Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

It’s safe to say that winter squash lovers will fall head over heels with area tailgate markets this week. Expect farmers’ booths to overflow with varieties of all types: acorn, buttercup, butternut, delicata, hubbard, kabocha, you name it!

Looking for unique varieties? Flying Cloud Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) offers striking and sizable squash options: the heirloom Long Island Cheese pumpkin, named for its resemblance to a wheel of cheese; the heirloom Jarrahdale squash, which features a bold blue-grey flesh; and the Blue Hubbard, with tapered ends and bumpy blue skin. All of these “big squash,” as labeled at Flying Cloud’s booth, can be 10+ pounds. Jake’s Farm (Asheville City Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market) offers large Cushaw squash, a mountain variety perfect for pies.
Jake’s also offers giant bulbs of mild-flavored elephant garlic. Now’s the time to snag garlic, a recipe must-have that stores well and can last you through the winter months. In addition to it and squash, look out for lots of other storage crops now: beets, carrots, onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes, turnips, and more.
One crop that won’t store for the winter—and that won’t stick around past this month, although is still abundant now—is eggplant. If you spot other late summer crops, like peppers and okra, you’ll want to snap them up, too. Scuppernongs can also be found for a short time from Bee Tree Farm (FBFC Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market).
In addition to all kinds of apples ready for eating and baking, keep your eyes out for heirloom apple tree saplings from Firefly Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, Yancey County Farmers Market) ready for planting in your yard or garden. Mushrooms should continue in nice supply thanks to the recent wet weather.
Thursday, Oakley Fire Station firefighters will visit Oakley Farmers Market with Fire Engine No. 9. Children can check out the truck and ask the firefighters about their work. The market is also gearing up for their first annual Harvest Festival on October 25; mark your calendars now! Saturday, from 2 until 4 pm, a winter garden workshop in Cullowhee will benefit the Jackson County Farmers Market. More information can be found on their Facebook page.
To learn more about market events and find a market schedule, visit our farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide.

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