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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

It’s not just deja vu! Most cool-weather veggies last seen in spring are back again at markets. Joining returning roots like turnips and greens like kale this week are Asian greens and cauliflower.

Gorgeous heads of cauliflower were spotted recently from Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market) right alongside their cousin: cabbage. Cabbage is at its sweetest in late fall and winter, making it a perfect ingredient for all upcoming holiday meals. Look for napa cabbage now—recognizable by its cylindrical shape and fine light green and white heads—as well as other Asian greens like pac choi, also known as bok choy. Will there be a full family reunion at some tailgates? Likely! Do keep your eyes out for broccoli now, and Brussels sprouts should be arriving soon.

If you’re thinking stir fry with this cruciferous group, grab local ginger if you see it, as it won’t stick around markets too much longer. It can be frozen, though, to last well into winter and just might be one of the winter wellness secrets on display Tuesday, November 6, at West Asheville Tailgate Market’s Winter Wellness Day (market hours change to 2:30-5:30 pm). Vendors like Aardvark Farm (Asheville City Market, Yancey County Farmers Market) have been offering it for a bit, while it’s a brand new crop for McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Local ginger is young without the outer “shell” you typically see at the grocery.

Back to the holidays: It’s not too early to purchase winter squash for turkey day, as it will keep until then. In fact, Flying Cloud Farm’s (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) flavorful, large Jarrahdale and Green Hubbard squashes could keep until December holidays and well beyond.

To help you get all the other fixins for your table, Mills River Farmers Market will host its annual Holiday Market on November 17 from 10 am until 1 pm at the G&B Energy Center off of Highway 280; mark your calendars now. Expect lots of the local produce mentioned above along with hot beverages, baked goods, and special holiday gift baskets. A local choir will offer up music of the season to top off the event.

To further plan your Thanksgiving shopping, find out which markets will be open and when—many shift hours now that Daylight Savings Time has ended—here (list view) and here (calendar view). And, stay tuned for more in next week’s report! Note: Asheville City Market is closed November 17 for the Asheville Holiday Parade.

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