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honey

This recipe comes from Operations Coordinator Taylor Millington (via Host the Toast blog). Local honey and eggs are abundant at farmers markets right now.

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pumpkin pie

This recipe comes from Growing Minds Program Coordinator Debbi Timson. You can use local pumpkin or winter squash, such as butternut, to make the filling. (The pie pictured was made with candy roaster squash grown by Debbi’s grandsons!)

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roasted quail with herbs and cranberry sauce

There were a limited number of local turkeys available from Appalachian Grown farms this year, and those sold out by the end of October. So what if you didn’t reserve your bird early, but still want a local meat centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner? If you’re willing to get a little creative, you can find alternatives at farmers tailgate markets. (Planning a vegan or vegetarian feast? Stay tuned for next week’s column for ideas.)

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purple and orange sweet potatoes

The mornings and evenings are getting pretty chilly, and if you’re feeling like us, you may want to snuggle in with a warm drink for a few extra minutes. Farmers tailgate markets have lots of nourishing options for getting creative with hot drinks, whether you prefer tea, cider, or even a frothy vegetable latte. 

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veggie carvings

Last chance to get your decorative gourds and jack-o-lanterns for Halloween! Farmers tailgate markets have plenty of pumpkin and squash types to choose from, but why stop there? You can collect an assortment of fall veggies for carving up a spooky-but-cute porch display.

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broccoli

Many farms in the region experienced their first frost this week, which signals the end of tomatoes, peppers, and other summer veggies for the season. We may see the final harvest of these crops at farmers tailgate markets for another week or so, but it’s time to fully embrace fall. Right now we’re seeing lots of head lettuce coming back to market as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.

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Tony Norcia with a student from WCCA at Bearwallow Valley Farms

ASAP likes to share the stories of people in the community who help us fulfill our mission. This month we talked to Tony Norcia, a dietetic intern at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Lenoir-Rhyne is a partner in ASAP’s Growing Minds @ University program, which equips pre-service students with knowledge and experiences to be able to incorporate local food and farm to school/farm to preschool activities into their careers as dietitians. Tony is currently completing a 12-week Community Nutrition and Administration rotation at Bearwallow Valley Farms with farmer/owner and registered dietitian Nicole Coston.

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persimmons from Lee's One Fortune Farm

Persimmons are a lovely fall treat, great for making baked goods, fruit leather, pudding, jam, and other sweets. But you can also use this autumnal fruit in more savory dishes. The fuyu variety of persimmon, which tastes similar to an apricot or date with notes of cinnamon, is great in salads, in stews, or roasted. 

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Assorted Peppers

Late summer and early autumn produce continues to mingle on farmers tailgate market tables, giving shoppers a panoply of options. You can get ripe tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, okra, beans, and potatoes alongside winter squash, apples, the earliest sweet potatoes, and hardy greens like kale, collards, arugula, chard, and mustard. With this abundance, you might be thinking about preserving a little bit for later. Not sure where to start? DIY hot sauce is one of the easiest ways to savor local flavor all winter.

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apples

As the seasons are shifting towards cooler nights and shorter days, and the leaves are starting to change, it is the time of year to cozy up with warming ginger tea or hot apple cider to celebrate the fall harvest and prepare for the winter. Apples, pumpkins, ginger, turmeric, winter squash and sweet potatoes are among some fall favorites that you can find throughout our region, providing just the right combination of flavors, and inspiration for so many delightful and nourishing meals.

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