up their turkeys.

“What we don’t sell doesn’t go unused either,” he said. “We end up selling it in the form of turkey sausage and things like that.”

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In Wendell, Diemand Farm began taking orders back in August.

“Selling turkeys has been going really well,” said Brian Bailey, an employee at the farm. “We have one particular gentleman who for the past four years has driven up from New Jersey and he purchases and brings back two birds.”

Bailey said the farm, which is celebrating its 80th year, will sell about 2,700 turkeys this year. People could pick up their turkeys as early as Nov. 12, but most swing by the last few days before Thanksgiving.

Marie Lukasik, whose family owns Lukasik Family Farm in South Hadley, said they will likely sell about 200 turkeys this year.

“We’re going to have to start capping off pretty soon,” Lukasik said. “We don’t want to disappoint, but it’s a small farm and there are only so many turkeys when we want to keep everything as fresh as possible.”

Lukasik said the farm, which has been around for more than a century, has seen its business surge over the past decade.

“Every single year, it gets bigger and bigger,” Lukasik said. “We started off a few years ago with only about 50 of them.”

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Lukasik said families began reserving turkeys in October but will have to wait until Tuesday and Wednesday to pick them up.

“If you had a turkey of ours at your home for Thanksgiving, the people there would want one for themselves the next year,” Lukasik said. “People want to give their guests something delicious and fresh to eat.”


Olivia Quintana can be reached at olivia.quintana@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.