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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Many fruits and vegetables are widely celebrated in the fall including apples, pumpkins and other winter squash. At area farmers tailgate markets, there are so many varieties of vegetables worthy of homage, yet unfortunately ignored by the mainstream autumnal attention. Sweet potatoes, arugula, sweet potato greens, and wild mushrooms, are just a few.

The first of the sweet potatoes are starting to arrive at markets. Flying Cloud Farm (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market) will have Covington variety of sweet potatoes, and King Harvest Farm (Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market) will have Beauregard variety of sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato greens garner significantly less notoriety than they deserve. They’re comparable to spinach with less bite at the back end of the flavor. Mild and delicious, they’re a great addition to soups, pasta and rice dishes, or slightly sauteed on their own. Find them from Blue Meadow Farms (West Asheville Tailgate Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, and Asheville City Market), as well as other farms throughout the region.

Though fall is not the only time that we are graced with arugula and lettuce mixes, it is certainly a superb time for them — especially following their absence during the hottest months of the summer. The cool fall temperatures can make these greens slightly sweeter than at other times of year. Many farms across multiple markets will have these light salad greens, including Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market).

Daikon radishes have begun to return and the first have been spotted from B & L Organic (North Asheville Tailgate Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market). These spicy roots are wonderful for warming autumn dishes.

According to Chris of Asheville Fungi (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market), fall is one of the best times of year for mushroom hunting. Why? Because of the specific varieties that can be foraged. Right now, Chris has honey mushrooms, a wild variety that is considered by some to be even better than chanterelles or morels. To try a new mushroom for the first time, cook in a pan with butter and salt to explore the full flavor. Other recipe ideas include a wild mushroom bisque or wild mushroom risotto. And, as always, Asheville Fungi have cultivated mushrooms, such as oysters and others, throughout the year.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. Find out where farmers tailgate markets are on which days. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting our online Local Food Guide.

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