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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

When thinking about the colors of autumn, it is typical to think of fall foliage. The fall produce at area farmers tailgate markets is a splendid array of shades and hues that should not be passed by!

At the supermarket, it is likely that you have only seen cauliflower that is white. At farmers markets, however, you can find it in yellow, green, and even purple! One thing to note, the price of farmers market cauliflower may surprise some folks, but it’s a cost that reflects the challenges of growing a demanding plant. According to Rett Murphy of Aardvark Farm (Asheville City Market and River Arts District Farmers Market):

“Cauliflower is usually pretty expensive because it can be kind of persnickety. When it is heading up, too much heat or direct sunlight can make the heads turn an off color, and too much rain sitting on the heads causes them to rot. Some growers tie up each plant individually to protect the heads, making checking progress and harvest much more labor intensive. It also takes up quite a bit of space in order to get nice heads. Most of us in the small (few acre) vegetable world need to maximize the dollars per square foot, so plants that hog bed space need to cost a bit more.”

Cauliflower is worth the price, though — there is truly no other vegetable that has just the same texture, flavor, and versatility!

Cauliflower’s cousin, the transfixing romanesco with its fractal spires, is also brilliantly colored: a beautiful chartreuse green. Cauliflower and romanesco both have very short seasons, so get em’ while they’re here from Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market).

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.