Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Hey, parents. How are you doing out there? We know the next few weeks may be tough (as if the past six months hadn’t already been difficult). Whether your family is heading back to in-person school, navigating distance learning, or trying to unravel the particulars of a hybrid system, healthy snack food might not be top of your mind. And that may be the case even if you don’t have kids in the house. But there are some simple things you can grab at farmers tailgate markets right now that might appeal even to picky or stressed-out eaters.

Mexican sour gherkins are perfectly bite-sized and crunchy—and look like watermelons for a dollhouse. (Want to make it even more adorable? They’re also called mouse melons.) These mini veggies taste like a tangy cucumber, though technically they are a different genus. Beyond snacking by the handful, they’re great in salads or on top of tacos. They’re also traditionally used to make refrigerator pickles. You can get them from Ten Mile Farm at ASAP Farmers Market and Whaley Farmstead at East Asheville Tailgate Market.
Continuing in the bite-sized category, cherry and grape tomatoes are tried and true snack food winners, since they’re often candy sweet. Plus, they’re available in just about every hue, should you be shopping for someone with strong color preferences. Many farmers have multiple varieties available—ask which are their favorites. Not a tomato fan? Try ground cherries from Bear Necessities Farm at ASAP Farmers Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market. These bright orange relatives of the tomatillo have a fruitier flavor, often compared to strawberries, pineapples, or grapes.  
Another option for fruity vegetables are lunchbox peppers. Perfectly sized for tiny hands, these sweet peppers can be munched on whole or sliced up and served with soft cheese or dips. Get a tri-color mix of orange, red, and yellow lunchbox peppers from The Bird & the Beasts’ Farmstead at East Asheville Tailgate Market. 
Of course fruits are also abundant in late summer and ideal for snacking. Watermelon, cantaloupe, figs, apples, pears, peaches, and blackberries all available. If slicing up a giant watermelon isn’t on the agenda for you, look for smaller Ocelot watermelons, available from Green Toe Ground Farm at ASAP Farmers Market. 
Beyond your snacking needs, markets have plenty of full-size tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, squash, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, and much more. You’ll also find meats, eggs, bread, cheese, fermented products, baked goods, and beverages. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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