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An all-local Thanksgiving dinner is a lofty goal, but probably impractical (and could add some additional stress to the holiday for sure). Some traditional ingredients, like green beans or corn, have passed their peak harvest season here in Western North Carolina, so if you didn’t freeze some back in September, you might be out of luck now. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find local cranberries or pecans. But there are ways to feature something local in each dish, if you’re up for the challenge!
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roast chicken

As we move into November thoughts turn to holiday feasting, and for many that means a turkey centerpiece. Local turkey is available from several local farms in the region, including Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Dillingham Family Farm, though you will need to order in advance—and act fast! These birds tend to sell out every year. Find a list of farms in the area with local turkeys, and information on how to order them here.

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We never fail to get excited about the fact that we can get locally grown rice in the Western North Carolina mountains. Lee’s One Fortune Farm has had its fall harvest available in limited quantities for the past couple of weeks at many farmers tailgate markets, including purple and brown rice varieties. The flavor of rice this fresh elevates even the simplest preparations, but Korean bibimbap is a dish that can really highlight all the best of your market haul.

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Quiche from Ma Bell France

With the bouts of sunshine and rain we’ve seen through the past week, farmers tailgate markets should be popping with produce and blooms this week. Mother’s Day is Sunday, so make that part of your Friday afternoon or Saturday morning shopping plan. Even if you’re a mid-week market-goer, our guess is that Mom would be happy to be showered in local food love any day of the week.

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McConnell Farms asparagus

Do you follow your favorite farmers on social media? Besides being a great way to get a tantalizing sneak peek into what they’ll bring to market each week, many farmers have taken to advertising special sales in the week before market, which can guide you as you plan your shopping route.

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red sorrel

More harbingers of spring showed up at markets around the region this past weekend. One such pioneer is sorrel, which Jake’s Farm at Asheville City Market-Winter has had for the past two weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apples from Creasman Farms at Asheville City Market

Fruit can be hard to come by in the winter if you’re shopping locally in Western North Carolina. Apples are a rosy-hued exception, and they continue to be available from storage through most of the season. Creasman Farms (Asheville City Market-Winter, Transylvania Farmers Market) usually has ten or so varieties, ranging from the crunchy-tart Arkansas Black to the sweeter, juicier Pink Lady. Read the rest of this entry »

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Carolina Flowers at Asheville City Market-Winter

Can you give your loved one a locally grown Valentine’s Day bouquet, even in midst of winter? Yes, you can!

Carolina Flowers returned to Asheville City Market-Winter a few weeks ago and has anemones, hyacinths, paperwhites, and amaryllis. The farm offers vases of flowers as well as bulbs, which means your gift will last longer than a traditional cut-flower bouquet. Enduring living-plant gifts can also be procured from Finally Farm, which has an assortment of potted succulents in many sizes. Read the rest of this entry »

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crowd at Asheville City Market-Winter

It pays to be an early bird at Asheville City Market-Winter, which often sees a line forming outside the doors of the Asheville Masonic Temple on Saturdays before the 9am opening. Some specialty or sought-after products are in short supply, and often sell out before market’s end.

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escarole

After a stretch of unseasonably warm days, wintry temperatures have returned. Meanwhile, New Year’s resolutions may have you vowing to eat your leafy greens. All of this points clearly to one recourse: make soup.
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