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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Fall’s peak color show is near: red, yellow, orange, and…green. That’s right, area farmers tailgate markets are keeping—and will keep—green around even as the leaves turn!

Now is a great time to snag kale. Gladheart Farm (Asheville City Market South, East Asheville Tailgate Market, Oakley Farmers Market) and Leaning Willow Farm (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market) offer up three varieties of kale alone, not to mention other types of leafy greens. Keep your eyes peeled for arugula, chard, collards, lettuces, mustards, and even dandelion greens, spotted last week/weekend from Thatchmore Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market). Thatchmore expects Asian greens—think Chinese cabbage and Tatsoi—in the coming weeks. Got a fall garden going? Snag starts; Full Sun Farm (Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) offers Miner’s Lettuce now, a hardy winter salad green.

Also somewhat unexpected? Mushrooms, particularly lion’s mane which hasn’t quite popped up everywhere in the wild yet. Myco-Gardens (North Asheville Tailgate Market) has them early thanks to their temperature- and humidity-controlled greenhouse. They also have oyster and pioppini mushrooms now and will offer the reishi variety soon. Find blackberries, too! While their time of abundance has passed, McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market downtown and South, North Asheville Tailgate Market) offers a hybrid variety with staying power, along with apples.

Expect an abundance of characteristically fall apples this week and in the coming weeks, including the beloved Pink Lady next month from McConnell. Historic Marion Tailgate Market reports their vendors have Red Delicious, Yellow or Golden Delicious, and Winesap now.

Plus, keep your eyes out for another fall staple: pumpkins. B and L Organic (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) brought a few last weekend as a sneak peek of what’s to come this week and beyond.

But don’t stop there! Beans, corn, peppers, potatoes, okra, and winter squash remain. And watch for sales on local meats, which make perfect additions to warming stews now that there’s a chill in the air.

Thursday at Oakley Farmers Market, children can participate in a fall leaf art project at 4:30 pm, followed by storytime and macaroni jewelry making at 5:30. Saturday at Jackson County Farmers Market, watch (and sample!) a cooking demonstration completely powered by an alternative energy source. Family Art at the Market (10 am-2 pm) offers craft time for kids; a special storytime begins at 11:30. Also on Saturday, Greenlife Grocery will host its final cooking demo of the season at Asheville City Market.

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