We’re already halfway through summer, which means our favorite fall produce is getting closer than we think! As August arrives, we’re starting to see some of the season’s early apples make their way into farmers markets. In addition to a few delicious apple varieties, the cornucopia of summer fruits at markets right now includes peaches, nectarines, plums, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and even some melons!
Also, Southside Community Farmers Market will be having its monthly farmers market this Sunday, August 7, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Edgington Center. Don’t forget to stop by and support our community’s BIPOC farmers, who will be offering fresh produce, herbal medicine, prepared foods, fancy boba drinks, clothing, jewelry, and more!
As for apples, Root Bottom Farm is offering sweet Gala and Virginia Gold apples at West and North Asheville markets. You can also find Gala apples, as well as the more mild Ginger Golds, from Bright Branch Farm at East Asheville Tailgate Market. More apple varieties are being sold by Big Briar Botanicals at the Leicester “Les-ter” Farmers Market, as well as Creasman Farms at the River Arts District, North, and Asheville City markets. We expect to see more vendors and even more varieties arriving at farmers markets in the coming weeks!
There’s plenty of local products to enjoy your apples with. For an easy appetizer or snack, try putting a spin on a classic bruschetta with a simple (yet effective) combination of apple, goat cheese, and honey on sliced sourdough bread. Ali Rae Foods brought a delicious goat cheese with local blackberries and organic basil to markets this week. You can also find a delicious assortment of goat cheese flavors from Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery (Black Mountain, North, and Asheville City markets) and Spinning Spider Creamery (North and River Arts District markets).
If you’re a fan of coleslaw (and even if you’re not), this market fresh apple coleslaw recipe will be a favorite side to any meal. In a large bowl, combine three cups chopped cabbage, two apples (unpeeled and chopped), one grated carrot, half cup chopped bell pepper, and two finely chopped green onions. To make the dressing, mix together a third cup mayonnaise, a third cup of brown sugar, and one tablespoon of lemon juice in a separate bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and stir until evenly coated.
At farmers markets now you’ll also find okra, tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, cucumbers, garlic, beans, potatoes, beets, leafy greens, and much more. Markets are stocked with a variety of meats, cheese, rice, pasta, bread, drinks, and prepared foods. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.