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chard from Highgate Farm

We’ll have three weekly farmers tailgate market options in Buncombe County this winter! In addition to the winter market versions of ASAP Farmers Market and River Arts District Farmers Market, Weaverville Tailgate Market will now offer a year-round shopping opportunity with an indoor market on Wednesdays at Weaverville Community Center. 

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kale sausage strata

Whatever holiday traditions you keep—opening gifts on Christmas morning or sleeping till noon on New Year’s Day—chances are you could use at least one great make-ahead breakfast dish in the next few weeks. You’ll need to do your local ingredient shopping this week, as farmers tailgate markets will take a hiatus between Dec. 22 and the first week in January. Two markets will continue through the winter. River Arts District Winter Farmers Market will return to Plēb Urban Winery Jan. 5 and ASAP Farmers Market will reopen at A-B Tech’s Asheville campus on Jan. 8.

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bread from Hominy Farm

Stale bread—it happens to the best of us. We buy loaf or two from our favorite farmers tailgate market bread vendors with visions of endless tomato sandwiches, but then life happens and the loaf goes stale before we’ve had a chance to finish it. Enter panzanella, a fantastic vehicle for reviving stale bread—that also happens to celebrate summer produce available at markets now. 

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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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Bundle up! With pandemic precaution still critical, winter farmers tailgate markets are mostly staying outdoors (or partially indoors with ample airflow). Though there are fewer of these markets, you can still find a solid mix of seasonal fruits and veggies. Expect to see plenty of storage crops, like sweet potatoes, potatoes, apples, winter squash, turnips, beets, and carrots. Some farms make use of greenhouses or high tunnels to continue producing salad mixes, lettuces, and dark, leafy greens throughout the colder months. Meats, eggs, cheeses, bread, and artisan foods are also widely available. 

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Hominy Farm's man'oushe flatbread

Hominy Farm is a new vendor at River Arts District Winter Market, selling naturally leavened, wood-fired breads produced in the Candler bakery formerly used by Farm and Sparrow. Their collection includes ciabatta-like gan au levain, whole grain rustic boule, sesame rye, and apple toast tatin (from Creasman Farms apples). But it’s the man’oushe—a flatbread slathered with za’atar spice and olive oil—that might inspire you to pick up ingredients for a Middle Eastern–style platter while shopping at farmers markets this week.

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