WEST GARDINER – Thanksgiving dinner for some 1,100 Maine families began this week at the Weston Meat Cutting plant, which processes fowl raised by small-scale poultry farmers in Maine. The facility is the only state-inspected poultry processing center in Maine.

Workers at the plant have spent the last seven days processing 1,100 turkeys, an increase from the 800 turkeys they processed in 2011, the first year the facility was state-certified.

Owner Melissa Weston said it’s not just professional turkey farmers who are utilizing her service.

“A lot more people are raising their own (birds) right now,” Weston said. “We process five days a week, no matter what. It’s been a huge jump.”