Food and Drink
7:00 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Tailgate Market Report: Late Season Surprises!

WCQS partners with ASAP - The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project - for tailgate market updates, heard Thursdays and Fridays during Morning Edition (5 - 9 a.m.)

Last week, we shared several seasonal surprises available at farmers tailgate markets. This week, we’re surprised there are even more unexpected finds to be found! Look out for cardoon, sweet potatoes in all shades, and sugar snap and snow peas…

Cardoon: Love artichokes? Get to know cardoon, a thistle-like plant with a similar flavor, offered up now by Thatchmore Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market). To cook, trim off leaves and thorns, peel the stalks; then braise, sauté, you name it.

Sweet potatoes in nearly all shades: Traditional red-orange Covington and Beauregard sweet potatoes can be found. But the taters can also be found in shades of white, pink, and purple! Gaining Ground Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) offers Japanese sweet potatoes; they have a pink-red skin but a yellow-white flesh. Find purple sweet potatoes and white yams, too, with tinted skin and flesh. Don’t be surprised if the sweet potatoes you see have dirt left on them from harvest. Farmers say the dirty ones keep better and longer.

Snap peas and snow peas: A typical sight in the spring, these cool-weather peas can also be grown and harvested in the fall. Bee Tree Farm (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) and First Blossom Farm (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market) have been offering snow peas recently, and B & L Organic (FBFC Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) plans to bring sugar snaps to market this week. Snap them up when you see them: vendors like Gaining Ground Farm are likely already out for the season.

Not surprisingly, area farmers are gearing up for Thanksgiving, particularly those offering turkeys! You can reserve your bird at market from folks including East Fork Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market). Some turkey vendors may prefer you sign up online, so be sure to ask while you’re shopping. Seasonal baked goods and staples from apples to beets, greens to roots, and all manner of winter squashes can also be found.

As a reminder, West Asheville Tailgate Market has changed their hours for the month of November to 2:30-5:30 pm. Jackson County Farmers Market has moved indoors to the Community Table in Sylva; the market runs 10 am-1 pm. On Saturday, November 2, Western Carolina University and Parks and Recreation Management students will lead a cooking program at the Jackson market for elementary-aged children.

Oakley Farmers Market is now closed for the season. Mills River Farmers Market and Black Mountain Tailgate Market have also ended their regular seasons; however, both will hold special holiday markets on November 23.

For more details about what's fresh and local go to From Here.