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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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cherry tomatoes

Fireworks will light up skies this weekend, but colorful displays of another sort are filling farmers tailgate market tables. Whether you are gathering with friends and family or preserving some time for yourself, here are a few ways you can celebrate the best of local food this holiday weekend.

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Sure, the image is a little trite: Dad in his battleworn apron, presiding over the Weber. But since Sunday is both Father’s Day and the first day of summer, we’re going to lean into the stereotype and devote this column to grilling. Grillable veggies like summer squash, spring onions, and mushrooms are plentiful at farmers tailgate markets right now, in addition to a wide assortment of steaks, sausages, chops, and birds.

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beets

Beets can usually be found at farmers tailgate markets year-round, especially with farmers employing cold frames or high tunnels to extend their season through the winter. So the spring beet crop often arrives without much fanfare. But these early-season beets are worth getting excited about.   Read the rest of this entry »

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broccoli

It’s opening week for many of the farmers tailgate markets in Asheville and Buncombe County! Find North Asheville Tailgate Market Saturday morning back at UNC Asheville; West Asheville Tailgate Market returns to Haywood Rd. on Tuesday; Weaverville Tailgate Market kicks off its new location at Gotta Have It Antiques on Wednesday; and East Asheville Tailgate Market reopens on Tunnel Rd. on Friday. ASAP Farmers Market and River Arts District Farmers Market continue their seasons on Saturday and Wednesday, respectively. 

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As a new flock of hens starts to lay, their first eggs are smaller, with firmer whites and more deeply colored yolks, than regular eggs. Not to be dismissed, these pullet eggs boast a richer flavor and creamier texture. For the next few weeks, these will be the only eggs available from Dry Ridge Farm at the ASAP Farmers Market. It’s a great chance to try something truly unique to farmers markets, as grocery stores stick to uniform, regulation sizes.

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Radishes are widely available at winter farmers markets, but can often be overlooked as a raw salad component, taco condiment, or pop of color on a crudité spread. Those uses are all great, of course, but these cruciferous veggies are also fantastic cooked. Here are some ideas to take advantage of a variety of radishes available at markets now.

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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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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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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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