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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Halloween is next week, and you might want to focus your farmers tailgate market shopping on plenty of fresh produce and proteins to counteract the inevitable sugar overload. You’ll find autumnal favorites like winter squash and pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes, ginger, and much more. Want a meal that stays on (gruesome) message? May we suggest the feetloaf.

Simply meatloaf shaped to resemble Bigfoot’s appendage, feetloaf can be a fun way to feed kids and adults alike this week. Pick up ground beef from Dry Ridge Farm (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), Dillingham Family Farm (Weaverville Tailgate Market), or Hickory Nut Gap (North Asheville Tailgate Market). You’ll need about a pound and a half, depending on the size of the foot. 

You can hide quite a bit of veggies and herbs in any loaf; we like to use thyme, carrots, red peppers, garlic, and onions, all of which you can find at markets right now (make sure to save a few onion strips for your feetloaf’s toenails. Mix in an egg, bread crumbs, and spices like chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, and form your best footprint shape on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Cut up a few potatoes and sweet potato wedges to roast alongside your loaf and place the tray in a 325-degree oven.

After your loaf has been in the oven for about 10 minutes, brush on a sticky ketchup glaze. (Bonus points if you make your own from local tomatoes, but we absolutely understand if that’s not part of your weeknight dinner plan.) We like to add a bit of local honey, fermented hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.

Looking for more ways to celebrate locally? West Asheville Tailgate Market is hosting a Halloween Pet Parade on Tuesday at 5 pm. Judges will award prizes for pet and person costumes, and there will be pumpkin and gourd decorating as well as live music. On Wednesday, Weaverville Tailgate Market will host a fall festival with face painting, corn hole, Thanksgiving turkey raffle, and a fire engine Touch-a-Truck event for kids.

As a reminder, fall marks the end of the season for some markets. This week is the final Wednesday to visit Asheville City Market-South and Weaverville Tailgate Market. You can find a full list of market closing dates, as well as holiday and winter markets, at asapconnections.org.

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 at appalachiangrown.org.