ASAP Local Food Strong Farms Healthy Communities

Comment. Share. Connect. Join ASAP in an ongoing conversation about local food FROM HERE in the Southern Appalachians.


Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

roast chicken

As we move into November thoughts turn to holiday feasting, and for many that means a turkey centerpiece. Local turkey is available from several local farms in the region, including Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Dillingham Family Farm, though you will need to order in advance—and act fast! These birds tend to sell out every year. Find a list of farms in the area with local turkeys, and information on how to order them here.

But what if you can’t snag a turkey, or maybe turkey just isn’t your preference? There are plenty of great alternatives worthy of a special occasion meal. If you want to stay in the poultry family, pastured chicken can certainly hold its own on a holiday table, especially brined in apple cider, rubbed with herbs, and roasted to golden perfection. Look for whole chickens from Fiddler’s Green Farm (Asheville City Market), East Fork Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market), and Walnut Farms (Riverside Tailgate Market). Want something a little less everyday? Down to Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market) has duck meat, which plays especially well with Thanksgiving standbys like cranberry and pumpkin.

Skipping the bird altogether? Pork, beef, lamb, and even rabbit can be found at many farmers markets. Stuffing a pork loin is arguably superior to stuffing a turkey. Butterfly your roast so that you have a uniformly flat surface, about ¾-inch thick. Spread your favorite stuffing recipe over the meat, then roll it back up as tightly as possible. Tie it with about six loops of kitchen twine and roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145. Look for pork loin (or your preferred pork or beef cut) from Dry Ridge Farm (Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) or Hickory Nut Gap Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market). In addition, East Fork Farm has lamb and rabbit.

Need a showstopper vegetarian main course? Consider stuffed acorn squash halves, a market greens and cheese galette, or individual mushroom pot pies. Acorn (or other variety) squash and greens like kale, swiss chard, and collards are available from many vendors. Look for mushrooms from Asheville Fungi (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), Black Trumpet Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market), and Myco-Gardens (North Asheville Tailgate Market). Supply your cheese needs from Spinning Spider Creamery (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market), Three Graces Dairy (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), or Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery (Asheville City Market). 

Some markets around the region have begun to close, while others are have switched locations or hours for the holiday season. Weaverville Winter Tailgate Market started up this week at Honey and the Hive, Wednesdays from 2 pm to 6 pm. Asheville City Market’s N. Market St. location hours have changed to 9 am to noon on Saturdays through the rest of the year. West Asheville Tailgate Market’s hours have changed to 2:30 to 5:30 pm on Tuesdays at Grace Baptist Church for the month of November. Find a full list of regular season as well as holiday and winter market dates and times here.

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.

Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,