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red and gold beets

If you’ve been hunkered down all week wondering if or when our country would erupt into violence, heading out to a farmers tailgate market might be the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. First of all, markets are outdoor environments and all that fresh air and sunlight can help clear your head. Second, even in the age of coronavirus and a divisive election, markets offer community and fellowship. Finally, and most obviously, shopping at market literally nourishes yourself and your family. 

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popcorn from Full Sun Farm

November and Daylight Savings Time are around the corner. This week marks the final days for a couple of farmers tailgate markets in Buncombe County, with a change in hours coming at others. After today’s market, you’ll have one more chance to visit East Asheville Tailgate Market on Oct. 30. Enka-Candler Tailgate Market’s last day is this Thursday, Oct. 29, though some vendors will return for a two-day weekend holiday market Nov. 14 and 15. Starting Nov. 3, West Asheville Tailgate Market will change its hours to 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (instead of 6:30), but remain outdoors at Grace Baptist Church through December. Weaverville Tailgate Market is moving indoors at Reems Creek Nursery on Nov. 4 and changing its hours to 2 to 5 p.m. (instead of 2:30 to 6).

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We’re finally in for some colder nights this coming week, so it’s a good time to stock up on stew ingredients to fortify you against the chill. Whether your preferred simmering method involves an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or good, old-fashioned Dutch oven, your first step is to gather everything you can at a winter farmers tailgate market. We’ve got a few ideas to get you started.

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purple cauliflower

This past December didn’t bring the same significant snowfall and freezing temperatures we’ve seen in recent years, and as a result we’re seeing some unexpected produce at winter farmers tailgate markets alongside winter stalwarts like sweet potatoes, apples, and collard greens. Read the rest of this entry »

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cauliflower

Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, and other brassicas have returned to farmers tailgate markets for the fall. These crops make a quick appearance in late spring and early summer, then fade away over the hottest part of the season, returning when the days lengthen and evenings start to cool off. Cruciferous vegetables can make wonderful, hearty comfort food dishes that actually impart a few health benefits as well (like high levels of vitamins C and K). 

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When thinking about the colors of autumn, it is typical to think of fall foliage. But, the fall produce at area farmers tailgate markets is a splendid array of tints and hues that should not be passed by! Read the rest of this entry »

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Vegetables are not necessarily relegated to one season only; some produce is available twice a year. This is due to their preference for the moderate temperatures of spring and fall. It’s incredibly exciting knowing that your favorite vegetable will be back again, fresh and local at area farmers tailgate markets, in just a few months.

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Unique to area farmers tailgate markets are the moments that shoppers share with farmers and each other when they express enthusiasm for a new produce item: that excitement of finding your favorite fruit that has finally arrived at market; of finding a new variety of veggie that you hadn’t known existed; of finding a food your family cooked for you as a kid. For some folks, summer squash — particularly zucchini — can elicit such an exchange. Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s fresh and exciting this week at area farmers tailgate markets? Cauliflower! Along with its relative, broccoli, cauliflower has two short seasons — one in the spring, and one in the fall. Cauliflower is unique, delicious, and full of nutrition, making it a very special time when it’s at markets. Read the rest of this entry »

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With all the dry weather throughout the summer, farmers were hoping for rain, but as the adage goes, “be careful what you wish for.” Farmers have not been affected uniformly by the heavy rains that hit the region last week; each farm has different soil type, elevation/gradient of their fields, microclimate (which affected how much rain they got), and growing practices (raised beds, tunnels, etc). The variation in produce affected by the rain at area farmers tailgate markets this week will vary from farm to farm. Read the rest of this entry »

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