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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Sweet Hakurei turnips make an appearance at Asheville City Market from Ol Turtle Farm.

Guest market report by Alex Alesi, fall communications intern; go Alex!

Lower temperatures make fall crops feel right on time at area farmers tailgate markets. Root vegetables will abound this week. Keep reading to see what we mean!

Turnips—Sweet Hakurei at Ol’ Turtle Farm (Asheville City Market downtown, Historic Marion Tailgate Market) and Japanese at Aardvark Farm (Asheville City Market downtown, Yancey County Farmers Market)—are on the rise. B&L Organic (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market downtown, West Asheville Tailgate Market) have carrots, and beets have arrived or are anticipated at Paper Crane and Aardvark. Radishes also are available; you can grab them from, among other vendors, Paper Crane Farm and Flying Cloud Farm (Asheville City Market downtown, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market).

Expect greens that are sweeter than any you’ve tasted in a while. Cool weather puts the leafy stuff under less stress, allowing it to preserve its stores of sugar. Greens are already becoming a fixture in markets and will only become more available and abundant.

Cucumbers are making their debut with vendors like McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market downtown and South, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Gaining Ground Farm (Asheville City Market downtown, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) is offering a special pickling variety now. Ol’ Turtle even has Mexican Sour Gherkins, which look like peanut-sized watermelons or little green dinosaur eggs.

Meanwhile, winter squash is growing strong. Mountain Harvest Organics (North Asheville Tailgate Market) has a wide variety, from dark green acorns to bright orange Sunshine squash. And here’s a sign of the times: Rachel’s Delectables (Asheville City Market downtown, North Asheville Tailgate Market, Oakley Farmers Market) is serving up pumpkin cheesecake, a hint that a certain holiday favorite is on the horizon.

The changing season doesn’t mean it’s too late to pick up warm weather items. Flowers will be available at Flying Cloud Farm until frost, and tomatoes should be available at least another week.

Mark your calendars because the Oakley Farmers Market will hold its Harvest Festival on October 25, during which seasonal dishes—prepared with market ingredients—will be served.

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