Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

This weekend is your last chance to find a local jack-o-lantern or other decorative squash for Halloween! Farmers tailgate markets have plenty of pumpkins, as well as other winter squash varieties like kabocha, butternut, acorn, and jester squash to adorn your home with spooky decor for this weekend’s holiday. You can find winter squash from vendors like Flying Cloud Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market), Velvet Morning Farms (Asheville City Market), and more! 

In addition to the bounty of ornamental squash, markets have a variety of veggies to include in this week’s grocery haul, including cabbage, turnips, bok choy, and radishes. The best way to make the most of this new arrival of seasonal produce is by making homemade kimchi! While the process of making kimchi is a little more time consuming than your average recipe, not only is it full of gut-healthy probiotics, it’s also plenty of delicious flavor that will make a great addition to any meal. 

Start with one large napa cabbage, reserving the two large outer leaves by wrapping in plastic and storing in the refrigerator. Core and roughly chop the remaining cabbage into one inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss the chopped cabbage with one-fourth cup of sea salt, then submerge with cool water and stir until the salt is dissolved. Cover the bowl with a plate, and let stand at room temperature for at least six hours. Drain your cabbage, saving the brine, then rinse and blot any excess water with a towel. Place cabbage back in the bowl, then add two cups of daikon radishes (cut into matchstick shapes), and one bunch of scallions (trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces). To a food processor, add a few slices of fresh ginger, six whole garlic cloves, one quartered shallot, a few tablespoons of red pepper flakes, and two tablespoons of fish sauce. Process ingredients until well combined, and pulse until it becomes  a thick paste. Scoop paste into the bowl of cabbage, and using tongs or your hands, massage the paste into the vegetables until well coated. Pack the cabbage into a large, two-quart jar, leaving an inch or two at the top, then add just enough brine to the jar to cover the contents inside. Cover the vegetables with the reserved cabbage leaf, then cover the jar loosely with a lid. Leave the jar in a dark, cool space for three to four days. Refrigerate when bubbles start to form. Let ferment for another two weeks in the refrigerator, and then enjoy your homemade kimchi! Radishes, cabbage, and garlic are widely available from market vendors. Look for ginger from Thatchmore Farm (North and West Asheville markets) and Lee’s One Fortune Farm (Asheville City, Black Mountain, River Arts District, West, and East Asheville markets).

As we shift into the colder season, make sure you’re up to date with changing market schedules for the rest of 2022! Starting this Wednesday, the River Arts District Farmers Market will shorten its afternoon hours to 3 to 5:30 p.m. Enka-Candler Tailgate Market is finished for its regular season, but will host a holiday market Nov. 12-13. Leicester “Lester” Farmers Market, East Asheville Tailgate Market, and Black Mountain Tailgate Market will run through the week of Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, look for a change in hours at North Asheville Tailgate Market (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and West Asheville Tailgate Market (3:30 to 5:30 p.m.). Asheville City Market and Weaverville Tailgate Market will continue with their regular hours through Dec. 14 and 17, respectively.

At farmers markets now you’ll also find apples, pears, turmeric, persimmons, carrots, winter squash, peppers, broccoli, winter greens, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and much more. Markets are stocked with a variety of meats, cheese, rice, pasta, bread, drinks, and prepared foods. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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