Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

It’s a family affair at farmers markets these days! The Three Sisters—beans, corn, and squash—can be found now. Called sisters historically because they share a season and help each other grow and thrive, these three plants were the principal crops of Native American groups. Farmers still companion plant these crops today.

While squash and beans have been on the market scene for a little while,  it’s just the beginning for corn. The first of summer’s sweet corn was spotted at Mills River Farmers Market and at Asheville-area tailgates this past weekend: from Earthlife Farm (Asheville City Market) and McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market Downtown and South, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market). But don’t shun the other sisters. More varieties and quantities of beans and squash are available now than previously this season. All three crops will stick around a while longer.
There are even more summer newcomers to celebrate. Eggplant is arriving in all shapes and sizes. Okra has been spotted from a few folks, including Ivy Creek Family Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, Weaverville Tailgate Market) and Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market). But if you want okra, get to market early; it’s been selling like hot potatoes (find taters, too). Farms like Flying Cloud Farm report they’ll have okra in a couple of weeks. Ten Mile Farm also offered up the first of the season’s melons: pint-size watermelons. Hot peppers are joining sweet bell peppers. Plus, a more steady supply of tomatoes is rolling in. And that’s not all! Berries, cucumbers, greens, and peaches remain.
Don’t just look to produce vendors for summertime specials. Artisan food vendors are incorporating tastes of the season in everything from baked goods to pickles (check out Copper Pot & Wooden spoon’s award-winning Dilly Beans with Pickled Peppers at Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market). Meat vendors are bringing all kinds of cuts perfect for the grill; many are on sale now.
SNAP/EBT promotions continue Saturday at Asheville City Market and Jackson County Farmers Market. Montford Farmers Market is giving away a $50 gift certificate this month; visit their Facebook page for details and to enter.
To learn about market events/find a market schedule, visit our farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide.

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