Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

It’s the best of both worlds—rather, seasons—at area farmers tailgate markets now! Spring strawberries can still be found among exciting newcomers like mushrooms, summer squash, and sunflowers.
Chanterelles were a crowd pleaser at Asheville City Market this past weekend. In fact, the mushrooms flew out of Paper Crane Farm’s booth fast (see pic above; also find Paper Crane at West Asheville Tailgate Market). Expect to see more chanterelles along with other wild and cultivated mushrooms, from chicken of the woods to shiitakes, at markets this month. June is officially dedicated to mushrooms in ASAP’s Get Local initiative, and local mushroom expert Alan Muskat shares it will be the peak time for favorite wild varieties like chanterelles. Your farmer may grow and/or forage their mushrooms; just ask!
Summer squash is filling up more vendors’ tables. You can find lots of types now, including patty pan and green and yellow zucchini. Expect a true abundance in the coming weeks. Also keep your eyes peeled for early carrots, early cucumbers, and even early peaches—spotted already at Historic Marion Tailgate Market—along with beets, broccoli, cabbage, greens, kohlrabi, onions, peas, radishes, turnips, and more.
If your thoughts have turned to grilling, check out vendors like Which Came First Farm (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, Oakley Farmers Market). They’ve got whole cut-up chickens ready for charcoal: bone-in, skin-on breasts; drumsticks, bone-in thighs, wings, you name it! And don’t be afraid to grill delicate produce. Last weekend at Asheville City Market, chef Nate Allen of Knife and Fork grilled strawberries from McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market downtown and South, North Asheville Tailgate Market; expect strawberries for a couple more weeks, rhubarb also remains) and broccoli raab from Aardvark Farm (Asheville City Market, Yancey County Farmers Market).
Other signs of the upcoming season? Watermelon starts, spotted from Ol’ Turtle Farm (Asheville City Market, Historic Marion Tailgate Market), and bright sunflowers, from vendors like Flying Cloud Farm (Montford Farmers Market, Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Hominy Valley Farms (Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market, Asheville City Market).
On Thursday, June 7, Natalie’s Naturals will offer a tile decorating activity at Oakley Farmers Market. On Saturday, June 9, Asheville City Market will feature music by Evergreen Community Charter School’s EMBE Marimba Band, and their Kids Corner Market will feature a hooping activity with Hooping Hearts.
To learn more about market events and find a market schedule, visit our online farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide.

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