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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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honeynut and acorn squash

With the autumnal equinox behind us, it’s time to get serious about squash. Winter squash varieties have been coming in at farmers tailgate markets for about a month, including butternut, spaghetti, red kuri, jester, and kabocha. But while we adore squash in everything from soups to gratins to salads to desserts, we have to admit that removing the hard outer skin can be a bit tedious. Luckily, there are few options that allow you to leave your vegetable peeler in the drawer and simply eat the skin along with the rest of the fruit. 
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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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blueberries

These are giddy days at farmers tailgate markets. New summer produce is popping up everywhere, and there is a joyful sense of abundance. (Or an overwhelming experience, if you’re trying to decide what to buy first!)

This past week saw the first pints of early-season blueberries, including from Gibson Berry Farm and Flying Cloud Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Ivy Creek Family Farm (Weaverville Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Cherries, too, made their first appearance, from Lyda and Sons Orchard (Weaverville Tailgate Market) and Full Sun Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Pies are certainly the iconic way to enjoy these summertime berries, but they can also pair extremely well with the vegetables sitting alongside them. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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rainbow chard

Are there colors you associate with different seasons at farmers tailgate markets? The vivid reds, yellows, and purples of summer tomatoes, crookneck squash, and eggplant? The deep golds and dark greens of fall pumpkins and kale? Shades of spring—pink, yellow-orange, and emerald green—are starting perk up market tents.

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In the Southern Appalachians it’s easy to fill your Thanksgiving table with a cornucopia of local food! There are many holiday tailgate markets open this week where you can shop for your feast.  Lauren Hoffman, one of ASAP’s communications interns, wants to share some locally-inspired dish ideas that incorporate ingredients from these markets for your holiday menu! Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanksgiving is here at area farmers tailgate markets! Stop by holiday markets this week for your last minute local ingredients.

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Last Saturday, Chef Nate Allen from Knife & Fork proved that you can grill just about anything, and, of course, that it’s always best to use fresh local ingredients! He gathered ALL the produce from different vendors at Asheville City Market: watermelon from Earthlife Farm, radicchio from Firefly Farm, celery from Flying Cloud Farm, spring onions from Ten Mile Farm, and tomatoes from Green Toe Ground Farm.

We want to know: Are you grilling with local ingredients this summer? What’s the most unique food you’ve grilled up?

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You could say that the bases are loaded now at area farmers markets. And that the shift is on; the seasonal shift, that is. Summer’s heavy-hitters—tomatoes, eggplants, and more—remain, while fall’s rookies are being called up to play.

This week, McConnell Farms plans to have some of the last of summer’s peaches at Asheville City Market South (Wednesday) and downtown (Saturday). He should still have sweet corn, too. But the cobs are sure to go fast.
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