Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

A new and exciting item has popped up at area farmers tailgate markets this week: popcorn from Full Sun Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). All types of corn will pop to some degree, but popcorn-specific varieties have a hard enough shell around the kernel that causes pressure to build up and explode inside out. Full Sun Farm sells their popcorn on the cob. Pick the kernels off and cook on your stovetop, or place the whole cob in a paper bag in the microwave and the kernels will pop off straight from the cob!
There are many wonderful root vegetable at market these days! Sunchokes are an interesting root vegetable because they’re in the same family as sunflowers, and the above-ground component of the plant looks very similar to its tall, bright yellow cousin. Sunchokes have a very distinct flavor and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked- they’re great when roasted with onions and other root veggies. Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm (Madison County Farmers Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and Weaverville Tailgate Market) has some of the first sunchokes of the season. Keep an eye out for them from other farmers; they are very popular to grow, and many more vendors will have them over the coming months.
Carrots are another diverse and delicious true root. They come in different colors; in addition to the traditional orange, carrots can come in red, purple, yellow and white. Carrots are year-round treats because they can store for months in bins full of sand in a cold storage space (such as a garage or basement). Each variety has its own unique flavor; try some from different farmers to find varieties that are your favorites!
For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse our online Local Food Guide or online farmers market calendar.

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