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roselles

Fall begins officially next week and we’re definitely starting to feel the temperature drop. Mornings have us wanting to stay wrapped up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea. Happily, September has brought an excellent tea-making crop to area farmers tailgate markets—red Thai roselles. You can get them from Sleight Family Farm at North Asheville Tailgate Market and New Roots Market Garden at ASAP Farmers Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market

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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 stalwarts, including new potatoes, beans, okra, and peppers, are all coming in at farmers tailgate markets now. Tomatoes and cucumbers are picking up speed and we’ll continue to see plenty of zucchini and summer squash. Plus, all the greens (dark leafies, head lettuce, and salad mixes) that have been around since spring are still going strong. You don’t have to do much to enjoy this bounty, but here are a few easy-going suggestions.

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Wesley, Fin, and Anna Sleight

ASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month we’re talking to farmer Wesley Sleight of Sleight Family Farm in McDowell County. Wes works with ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program and recently joined the advisory committee for the NC Farm to Preschool Network.

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As farmers market finds go, turmeric can feel like one of the more exotic ones here in Western North Carolina. The sunny yellow rhizome—a relative of ginger—is native to South Asia, but has been grown by an increasing number of farmers in our region in the past several years. It’s typically harvested in October, but you can find it right now from New Moon Herbs Farm at Asheville City Market–Winter.
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apple heart valentine

If you’re the type to serve your sweetheart a locally sourced Valentine’s Day meal, take note that you’ll need to stop at a farmers tailgate market tomorrow or Wednesday to collect ingredients in time for Feb. 14. Pretty much any meal you shop for and prepare yourself hits the mark for a romantic gesture, but we’ve included a few suggestions to really get into the spirit.

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assorted beans at farmers markets

Baskets of beans are starting to crowd farmers tailgate market tables. Common green beans, yellow wax beans, or deep purple burgundy beans are all great, versatile ingredients, whether you’re sautéeing a side dish, adding them to a salad, or preserving for later use. But here are a few specific varieties we’ve been excited to find in recent weeks.

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kohlrabi

This week has felt like the apex of summer, though on the farm the season’s harvest is just moving into high gear. After one of the wettest years in recent memory, farmers are compensating for unseasonably warm temperatures and a lack of rain right now. But that hasn’t stopped new produce from making its way to farmers tailgate markets.

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a handful of sweet potatoes

As farmers tailgate markets have grown in recent years, it gets easier to eat local through the winter and still enjoy some variety. Even so, we suspect there’s a moment for even the most ardent local eaters when you ask, “But what else can I do with sweet potatoes?” The classic winter storage crop is a standby at fall and winter markets (at Asheville City Market-Winter, look for them from Ten Mile Farm or Sleight Family Farm). They can be easily roasted, pureed, fried, and gratinéed for cold-weather meals, but we’re here to offer a few less conventional ideas to add to your repertoire.

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