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About 300 live turkeys remain on the farm. They will be sold for Christmas. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

When considering what we are thankful for this holiday season, near the top of many a northforker’s list is surely the proximity to fresh local produce, destination restaurants and award-winning wineries.

But this time of year calls for a special acknowledgment of one local business, a nearly 70-year-old poultry farm which attracts about 3,000 people seeking a higher quality bird every Thanksgiving.

Miloski’s Poultry Farm in Calverton has been raising free-range turkeys on its 25-acre farm years before most people ever considered whether or not their meat was antibiotic and hormone-free. The birds are free-range, which we know because passersby can see the rafter grow up every fall.

And for that, we happily proclaim Miloski’s as a northforker “Thing We Love.”

People from all over Long Island agree.

“They are so fresh and so awesome. It’s always the best turkey,” said Karen Ulip of Shirley who was loading a 27 pound bird in her trunk Tuesday morning. “You can tell there’s no chemical taste whatsoever. Sometimes you can taste that with a processed turkey.”

Daniel Cartegna, a real estate investor, traveled from Mineola on Tuesday to get his Thanksgiving turkey.

“It’s almost twice the cost, but I find it a lot juicier,” he said. “I’ll come back every year for it.”

Miloski’s raises 4,000 turkeys a year from chicks to adult and begins the slaughter promise on premises about a week before Thanksgiving.

“They’re allowed to walk around outside. They don’t sit in their own waste and they’re fed a high quality food,” said Jean Miloski, whose father-in-law William founded the farm. “We’ve watched them like they were our own children.”

Of course the Miloskis will have one of their own birds in the center of their Thanksgiving table this Turkey Day.

“The taste is totally different,” Miloski added. “It’s like going to a butcher shop and getting a cut of filet mignon.”

The turkeys are $4.79 a pound and are sold on a cash only and first-come, first-serve basis. The farm store will be open today, Wednesday, until 5 p.m.

Karen Ulip of Shirley loads a 27 pound turkey into her car Tuesday morning. (Credit: Vera Chinese)
Karen Ulip of Shirley loads a 27 pound turkey into her car Tuesday morning. (Credit: Vera Chinese)