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Winter squash is beginning to take center stage at area farmers tailgate markets, along with the cooler temperatures and crisp, fall-like weather. 

There’s already a range of squash varieties. Kabocha, Delicata, Butternut, and Acorn are all here, ready to be roasted. These squashes have so much flavor, you need not add more than butter and a sprinkle of salt. And don’t forget the seeds – all of these squashes have great seeds for roasting. Remove them from the meat of the squash, clean them, and roast at a low temperature until they’re dry and crisp. Add butter and seasoning to make a great snack!

Two particularly exciting varieties to check out are Spaghetti squash and a Honeynut squash, which look like baby Butternut squash. Ask anyone who has tried them – they’re absolutely delicious! These squash are especially sweet, making them great for dessert ingredients for pies and other fall treats. Find Spaghetti squash and Honeynut squash from Wendy Town Farms at West Asheville Tailgate Market, as well as from other farms throughout the area. 

Each week farmers have a wide array of fruits and vegetables. In addition to produce, you can always find a range of meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, baked goods, value added items, fresh flowers, and other treats!

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.

 

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There’s at least one hue of every color represented at area farmers tailgate markets. Farmers’ booths are vibrant and polychromatic. There’s a saying that goes: “Eat your colors.” Variety in the colors of your diet, may or may not live up to this advice, but it sure will make your fridge drawers look beautiful! Read the rest of this entry »

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Local Peppers

What’s fresh at area farmers tailgates now? Almost too much to fit into one report! After a wet season that impacted crops and even kept some farmers from markets, things are starting to turn around. Farmers are back with fall crops, and there’s an amazing variety of both summer and fall produce available.

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Sweet Corn

It’s a family affair at farmers markets these days! The Three Sisters—beans, corn, and squash—can be found now. Called sisters historically because they share a season and help each other grow and thrive, these three plants were the principal crops of Native American groups. Farmers still companion plant these crops today.

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The new kids on the block at area farmers tailgate markets now are far from wallflowers! A brand new tailgate has started out strong, new produce offerings can’t be missed, and new vendors are joining in and attracting crowds.

Last week, the newly formed Oakley Farmers Market hosted their soft opening; they will celebrate their official grand opening this Thursday with live music, baby goats, and a children’s activity. Vendor Gladheart Farm (also at East Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market South) offered up some of the very first zucchinis and cucumbers of the season from their high tunnels. Fiddlesticks Farm, in their first year and also vending at the East Asheville Tailgate Market, caught shoppers’ eyes with their not-often-seen French radish; the variety is GIANT for a radish—reaching almost softball size—and very spicy.

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You could say that the bases are loaded now at area farmers markets. And that the shift is on; the seasonal shift, that is. Summer’s heavy-hitters—tomatoes, eggplants, and more—remain, while fall’s rookies are being called up to play.

This week, McConnell Farms plans to have some of the last of summer’s peaches at Asheville City Market South (Wednesday) and downtown (Saturday). He should still have sweet corn, too. But the cobs are sure to go fast.
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Myco Gardens Pioppini Mushrooms

Pioppinis! Reishis! Mushroom enthusiasts know we’re not speaking another language; we’re talking about two interesting and locally grown varieties. While you can usually find mushrooms at area farmers markets throughout the tailgate season, now is a great time to find varieties new to market (and maybe new to you)! Myco-Gardens offered up both varieties at North Asheville Tailgate Market last weekend, with Pioppinis new to their booth. Pioppinis pack a peppery flavor that’s perfect in pasta dishes or stir-fries. Myco’s Carol Dreiling says that Reishis are great for making tea, as they’re a medicinal, not culinary, mushroom. Rumored health benefits include blood pressure management and liver protection. Read the rest of this entry »

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