Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

This week is your last opportunity to shop at farmers tailgate markets in 2020. You have plenty of chances. On Saturday, visit ASAP Farmers Market (9 a.m. to noon) or North Asheville Tailgate Market’s Holiday Bazaar (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). On Tuesday, West Asheville Tailgate Market runs 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. And on Wednesday, you can shop at Weaverville Tailgate Market (2 to 5 p.m.). North, West, and Weaverville will then close for the season. ASAP Farmers Market will resume at A-B Tech on Jan. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and River Arts District Farmers Market will return to Pleb Urban Winery Jan. 6. 

Markets still have plenty of what you need to serve a fancy holiday feast or a few frosty-weather treats. Look for brussels sprouts from Highgate Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market) or Gaining Ground Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market) to serve alongside a centerpiece roast. Sample a few cheeses from Lane in the Woods, a new cheesemaking venture (find them at Weaverville Tailgate Market). And, of course, you’ll need some apple cider to simmer on the stove with spices (or spirits). Get it from Creasman Farms (ASAP Farmers Market and North Asheville Tailgate Market) or McConnell Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market). 
Need few family projects to power you through the weeks ahead? Consider making tamales. A traditional Mexican Christmastime food, these tasty corn-husk-wrapped goodies take some time to assemble, but can be frozen for quick and easy dinners all winter (if they last that long). Shredded meat, cooked long and slow and tossed with a red or green chile sauce, is the most common filling (although cheese, beans, sweet potato, or winter squash are certainly options for vegetarians). Look for pork shoulder from Dry Ridge Farm or Warren Wilson College Farm at ASAP Farmers Market, Hickory Nut Gap Farm at North Asheville Tailgate Market, or Dillingham Family Farm (Weaverville Tailgate Market). You can get fresh cilantro from Full Sun Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Lee’s One Fortune Farm (ASAP Farmers Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market). Bonus points if you have dried chiles from earlier in the season that you can use for the sauce!
Prefer a sweeter treat? Take your gingerbread house or cookies up a notch by using fresh, local ginger in place of the dried spice. If you’re using a recipe with ground ginger, double or triple the amount, since the fresh spice is less concentrated. Look for fresh ginger from Lee’s One Fortune Farm. Check to see if Flying Cloud Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market) has any of its sorghum molasses left. And, of course, use local eggs. 
At markets now you’ll also find greens, including spinach, chard, kale, and lettuce; root veggies like potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes, and beets; and more produce like winter squash, apples;, and mushrooms. You can still pick up holiday decor, including wreaths, boughs, and bouquets, as well as last-minute stocking stuffers, like hot sauce, spice mixes, chocolate, coffee, and much more. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region, including special holiday hours, in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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