Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Summer is officially here! Although the season’s full bounty has yet to arrive to area tailgates, produce ambassadors have been dispatched from the fields to tantalize taste buds and tell of what’s to come.

Find summer squash in all shapes and sizes now—from large zucchinis perfect for stuffing to smaller patty pans, eight balls, and one balls (pictured). Leaning Willow Farm (Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market) has been offering both types of the cute, compact ball squash. How can you tell the difference? Like the one ball in pool, a one ball squash is yellow. But the pool analogy ends there, since an eight ball squash is green. Selection will only increase as summer settles in, so start filing away those squash recipes. Got a good one? Share in the comments below, or email us!
Cauliflower joins its family member broccoli now; it has been spotted from vendors like Aardvark Farm (Asheville City Market, Yancey County Farmers Market) and will stick around through July then reappear in fall. The first of summer’s cucumbers have also begun to arrive, thanks to vendors like Fork Mountain Farm (Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market, Weaverville Tailgate Market), along with more carrots and potatoes plus a sprinkling of peaches, blueberries, black raspberries, and blackberries.
And then there’s the most-talked-about summertime find: tomatoes. Green tomatoes from Earthlife Farm were snapped up quickly last weekend at Asheville City Market. A few early cherry tomatoes have already been spotted from McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market downtown and South, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market). And, Thatchmore Farm is bringing their greenhouse ‘maters to North Asheville Tailgate and West Asheville Tailgate Market now.
Another summer staple? The sunflower. Buy beautiful bouquets and stems from farms like Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market). Oakley Farmers Market reports roses and gardenias are also in bloom.
If you’re firing up the grill these days, pick up local meats along with veggies. Summer specials on everything from chicken to ribs are happening now and will continue. Thursday, June 27,  Vandele Farms will offer $1 off their Cajun sausage at Oakley Farmers Market.
This Saturday, June 29, Asheville City Market will offer Budget Stretching Market Walks, beginning at 8:30 am and running every hour through 11:30. The tailgate tours will share information about stretching shopping dollars at market vendors. Also Saturday at the market, the Green Bag Lady Project will distribute free reusable shopping bags, asking shoppers to pledge to use them over paper or plastic.
To learn more about market events/find a market schedule, visit our farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide.

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