Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

This week, scoop up your summer favorites from area farmers tailgate markets before they’re gone and store them away for winter. After all, fall will officially take summer’s place in about a month. Try freezing fresh okra so you can warm up with a pot of local gumbo once the cool weather arrives. Pickle beans and peppers together for dilly beans; they’ll serve as a crisp summery reminder. Or, freeze berries and can peaches to enjoy more than apples next season. We hear McConnell Farms had three types of peaches at last weekend’s Asheville City Market!

Of course, you can enjoy summer’s bounty now, too. What’s more, you can enjoy almost all of the available fruits and veggies already prepared for you. That’s thanks to the bakers and food entrepreneurs who are truly making their market mark. Fresh off a feature in Southern Living magazine, Farm and Sparrow Bakery plans to offer everything from buckwheat peach tarts to pear and gorgonzola pastries this week. They may even create stuffed pepper pastries and roasted beet flatbreads. But it’s more than just their fruits and veggies that are local. As of last month, all of Farm and Sparrow’s rye breads are made from local heirloom rye grown by John McEntire of Peaceful Valley Farm in Old Fort. According to owner/baker Dave Bauer, the variety dates back to the colonial period in the Carolinas and has a flavor distinct from what’s widely available in the U.S. Find Farm and Sparrow’s goodies at Asheville City Market (downtown), Montford Farmers Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market.
What’s fruit and bread without cheese? Those awaiting Spinning Spider Creamery’s Peppercorn Buche—which has been absent from market for a while—can rejoice. They’ll offer the peppery log this week, along with their Bailey Mountain Tomme, Liesel, and chevres. Find them at the same markets as Farm and Sparrow, as well as Asheville City Market South.
Of course, that’s just the tip of prepared market offerings. Also look for everything from hot sauces to pickles and pizza to sauerkraut.
The Jackson County Farmers Market in downtown Sylva will hold a special Taste of the Market customer appreciation event this Saturday, August 27, from 9 am until noon. Shoppers can sample tasty treats, watch cooking demonstrations, and get their questions answered by agricultural extension agents. The event is also an opportunity to raise money for the Community Table. Visitors can taste tomatoes, pick their favorite, make a donation, and whip up a delicious ‘mater and mayo sandwich on the spot.
This Saturday marks the final Kids Corner Market, 9 am-noon, and $5 bonus token day for EBT/SNAP users at Asheville City Market (ACM). The 27th is also an Asheville Humane Society cat adoption day at ACM (9 am-noon). Adoption fees will be waived for the day.

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