Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Pioppinis! Reishis! Mushroom enthusiasts know we’re not speaking another language; we’re talking about two interesting and locally grown varieties. While you can usually find mushrooms at area farmers markets throughout the tailgate season, now is a great time to find varieties new to market (and maybe new to you)! Myco-Gardens offered up both varieties at North Asheville Tailgate Market last weekend, with Pioppinis new to their booth. Pioppinis pack a peppery flavor that’s perfect in pasta dishes or stir-fries. Myco’s Carol Dreiling says that Reishis are great for making tea, as they’re a medicinal, not culinary, mushroom. Rumored health benefits include blood pressure management and liver protection.
Apples are becoming more abundant at markets. Unlike Reishis, they’re on the culinary spectrum, but one a day does still keep the doctor away! Honeycrisps and Galas can be found; also look for other early varieties. At West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market, Hickory Nut Gap Farm is offering Jonagolds (juicy, sweet to sour) and Cortlands (tart, a “dessert” apple). The farm’s apples are now Certified Organic.
Still stocking up on summer faves? This week is one of your last chances to grab blackberries, so get ‘em while you can for a pie to enjoy one crisp fall evening. There are still tomatoes of all kinds, along with beautiful bell peppers, cucumbers, melons, summer squash, and okra. For something new, opt for red okra, offered now by Hominy Valley Farms (Asheville City Market). Red okra often grows much larger than its traditional green cousin. Although the color fades during cooking, its taste is truly unique—a blend of asparagus and eggplant.
Speaking of eggplant, Japanese eggplants are also still available as the seasons begin to shift. They have a milder taste than traditional eggplant, with a thinner and softer skin. Try tossing them on the grill or roasting them to bring out their flavor. This week and in the coming weeks, expect more winter squash, including Delicatas (identify them by their green stripes), Butternuts, and pumpkins.
On Saturday, September 3, Master Gardeners will set up at Asheville City Market to answer all of your end-of-summer and fall gardening questions. The market runs from 8 am until 1 pm. Black Mountain Tailgate Market is seeking design submissions for a new market logo that captures the essence of their Saturday morning community event. Designs must be submitted by September 17. More information can be found on the market’s Facebook page.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters