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apples from Creasman Farms

We’re at the height of apple season and you can find a multitude of choices at farmers tailgate markets right now. While picking your own apples can be a fun, experiential way to get your stock up for the fall, shopping at market gives you the chance to ask the farmer about each variety. Try branching out from your favorites to sample something new!

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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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For most of us, the Fourth of July is likely to feel a lot less spectacular this year. But that’s all the more reason to create your fireworks in the kitchen and celebrate what local farmers have at farmers tailgate markets right now. There isn’t a better time of year to be turning a colorful array of fruit into flavor-bursting pies, cobblers, and galettes. Read the rest of this entry »

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School’s out and it’s officially summer now, which means you might be ready to head out to your favorite hiking trails, swimming holes, or parks (maintaining good social distancing, of course). Want to pack a picnic on the way? Farmers tailgate markets are a great place to do that, even if you want to focus on simple, low-preparation (or no-preparation)  meals. Here’s a guide to the best markets have right now that require nothing more than a folding knife and a cutting board. Read the rest of this entry »

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Strawberry season is coming to a close, but cherries are here to take their place, and very soon we’ll be seeing blueberries and peaches at farmers tailgate markets as well. Look for cherries from McConnell Farms (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Lyda & Sons Orchard (Weaverville Tailgate Market). Read the rest of this entry »

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With Memorial Day weekend and a possible break in the rain, your grill may be calling to you. As Phase 2 of the state’s reopening approaches, it might even feel safe enough to grill up a few burgers and brats for someone other than yourself and immediate family members, especially if you’re dining outside. No matter how you decide to enjoy the holiday, farmers tailgate markets have what you need. (Remember that even as the city and state progress through planned phases of reopening, it’s important to continue precautions like wearing a mask and maintaining a six-foot distance from others when you shop at markets.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Mother’s Day is Sunday and fresh cut, local flowers are bringing a riot of color to farmers tailgate markets right now—peonies, ranunculus, sweet William, bachelor’s buttons, and even poppies. Pick up a bouquet for the mothers you’re social distancing with or buy some for yourself and send a picture to far away moms. We think she’ll still appreciate the gesture. Find bouquets Saturday morning at ASAP Farmers Market at A-B Tech from Carolina Flowers and Lee’s One Fortune Farm or at North Asheville Tailgate Market from Full Sun Farm. Read the rest of this entry »

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persimmons from Lee's One Fortune Farm

Are you a handmade gift-giver? Farmers tailgate markets are a great place to get inspiration and ingredients for these extra-special holiday gifts (or treats to keep for yourself—you definitely deserve it). Here are a few DIY ideas to get your started this season.

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An all-local Thanksgiving dinner is a lofty goal, but probably impractical (and could add some additional stress to the holiday for sure). Some traditional ingredients, like green beans or corn, have passed their peak harvest season here in Western North Carolina, so if you didn’t freeze some back in September, you might be out of luck now. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find local cranberries or pecans. But there are ways to feature something local in each dish, if you’re up for the challenge!
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butternut squash

For a stress-free Thanksgiving, making a plan and doing as much prep work in advance is the way to go. That means you should start your farmers tailgate market list now, and even get some of the shopping out of the way, rather than wait for the mad rush on the final pre-holiday weekend. (Although if you do find you need to do some last-minute shopping, West Asheville Tailgate Market is open on Tuesday and River Arts District Farmers Market is open on Wednesday the week of Thanksgiving.)

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