Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

It’s time to turn our market report’s focus to Thanksgiving. After all, the food-filled holiday is just around the corner. But, don’t stress! Area farmers tailgate markets are there to help you make the freshest, best-tasting meal possible. Here’s a rundown of what you can shop for this week and go ahead and check off your list.

Winter squash/storage crops: Nothing says a fall feast like roasted winter squash, whether topped with stuffing or pureed as a soup. If you see a variety you like at market this week, snag it. Winter squash stores well and will last just fine on your countertop or in your root cellar until you start cooking. What’s more, the local supply is dwindling fast. An extremely wet early part of the season means farmers don’t have nearly as much squash as they normally do this time of year. Other storage crops like sweet potatoes, onions and shallots, and garlic can also be purchased this far in advance.
Turkey: Many tailgate market vendors are offering local turkeys for Thanksgiving, including Hickory Nut Gap Farm (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), East Fork Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), and Balsam Gardens (Jackson County Farmers Market). Some offer reservation sheets at market, while others prefer you reserve your bird online. Either way, markets are a great place to talk with your farmer about what will be the star of your meal. Check out our recent blog post for more farms offering turkeys.
Sweet treats: Want to focus on the bird and leave the baking to a professional? Ask baked goods vendors now what they’ll offer the week before and week of Thanksgiving. And, look for folks taking reservations, like Sweet Monkey Bakery (at many markets around WNC). Sweet Monkey is currently taking orders—must be made by November 18—for pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, apple pie, and the list goes on.
Guest gifts: Tailgates are the perfect place to shop for unique gifts, especially items representative of WNC for out-of-town attendees. Pick up handmade soaps, candles, knitted items, and beyond.
Next week, our focus will turn to fresh items for your meal—from celery to herbs. Of course, produce abounds for the meals you’re making now! Look for collards, kale, lettuces, radishes, turnips, and lots more.
For a list of market closings and holiday market dates, visit the farmers market section of our main website. To learn about market events/find a market schedule, visit our farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide.

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