Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Berries remain bountiful at area farmers tailgate markets this week. McConnell Farms’ tables promise to again overflow with quarts of big, bold blackberries at Asheville City Market South, Asheville City Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market. Also expect raspberries, nectarines, and peaches at markets around the region. There is another fruit that’s begun to steal the show from berries, though: the tomato!

Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruits, although we mostly use them as vegetables. They could even be classified as berries thanks to their edible seeds, and, like berries, they’re bright and colorful. Look for green tomatoes from vendors like Earthlife Farm (Asheville City Market), bright red slicing tomatoes from folks like Hominy Valley Farms (Asheville City Market, Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market), and small cherry tomatoes in every color of the rainbow from farms including Full Sun Farm (Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Melons will soon be abundant, too.
Local vegetables are also showstoppers now. Gladheart Farm’s (Asheville City Market South, East Asheville Tailgate Market, Oakley Farmers Market) beets have actually been thriving in the heat and are bigger than ever. They share that the veggies are not only customers’ favorites for purchase, but they get photographed often by shoppers at Asheville City Market South. Their prismatic patio pepper plants have also been ‘hamming it up’ for the cameras.
Gladheart’s pepper plants are more ornamental, although they can be eaten. But farms like Flying Cloud Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Jake’s Farm (Asheville City Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market) have begun bringing jalapenos and bell peppers ready for your favorite dishes. Look for more peppers in the coming weeks, along with eggplants. Of course, veggies from beans to cabbage and cucumbers to squash can be found. Also look for summer bouquets, farm fresh meats and cheeses, breads, and even homemade bug sprays for summer’s pesky pests.
Starting Thursday, July 12, Oakley Farmers Market will operate at a new time, 3:30-6:30 pm. On Saturday, July 14, at Kids Corner Market at Asheville City Market, MANNA FoodBank will lead a local food activity from 9 am until noon. Also on Saturday, as well as Sunday, the Jackson County Farmers Market will host its 6th annual Farm Tour and Garden Walk, 1-5 pm each day. Maps, tickets, and more information will be available at the market Saturday from 9 am until noon.

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