If you’ve been thinking of cooking up a “locally grown” theme for your Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve got some good news and bad news for you. The bad news is this: If you haven’t already arranged to buy a Georgia heritage turkey, you aren’t likely to find one at this late date. Locally, humanely, naturally raised turkeys are in such high demand in these parts that most are spoken for before the poults have become proper poultry.
But here’s the good news: You can still buy most everything else for the big meal from local producers—as long as you act quickly. Think about your menu now. Start shopping this week if you can, so you won't be caught by surprise if your favorite farmer runs out of sweet potatoes, or if your usual farmers market is closed for the holiday.
Here’s a partial list of where you can find locally produced goods in time for Thanksgiving. If you know of others, feel free to add them in the comments below.
Brookhaven Farmers Market: The final market of the season will be held 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. While you’re there, you can place a last-minute order for a Thanksgiving pie by Pies by Pina’s Daughter.
Cotton Mill Holiday Gift Bazaar and Farmers Market: This annual indoor holiday market, held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Carrollton, combines artisans and farmers for one big, festive market, so you can knock out some holiday gift shopping while you pick up your Thanksgiving dinner ingredients.
Decatur Farmers Market: With year-round Wednesday afternoon hours, this market will be a procrastinator’s dream next week. But you don't have to wait; you can shop there 3-6 p.m. this Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, too.
Dunwoody Green Market: The market is open 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Nov. 21. Lots of fresh vegetables, meat, cheeses, and some Thanksgiving-worthy goodies like Red Queen Tarts.
East Atlanta Village Farmers Market: This fun-and-funky market will be closed on Thanksgiving, so get your shopping done this week. And do it early! The market opens at 4 and closes at 6:30 for its annual Giving Thanks potluck dinner. Bring a dish to share, and stick around for the live music, annual turkey pardon, and an after party at Midway Pub.
East Lake Farmers Market: ELF’s final market of the season is this Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Updates to the market's website and Facebook page are haphazard at best, but you may find some reports from the market's vendors before Saturday.
East Point Farmers Market: East Point Main Street Association will host a holiday market 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. this Saturday at the Downtown East Point Commons Area, 2757 East Point Street.
Emory Farmers Market: Held on campus during the academic year, this market is open to the public, and it will be open next Tuesday, too. Park at the nearby Fishburne Parking Deck, then ask anyone for walking directions to the farmers market (at the Cox Hall Bridge).
Farm Mobile: The roving farmers market is making several stops this week but will be off the roads the week of Thanksgiving. Pork roasts, smoked turkey, and a wide variety of vegetables are available at stops in Tucker, Atlanta, East Point. You can find an updated schedule here.
Grant Park Farmers Market: This large market offers lots of choices for your holiday meal, including meats, produce and baked goods. Open 9:30 to 1:30 Sunday.
Green Market at Piedmont Park: The market will operate 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. You can usually find a link to its weekly e-mail newsletter on its Facebook page every Thursday.
Marietta Square Farmers Market: The market is open this Saturday (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and Sunday (12 to 3 p.m.). But starting the weekend after Thanksgiving, it will only be open on Saturdays through the winter.
Morningside Farmers Market: This year-round market’s final chef demo of the season will be 9:30 Saturday by Rosebud’s Ron Eyster. The market itself is open 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and features some top-notch, certified organic farmers.
Peachtree City Farmers Market: The market is open this Saturday and the following Wednesday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Saturday, you can also buy a raffle ticket to win a platter of cookies from the Holiday Cookie Contest.
Peachtree Road Farmers Market: Catch a cooking demo at 10 a.m. Saturday by Watershed’s Joe Truex and stock up on produce, cheese, meats and baked goods, including some fine loaves from H&F Bread Co., from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Sandy Springs Farmers Market: Recent "extended season” markets have been pretty well populated by Sandy Springs regular-season vendors, so you’re likely to find several of your favorites this Saturday, 9:30-11:30.
SWOOM: The final market of the season is this Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m. Last week it had fresh eggs. You just might find some this week, too.
Truly Living Well: Two locations of this farm sell farmstand goods one day a week, year-round, 2 to 6 p.m. Check out the East Point farm on Wednesday and the Wheat Street farm on Friday (find the addresses here).
Tucker Farmers Market: The Thursday market will be closed on Thanksgiving, so be sure to get your shopping done this week. Bring some canned goods — natural or organic preferred, of course — for the market’s canned food drive.
West End Farmers and Artisans Market: This Sunday will be the market’s final one of the season, 12 to 4 p.m. at the Wren's Nest. The organizers don't update its Facebook page consistently, but it's still the most likely source for current vendor information.
Whistle Stop Farmers Market: Although it has ended for the season, Whistle Stop is holding a special harvest market this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Norcross' Thrasher Park. Find directions here.
Image courtesy East Atlanta Farmers Market.