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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Sweet, spicy, starchy, surprising… So much variety to be found at area farmers tailgate markets this time of year. Fall is a time of roots, dark greens, and warming flavors. Farming doesn’t end with the summer, even if some of the markets do. Explore the diversity of foods this season and try something new, or find your good ol’ favorites.

Brussels sprouts are best suited to grow in the temperate and mild-seasoned Pacific Northwest, and don’t grow as easily in the South due in part to the hotter temperatures. They take up a lot of space, have a long growing period, are prone to many pests, and need to be kept cool and moist during the hotter months. As a result, not many farmers even bother with Brussels sprouts. It was exciting to see that Aardvark Farm has some this week. Stop by to see them at Asheville City Market, Yancey County Farmers Market, and the River Arts District Farmers Market. But make sure to get there early- this coveted crop will go fast!

Sunchokes have begun to appear at market, and will be around well into the winter. Also called Jerusalem artichokes, these roots are starchy and flavorful. They grow abundantly and are good to roast, make soup with, or pan fry and eat with a protein such as eggs on a Sunday morning, for example. You can also eat them raw in salads. Visit Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm at Weaverville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and Madison County Farmers Market.

Both turnips and daikon radishes are sweet with a slight spice to them. These white crunchy roots are great for fermenting in sauerkraut, kimchi, or other canned combinations. Also good for salads and incorporating into roasted root veggie medleys. Find these from many farms right now including Blue Ribbon Farm (Asheville City Market and River Arts District Farmers Market).

Pears are a great alternative to switch up with apples from time to time. They’re wonderful when baked and eaten with vanilla ice cream, or turned into a cobbler or crisp. Or, use a small amount in your savory dishes to add a surprising and slightly sweet undertone. Pears can be found from McConnell Farms (West Asheville Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and Asheville City Market) and Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm right now.

Many markets are either closing for the season this month, or transitioning to new locations and/or hours. Check our list of market closing dates or the individual market’s listing in our online Local Food Guide.

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

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