This past December didn’t bring the same significant snowfall and freezing temperatures we’ve seen in recent years, and as a result we’re seeing some unexpected produce at winter farmers tailgate markets alongside winter stalwarts like sweet potatoes, apples, and collard greens.
Broccoli was available from both Ten Mile Farm and Fiddler’s Green Farm this past week at Asheville City Market–Winter. Ten Mile also had purple cauliflower and Fiddler’s Green had brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts, in particular, are less commonly grown in the southeast, so it’s fun to find farmers who have persevered to bring this vegetable to market. Try a salad of thinly shaved brussels sprout leaves tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, and a hard, salty cheese (such as Grana from Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery at Asheville City Market–Winter). For an even more filling dish, add bacon and a poached egg and pair with some crusty bread.
The milder weather has also been good for snow peas and pea tendrils from Lee’s One Fortune Farm (Asheville City Market–Winter and River Arts District Winter Market). Snow peas are great for snacking on raw or adding to cooked dishes. Likewise, pea tendrils can be eaten like salad greens or sauteed and added to pasta or quiche. Try stir-fried pea tendrils with garlic and chiles served alongside some rice, also available from Lee’s One Fortune.
Staples like eggs, bread, cheese, and meats continue to be available at markets through the winter. You’ll find eggs at Asheville City Market–Winter from Fiddler’s Green, Lee’s One Fortune Farm, and Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Dry Ridge Farm reports that they will have more eggs in a few weeks. At River Arts District Winter Market, you can get eggs from Headshrink Farm in addition to Lee’s One Fortune.
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even through the winter. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.
Prepared by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.