Game Time

Make a decision to try game birds

'Tis the season for turkey.

But K.C.C. Natural Farms has other ideas for the holiday feast's focal point.

The farm specializes in heritage chickens and game birds, which are ideal for smaller holiday dinner parties. The birds roam the pastures of the spacious Maryland plot and are processed on the premises.

Pheasants ($8.60 per pound) feed on sorghum and alfalfa, developing a complex, gamy flavor. The farm will also wood-smoke the birds on request ($12 per pound), which gives the meat a burlier presence alongside wild rice stuffing and tart cranberry sauce. Delicate quail ($4 each) and their tiny eggs ($4 for a dozen) are also available.

The cage-free farm also raises robust, flavorful French heritage chickens ($4 per pound, or sold by individual cut). The same breed as France's standard-setting Label Rouge chicken, the three- to four-pound poultry is a rich alternative to an oversize Thanksgiving centerpiece.

The farm operates a shop on its property, which is a scenic, foliage-filled drive from town. For easier access, the birds appear many weeks at the Penn Quarter Freshfarm Market.

K.C.C. Natural Farms, 2630 Rocks Rd., Forest Hill; 410-803-9200 or kccnaturalfarms.com