Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

After the taste of spring temperatures this past week, you might feel a little disheartened by the cold snap on its way. But you can embrace the last week of winter by leaning into some warm, hearty meals made with ingredients from winter farmers markets. Markets are a bit smaller right now, with winter storage crops thinning and full spring production not yet underway. But you can still find what you need for a delicious shepherd’s pie—a quintessential dish for eating by a cozy fire.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

The forecast for the weekend is begging you to ditch the heavy winter coat, pack a tasty sandwich, and head outside! Banh mi, a Vietnamese street food staple, includes many ingredients available at winter markets right now, including daikon radish, carrots, lemongrass, and cilantro. Our recipe takes a bit of advance prep time for marinating and pickling, but the actual active work is fairly simple. 

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Is there anything more beautiful than a bouquet of purple, pink, and red on Valentine’s Day? Of course we’re talking about veggie bouquets! Brighten your loved one’s life with an array of colorful (and healthful) foods this year. Radicchio, radishes, beets, sweet potatoes, and carrots are all in season now at winter farmers markets.  

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Sure, the image is a little trite: Dad in his battleworn apron, presiding over the Weber. But since Sunday is both Father’s Day and the first day of summer, we’re going to lean into the stereotype and devote this column to grilling. Grillable veggies like summer squash, spring onions, and mushrooms are plentiful at farmers tailgate markets right now, in addition to a wide assortment of steaks, sausages, chops, and birds.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

chicken and veggies from Fiddler's Green Farm

As temperatures continue to rise, more farmers and others vendors are returning to fill out farmers tailgate markets—and a few more markets are ready to open! Enka-Candler Tailgate Market, at the A-B Tech Small Business Center in Enka, opens this Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Black Mountain Tailgate Market will open next Saturday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to noon. (If you’re looking for a market outside of Buncombe County, here’s a full list of opening dates throughout the region.)

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

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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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

red and gold beets

If you’ve been hunkered down all week wondering if or when our country would erupt into violence, heading out to a farmers tailgate market might be the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. First of all, markets are outdoor environments and all that fresh air and sunlight can help clear your head. Second, even in the age of coronavirus and a divisive election, markets offer community and fellowship. Finally, and most obviously, shopping at market literally nourishes yourself and your family. 

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

We’re finally in for some colder nights this coming week, so it’s a good time to stock up on stew ingredients to fortify you against the chill. Whether your preferred simmering method involves an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or good, old-fashioned Dutch oven, your first step is to gather everything you can at a winter farmers tailgate market. We’ve got a few ideas to get you started.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

rainbow chard

Are there colors you associate with different seasons at farmers tailgate markets? The vivid reds, yellows, and purples of summer tomatoes, crookneck squash, and eggplant? The deep golds and dark greens of fall pumpkins and kale? Shades of spring—pink, yellow-orange, and emerald green—are starting perk up market tents.

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