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Cinderella pumpkin from Lee's One Fortune Farm

In the age-old fairy tale, turning into a pumpkin at midnight is frowned upon. This year at Thanksgiving, however, when you turn the centerpiece of your meal into a magically stuffed Cinderella pumpkin, you can be sure that your holiday guests will wonder which fairy godmother swooped in to prepare it.

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corn

Corn arrived at farmers tailgate markets especially early this year, thanks to an early planting gamble that paid off for Lee’s One Fortune Farm. You can get solid yellow or bicolor “peaches and cream” ears from the Lees now at ASAP, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, and East Asheville markets. Expect other farms to have it ready in the next few weeks. 

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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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applesauce

We’re in the midst of Hanukkah now, and whether or not you celebrate the Festival of Lights, you might draw inspiration from some of its traditional dishes as you do your farmers tailgate market shopping this week. 

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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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winter squash and potatoes

Thanksgiving dinner is often a meal centered around abundance—many dishes, crowded tables, perhaps some long-distance travel, and (hopefully) plenty to be grateful for. This year, of course, will be different for lots of folks. Maybe a turkey and all the fixins is overkill for your small family. Maybe you’re only cooking for yourself while Zooming into a larger gathering elsewhere. Maybe you simply need to say no to any added stress, particularly the kind that makes a mess of your kitchen. 

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sweet potato greens

From nettles to beet greens, amaranth to tatsoi, there are countless types of leafy greens you can buy at farmers tailgate markets that don’t generally appear at grocery stores. One variety in season right now is sweet potato greens, the abundant vines sprouting from the more commonly consumed tuber part of the plant.  

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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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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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