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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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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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delicata squash

Farmers, even in the best of times, experience setbacks. Many farms in our region are grappling with enormous loss due to Tropical Storm Fred. Meanwhile, a series of late frosts in April significantly damaged apples and other fruit this year. The effects of these events might not be felt at farmers markets immediately, but you’ll see fewer of your favorite crops come fall and winter. Check in with your farmers and continue to support them by shopping for what is available. If you’re looking for ways to directly help fams impacted by Tropical Storm Fred, you can donate to ASAP’s Appalachian Grown Farmer Relief Fund. This fund provides immediate needs grants to farmers impacted by natural disasters and other emergencies. Find out more at asapconnections.org/farmer-relief-fund.
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ginger gold apples from Creasman Farms

This is the sweetest of times. The great mingling of late summer and early fall fruits is happening now at farmers tailgate markets! While many farms still have peaches, raspberries, blackberries, and even blueberries, we’re also starting to get the first pear and apple varieties. Figs have arrived and watermelons and cantaloupes are more widely available.   Read the rest of this entry »

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corn

Corn arrived at farmers tailgate markets especially early this year, thanks to an early planting gamble that paid off for Lee’s One Fortune Farm. You can get solid yellow or bicolor “peaches and cream” ears from the Lees now at ASAP, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, and East Asheville markets. Expect other farms to have it ready in the next few weeks. 

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As eggplant joins the march of summer produce available at farmers tailgate markets, our thoughts are turning to Middle Eastern meze. You can easily fill several platters with a colorful combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted squash and beets, babaganoush, hummus, tzatziki, eggs, olives, pickles, and pita for a feast. Or you could toss everything into a single pita for thoroughly satisfying sabich sandwich.
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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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Wreath from Fisher Branch Farm

With the first of December (and the first snow!), most Buncombe County farmers tailgate markets have switched to holiday market mode, which means you’ll find more artisan and craft vendors and slightly fewer produce vendors. While you can still grab what you need to make nourishing meals this week (including greens, potatoes, winter squash, meat, cheese, bread, and more), you can also check a few items off your holiday shopping list. 

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garlic scapes

June has arrived and with it an exciting spread of new produce on farmers market tables—summer squash, snap peas, cherries, kohlrabi, broccoli, garlic scapes, baby beets, and even a few greenhouse-grown tomatoes and peppers. There are more vendors, too, as some farms are returning to market after the slower spring season. Several markets have been able to adjust their layout to accommodate additional spaces while still maintaining social distancing precautions. And starting today, you have another market to visit in Asheville. East Asheville Tailgate Market reopens this afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. at Groce Methodist Church, 954 Tunnel Rd. 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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