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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Things are cooling down at area farmers tailgate markets. Most area farms experienced frost conditions this past week. Frost can mean trouble for some crops, but for others it is a welcome occurrence — it can sweeten some vegetable varieties, and who doesn’t like their daily dose of vegetables to be sweeter?

Some varieties in the brassica family fall into this frost-favoring category, including kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Find delicious, frost-visited broccoli from farms such as Ten Mile Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market and Asheville City Market).

Spinach is another green that gets less-bitter with a little colder weather. Due to the heavy rains earlier in the month, though, there may not be much of it around.

Parsnips also taste better after a frost, and get sweeter with each subsequent frost. Aardvark Farm (Yancey County Farmers Market, Asheville City Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market) will have them for the next few months. Try them now, and again, and again, as the temperatures get increasingly colder, and see if you can taste the difference over time. Parsnips are great in almost any dish that you would use carrots, and make especially great soups.

In other news of light colored roots veggies: white sweet potatoes deserve mention. They have a distinctly different flavor than their regular, orange-fleshed relative — more subtle and floral, and less pronouncedly sweet. Meadow Cove Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market) and Ten Mile Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market and Asheville City Market) have them now.

Updates and information:

This year, there are less local turkeys available for Thanksgiving, as some farms didn’t want to take the risk in the face of possible Avian Flu. Although the disease has yet to hit our region, many farms didn’t want to expose themselves to the potential loss. There are only some local turkeys available, so reserve your local turkey as soon as you can. Or, consider an alternative main dish for your holiday table. Read more about local turkey and alternative options here.

Area farmers tailgate markets are beginning to close for the season. Asheville City Market- South, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, and other markets close between now and the end of the month. Check our compiled list of dates to find out when your favorite markets will wrap up for the year, or which markets will continue through the winter. Celebrate and purchase local food all 365 days of the year!

For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse ASAP’s online Local Food Guide or the online farmers market calendar.

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