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eating snap peas at the farmers market

Though we’re certainly getting cold temperatures now, a warmer than usual December accounts for lots of produce variety at winter farmers markets now. In addition to storage veggies like squash and sweet potatoes, hardy greens like kale and mustard, and winter stalwarts like radishes and salad turnips, we’ve also spotted early snow peas and broccoli.

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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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Cinderella pumpkin from Lee's One Fortune Farm

In the age-old fairy tale, turning into a pumpkin at midnight is frowned upon. This year at Thanksgiving, however, when you turn the centerpiece of your meal into a magically stuffed Cinderella pumpkin, you can be sure that your holiday guests will wonder which fairy godmother swooped in to prepare it.

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roasted quail with herbs and cranberry sauce

There were a limited number of local turkeys available from Appalachian Grown farms this year, and those sold out by the end of October. So what if you didn’t reserve your bird early, but still want a local meat centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner? If you’re willing to get a little creative, you can find alternatives at farmers tailgate markets. (Planning a vegan or vegetarian feast? Stay tuned for next week’s column for ideas.)

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purple and orange sweet potatoes

The mornings and evenings are getting pretty chilly, and if you’re feeling like us, you may want to snuggle in with a warm drink for a few extra minutes. Farmers tailgate markets have lots of nourishing options for getting creative with hot drinks, whether you prefer tea, cider, or even a frothy vegetable latte. 

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persimmons from Lee's One Fortune Farm

Persimmons are a lovely fall treat, great for making baked goods, fruit leather, pudding, jam, and other sweets. But you can also use this autumnal fruit in more savory dishes. The fuyu variety of persimmon, which tastes similar to an apricot or date with notes of cinnamon, is great in salads, in stews, or roasted. 

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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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ginger from Lee's One Fortune Farm

Ginger is a warming spice, so we usually associate it with fall and winter baking and cooking. We’re looking at summertime temperatures for a few more weeks—with maybe a hint of chill in the mornings—but you can still put the fresh ginger coming in at farmers tailgate markets now to good use!

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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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watermelons at farmers market

We spotted the first of the season’s melons at farmers tailgate markets this week, heralding the arrival of summer’s midpoint. Of course, melons of all types are ideal for eating fresh, but you can also incorporate them into your salads, cook them on the grill, or get creative with the rind.
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