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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Farmers, especially those here in our region, are remarkable. They’re up against so many odds, and they still deliver the most exquisite — in both flavor and aesthetics — produce, meats, cheeses, and more to area farmers tailgate markets each week. Right now we are, and have been, experiencing severe drought conditions, and our farmers are still showing up to markets, abundance in hand. When at a market this week, be sure to tell your farmers thank you.

Brussel sprouts are incredibly hard to come by here in the Southern Appalachian mountains. According to farmers, they’re very challenging to grow. They’re pesky plants prone to pests, take up a lot of space and a long period to grow, and they need cool weather to mature to their best potential.

Brussel sprouts are more suitable for the Pacific Northwest, and so when a farmers grows and harvests them here in the the Southeast, it’s something to get excited about! Right now — and for a week, or two longer — find brussel sprouts from Aardvark Farm at Yancey County Farmers Market and Asheville City Market.

Daikon radishes are not all the same — some varieties are spicier than others. The spicier daikons are great for stir-fries especially if you use a sweeter sauce, such as teriyaki, to balance the spice. Or, make the most of the spicy aspect and pickle or ferment them. Find a spicy variety of daikon radish from Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm (Weaverville Tailgate Market, Madison County Farmers Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market).

Blue Meadow Farms (Black Mountain Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market) have a purple variety of daikon radishes that they say is less spicy, and more sweet. They recommend roasting it with a medley of root vegetables, or on its own.

Sunchokes are a root vegetable that can be prepared much in the same way as potatoes, but have less starch and a distinct flavor. You can also eat them raw in salads adding a texture like that of a water chestnuts. Find them from a few farms now, including Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm and Root Bottom Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market).

Sunchokes also go by the name Jerusalem artichokes, and make a great soup base. Explore creating a creamy broth with blended, roasted sunchokes, and adding such accoutrements as crumbled bacon (which you can get from Dry Ridge Farm at Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market) and kale “chips” which you can make from kale purchased from Flying Cloud Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market), as well as other produce vendors.

Starting to think about your Thanksgiving meal? There are just a few local turkeys still available to pre-order, you can find which farms and retailers still have them in our Find Your Turkey blog post. If you’re feeling bold, perhaps explore alternatives to turkey, such as a pork roast, leg of lamb, or other festive local meat. And, there will be plenty of local produce at markets leading up to the holiday for all of your side dish needs. Many markets host special holiday markets, such as Asheville City Market moving to the Masonic Temple on Broadway the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Ask your market manager or vendors what special markets they might have!

It’s also getting to be the time of year in which some markets close, while others change times or locations. Visit our page, 2016 Tailgate Market Closing, Holiday, & Winter Dates to learn more.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. Find out where farmers tailgate markets are on which days. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting our online Local Food Guide.

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