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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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strawberries

Just in time for Mother’s Day, strawberries are hitting farmers tailgate markets! You can get them now from Lee’s One Fortune Farm and Ivy Creek Family Farm, and more farms will have them in the coming days and weeks. Find the Lees at the ASAP, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, and East Asheville markets. Ivy Creek is at the North Asheville and Weaverville markets. Note that North Asheville Tailgate Market is moving to Salvage Station for this Saturday only, due to UNC Asheville’s graduation.

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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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mizuna

The belief that the winter months are a time of culinary asceticism has certainly been debunked by the early markets of 2019. An abundance of produce has lined the booths, including assorted lettuces and salad greens; darker greens like Chinese broccoli, spinach, kale, collards, and bok choy; jewel-toned radishes and sweet potatoes; buckets of apples; and more. With such a wealth of options, there is opportunity to branch out and try a few meal-time variations.

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