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radicchio

Maybe you’re still happily eating leftover pumpkin pie for every meal (no judgement). But chances are you need to restock your fridge to make a few lighter, healthier meals this week—say, salad. Fall greens are abundant at farmers markets right now, so there’s no need for these meals to be boring!

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winter squash and potatoes

Thanksgiving dinner is often a meal centered around abundance—many dishes, crowded tables, perhaps some long-distance travel, and (hopefully) plenty to be grateful for. This year, of course, will be different for lots of folks. Maybe a turkey and all the fixins is overkill for your small family. Maybe you’re only cooking for yourself while Zooming into a larger gathering elsewhere. Maybe you simply need to say no to any added stress, particularly the kind that makes a mess of your kitchen. 

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red and gold beets

If you’ve been hunkered down all week wondering if or when our country would erupt into violence, heading out to a farmers tailgate market might be the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. First of all, markets are outdoor environments and all that fresh air and sunlight can help clear your head. Second, even in the age of coronavirus and a divisive election, markets offer community and fellowship. Finally, and most obviously, shopping at market literally nourishes yourself and your family. 

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persimmons from Lees One Fortune Farm 550x250

Halloween festivities are a bit different this year, given that most events that draw crowds have been canceled or reimagined. But there are a few chances to show off your costume at Buncombe County farmers tailgate markets today and tomorrow. You can also pick up ingredients for sweet and salty treats and fun kitchen activities to make together at home with your family or close friends.

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popcorn from Full Sun Farm

November and Daylight Savings Time are around the corner. This week marks the final days for a couple of farmers tailgate markets in Buncombe County, with a change in hours coming at others. After today’s market, you’ll have one more chance to visit East Asheville Tailgate Market on Oct. 30. Enka-Candler Tailgate Market’s last day is this Thursday, Oct. 29, though some vendors will return for a two-day weekend holiday market Nov. 14 and 15. Starting Nov. 3, West Asheville Tailgate Market will change its hours to 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (instead of 6:30), but remain outdoors at Grace Baptist Church through December. Weaverville Tailgate Market is moving indoors at Reems Creek Nursery on Nov. 4 and changing its hours to 2 to 5 p.m. (instead of 2:30 to 6).

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young ginger

The onset of fall brings young ginger to area farmers tailgate markets. Though native to more tropical climates, ginger actually grows quite well in Appalachia and has become increasingly popular among Western North Carolina farmers over the past decade. You can get it now from Highgate Farm at Black Mountain Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market; New Roots Market Garden at ASAP Farmers Market; and Lee’s One Fortune Farm, at all of the above markets plus East Asheville Tailgate Market.

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muscadine grapes

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall,” wrote Oscar Wilde, and that feels especially true this year. This past week’s cooler temperatures have brought the threat of frost to some of the higher-elevation farms in our region. While farmers tailgate markets have been seeing the transition to autumn for the past several weeks, suddenly cooler-weather crops are taking center stage. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are all still available, but in shorter supply. Here are a few things to start looking for instead.

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sweet potato greens

From nettles to beet greens, amaranth to tatsoi, there are countless types of leafy greens you can buy at farmers tailgate markets that don’t generally appear at grocery stores. One variety in season right now is sweet potato greens, the abundant vines sprouting from the more commonly consumed tuber part of the plant.  

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figs at market

Does having to wait make the last few fruits of summer taste all the sweeter? Find late season delights, including watermelon, cantaloupe, and figs, at farmers tailgate markets across Buncombe County. 

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summer and winter squash

Believe it or not, winter squash—butternut, delicata, kabocha, and more—is starting to show up on local farmers’ social media feeds. August is always a funny time of year. We’re still anticipating some of summer’s best treats (watermelon!), even as the first few autumnal crops make their way to farmers tailgate markets. 

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