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Assorted Peppers

Late summer and early autumn produce continues to mingle on farmers tailgate market tables, giving shoppers a panoply of options. You can get ripe tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, okra, beans, and potatoes alongside winter squash, apples, the earliest sweet potatoes, and hardy greens like kale, collards, arugula, chard, and mustard. With this abundance, you might be thinking about preserving a little bit for later. Not sure where to start? DIY hot sauce is one of the easiest ways to savor local flavor all winter.

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delicata squash

Farmers, even in the best of times, experience setbacks. Many farms in our region are grappling with enormous loss due to Tropical Storm Fred. Meanwhile, a series of late frosts in April significantly damaged apples and other fruit this year. The effects of these events might not be felt at farmers markets immediately, but you’ll see fewer of your favorite crops come fall and winter. Check in with your farmers and continue to support them by shopping for what is available. If you’re looking for ways to directly help fams impacted by Tropical Storm Fred, you can donate to ASAP’s Appalachian Grown Farmer Relief Fund. This fund provides immediate needs grants to farmers impacted by natural disasters and other emergencies. Find out more at asapconnections.org/farmer-relief-fund.
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ginger gold apples from Creasman Farms

This is the sweetest of times. The great mingling of late summer and early fall fruits is happening now at farmers tailgate markets! While many farms still have peaches, raspberries, blackberries, and even blueberries, we’re also starting to get the first pear and apple varieties. Figs have arrived and watermelons and cantaloupes are more widely available.   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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sunchokes

Feeling like you want to break out of your vegetable mold? Winter farmers markets offer more variety than ever these days, thanks to innovative farmers and shopper demand, but this end-of-winter season can still start to feel like a sea of winter greens and radishes. But if you were looking closely, you might have noticed a few less common items on market tables in the past few weeks.

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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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If ever there was a year to channel all of your romantic energy into cooking a fancy meal at home, this is it. Get what you need on Saturday at ASAP Farmers Market or, if you want to celebrate on a different day or make a series of Valentine’s week meals, shop at River Arts District Farmers Market on Wednesday. Of course, the ideal menu is totally subjective, so adapt as you want, but here’s our take on a classic Valentine’s Day market dinner. 

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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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collards and kale

With regular snow dustings, we’re settling into soup season—a great time for farmers tailgate market meals. With just a few local ingredients, you can create something warm and nourishing to carry you through chilly afternoons. Add some crusty bread and a salad green mix to make a full family-sized meal.

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sour gherkins and cherry tomatoes 550x250

Hey, parents. How are you doing out there? We know the next few weeks may be tough (as if the past six months hadn’t already been difficult). Whether your family is heading back to in-person school, navigating distance learning, or trying to unravel the particulars of a hybrid system, healthy snack food might not be top of your mind. And that may be the case even if you don’t have kids in the house. But there are some simple things you can grab at farmers tailgate markets right now that might appeal even to picky or stressed-out eaters.

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