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cherry tomatoes

Fireworks will light up skies this weekend, but colorful displays of another sort are filling farmers tailgate market tables. Whether you are gathering with friends and family or preserving some time for yourself, here are a few ways you can celebrate the best of local food this holiday weekend.

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As a new flock of hens starts to lay, their first eggs are smaller, with firmer whites and more deeply colored yolks, than regular eggs. Not to be dismissed, these pullet eggs boast a richer flavor and creamier texture. For the next few weeks, these will be the only eggs available from Dry Ridge Farm at the ASAP Farmers Market. It’s a great chance to try something truly unique to farmers markets, as grocery stores stick to uniform, regulation sizes.

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gingerbread

This week is your last opportunity to shop at farmers tailgate markets in 2020. You have plenty of chances. On Saturday, visit ASAP Farmers Market (9 a.m. to noon) or North Asheville Tailgate Market’s Holiday Bazaar (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). On Tuesday, West Asheville Tailgate Market runs 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. And on Wednesday, you can shop at Weaverville Tailgate Market (2 to 5 p.m.). North, West, and Weaverville will then close for the season. ASAP Farmers Market will resume at A-B Tech on Jan. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and River Arts District Farmers Market will return to Pleb Urban Winery Jan. 6. 

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applesauce

We’re in the midst of Hanukkah now, and whether or not you celebrate the Festival of Lights, you might draw inspiration from some of its traditional dishes as you do your farmers tailgate market shopping this week. 

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apples from Creasman Farms

We’re at the height of apple season and you can find a multitude of choices at farmers tailgate markets right now. While picking your own apples can be a fun, experiential way to get your stock up for the fall, shopping at market gives you the chance to ask the farmer about each variety. Try branching out from your favorites to sample something new!

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muscadine grapes

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall,” wrote Oscar Wilde, and that feels especially true this year. This past week’s cooler temperatures have brought the threat of frost to some of the higher-elevation farms in our region. While farmers tailgate markets have been seeing the transition to autumn for the past several weeks, suddenly cooler-weather crops are taking center stage. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are all still available, but in shorter supply. Here are a few things to start looking for instead.

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tango peaches from Lee's One Fortune Farm

Farmers tailgate markets are hitting peak summer bounty. It’s hard to see beyond the myriad berries, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and squash. But if you’re seeking something a little different, there are a few lesser-known treasures popping up on market tables. 

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For most of us, the Fourth of July is likely to feel a lot less spectacular this year. But that’s all the more reason to create your fireworks in the kitchen and celebrate what local farmers have at farmers tailgate markets right now. There isn’t a better time of year to be turning a colorful array of fruit into flavor-bursting pies, cobblers, and galettes. Read the rest of this entry »

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School’s out and it’s officially summer now, which means you might be ready to head out to your favorite hiking trails, swimming holes, or parks (maintaining good social distancing, of course). Want to pack a picnic on the way? Farmers tailgate markets are a great place to do that, even if you want to focus on simple, low-preparation (or no-preparation)  meals. Here’s a guide to the best markets have right now that require nothing more than a folding knife and a cutting board. Read the rest of this entry »

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apple heart valentine

If you’re the type to serve your sweetheart a locally sourced Valentine’s Day meal, take note that you’ll need to stop at a farmers tailgate market tomorrow or Wednesday to collect ingredients in time for Feb. 14. Pretty much any meal you shop for and prepare yourself hits the mark for a romantic gesture, but we’ve included a few suggestions to really get into the spirit.

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