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broccoli

Many farms in the region experienced their first frost this week, which signals the end of tomatoes, peppers, and other summer veggies for the season. We may see the final harvest of these crops at farmers tailgate markets for another week or so, but it’s time to fully embrace fall. Right now we’re seeing lots of head lettuce coming back to market as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.

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Tony Norcia with a student from WCCA at Bearwallow Valley Farms

ASAP likes to share the stories of people in the community who help us fulfill our mission. This month we talked to Tony Norcia, a dietetic intern at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Lenoir-Rhyne is a partner in ASAP’s Growing Minds @ University program, which equips pre-service students with knowledge and experiences to be able to incorporate local food and farm to school/farm to preschool activities into their careers as dietitians. Tony is currently completing a 12-week Community Nutrition and Administration rotation at Bearwallow Valley Farms with farmer/owner and registered dietitian Nicole Coston.

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persimmons from Lee's One Fortune Farm

Persimmons are a lovely fall treat, great for making baked goods, fruit leather, pudding, jam, and other sweets. But you can also use this autumnal fruit in more savory dishes. The fuyu variety of persimmon, which tastes similar to an apricot or date with notes of cinnamon, is great in salads, in stews, or roasted. 

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Assorted Peppers

Late summer and early autumn produce continues to mingle on farmers tailgate market tables, giving shoppers a panoply of options. You can get ripe tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, okra, beans, and potatoes alongside winter squash, apples, the earliest sweet potatoes, and hardy greens like kale, collards, arugula, chard, and mustard. With this abundance, you might be thinking about preserving a little bit for later. Not sure where to start? DIY hot sauce is one of the easiest ways to savor local flavor all winter.

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apples

As the seasons are shifting towards cooler nights and shorter days, and the leaves are starting to change, it is the time of year to cozy up with warming ginger tea or hot apple cider to celebrate the fall harvest and prepare for the winter. Apples, pumpkins, ginger, turmeric, winter squash and sweet potatoes are among some fall favorites that you can find throughout our region, providing just the right combination of flavors, and inspiration for so many delightful and nourishing meals.

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Sydney Hendry

ASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month we talked with Dr. Sydney Hendry of The Family Health Centers in Asheville. Dr. Hendry is one of the physicians participating in ASAP’s Farm Fresh Prescription Program pilot, in which healthcare practitioners can prescribe a farmers market visit to their patients.

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rice

The fall crop of rice is here from Lee’s One Fortune Farm! While rice is not commonly grown in the Southern Appalachian region, the Lees have tested and expanded their crop over the past few years. Throughout the fall and winter, they will have sweet sticky, brown, purple, and more varieties available at farmers tailgate markets. Find Lee’s One Fortune Farm at ASAP, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, and East Asheville markets. 

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okra, peppers, eggplant

This time of year marks a sweet spot where summer devolves into fall and we get to enjoy the best of both worlds. Fall officially kicks off next week, ushering in cool mornings, community campfires, and fall food staples like sweet potatoes, squashes, apples, cauliflower, onions, cabbage, and leafy greens. While we eagerly await these arrivals and jump at the chance to get some early fall harvests, we are also tending to preserving the last of the summer crops of which there are still plenty at market.

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ginger from Lee's One Fortune Farm

Ginger is a warming spice, so we usually associate it with fall and winter baking and cooking. We’re looking at summertime temperatures for a few more weeks—with maybe a hint of chill in the mornings—but you can still put the fresh ginger coming in at farmers tailgate markets now to good use!

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shishito peppers

We’ll have dry weather in the mountains for Labor Day, which means it’s safe to plan a few leisurely outdoor meals for the long weekend (or week). And just because we’re celebrating labor, doesn’t mean you should work too hard! Get everything you need at farmers tailgate markets to pull together a simple meal for sharing.

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