Chris Frye of Waterville didn’t necessarily go out of his way to find the perfect turkey for his family’s Thanksgiving feast this year.

It was a subtle hint staring up at him from a strategically placed advertisement located on his placemat during a recent meal at the Purple Cow restaurant in Fairfield.

“If it wasn’t for the advertisement on the placemat at the Purple Cow, I would probably still be eating the turkey from the grocery store,” he said Tuesday after picking up two locally grown turkeys from Greaney’s Turkey Farm in Mercer. The turkeys were cage-free and fed with grain. “I know the owner from way back and thought it would be a good idea for this year’s Thanksgiving.”

The owners, Tracy and Scott Greaney, have been producing the traditional Thanksgiving dish since 1983 with a crew of relatives from aunts, uncles, cousins and other extended family to harvest the nearly 800 birds in a matter of days. Scott Greaney said that although the process begins in August when the baby turkeys arrive, the bulk of work happens in a flurry of turkey herding and processing the week before Thanksgiving. The extended family helps out during this time too, including Ben Greaney, 14, and Adam Greaney, 10.

The season slows down on Friday, when they can take a deep breath and begin the preparations for next year, Scott Greaney said.

— Michael G. Seamans

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