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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Watermelon Radish

The runt of the fall produce litter is a big dog these days at area farmers markets! We’re talking about the typically tiny radish, an oft-overlooked root veggie that comes in a surprising number of varieties and sizes that are taking over tailgate tables now. (PS: It’s Get Local root veggie month, so also look for beets, turnips, and lots more.)

The watermelon radish, shown above, has been spotted recently from B&L Organic (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market). Slightly larger than your average radish, the white and green skin covers a neon-pink flesh, meaning a slice of a watermelon radish looks just like a slice of its namesake. Expect a mild and slightly sweet taste.

Black Spanish radishes can be found now. Although they have a white flesh, their skin is a striking deep black (it can also be a deep maroon), and they have a nutty, mildly spicy flavor. Look for them from vendors including First Blossom Farm (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market). First Blossom also offers Shunkyo radishes, which are deep pink but long and cylindrical unlike their widely known globe-shaped cousins. Shunkyos have been said to taste both spicy and unusually sweet.

Speaking of long, cylindrical radishes, don’t forget about daikons. Supersized daikons have been spotted from Flying Cloud Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). In fact, you’ll spot them on several vendors’ tables now likely next to napa cabbage: a nudge that it’s a great time to make Korean kimchi. Garlic, another key ingredient, is also widely available.

Don’t worry, even though Halloween has come and gone, pumpkins remain—pie pumpkins, that is, for Thanksgiving baking and beyond! They’ve been spotted from many vendors, including Jake’s Farm (Asheville City Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market). You might even find pumpkins on a stick, which are actually a relative of eggplant, for fall decorating.

Many more veggies fitting for your Thanksgiving feast, from peppers to winter squash, can be found now and will remain through the holiday—along with farm-fresh meats, eggs, cheeses, baked goods, and gifts galore. Speaking of gifts, come Thanksgiving, many markets turn into holiday markets to close out their seasons. All tailgates mentioned in this report are still going strong. For a complete list of closings and holiday market dates, visit the farmers market section of our website, or our community site fromhere.org.

To learn about market events/find a market schedule, visit our farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide.

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