Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Craving cantaloupe? You’re in luck! The fragrant summer melon has been spotted at farmers markets around the region recently.

In fact, local cantaloupes smell so sweet now you can use your nose to easily guide you to vendors offering them. Or, here’s a little cheat sheet: the melons have been spotted from Aardvark Farm (Asheville City Market, Yancey County Farmers Market), Dillingham Family Farm (Weaverville Tailgate Market), and Corners Knob Farm (Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market) just to name a few. Be on the lookout for watermelons, too.
Chances are you haven’t tried all the types of tomatoes available now, so use this week to branch out! Farmers will do their best to keep WNC in tomatoes all month long, but it’s an unpredictable tomato season, so scoop them up when you see them. At ASAP’s Tomato Festival at Asheville City Market last weekend, there were more than a dozen heirloom varieties available—from Cherokee Chocolate to Mr. Stripey and Pink Beauty to Granny Cantrell.
Although technically a member of the nightshade family—like eggplants, which still abound—tomatillos, or husk tomatoes, can be found at tailgates these days. They’ve been spotted from vendors like BMS Mushrooms at Black Mountain Tailgate Market and Gaining Ground Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Just like maters, they can be used in a refreshing summer salsa.
Of course, other seasonal favorites like berries, beans, corn, and okra remain. Be sure to check out non-food vendors as well. Many offer special summer items like homemade bug spray that you can’t find anywhere else.
Speaking of summer, Oakley Farmers Market celebrates the season with their Summer Splash Festival this Thursday, August 15, from 3:30 until 6:30 pm. There will be kids activities and games, a scavenger hunt, raffles, balloon art, and free samples from market vendors. The event is free and open to the public. Also on August 15, the Evening Harvest Market in Hayesville is hosting Tomatolicious Day from 4 until 8 pm. The event includes a best dressed tomato contest, cooking demonstration, music, and more. And, mark your calendar now for Jackson County Farmers Market’s Taste of the Market on August 31.
To learn about more market events/find a market schedule, visit our farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide.

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