Peppers—hot and not—are popping up at farmers tailgate markets across WNC! From sweet bells to spicy jalapenos, you can find many types and varieties now. Keep your eyes open for unexpected colors, too. Purple bell peppers were spotted from several vendors last week, including Blue Ribbon Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market) and Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market).
The same goes for beans, which can be found in purple, green, and even yellow. Look for easy-to-prepare stringless varieties. Of course, heirloom tomatoes are also flaunting their bright hues, as well as their unusual shapes.
Speaking of purple veggies, eggplants in all shapes and sizes are becoming abundant—from long, slender Italian and Asian varieties to tiny striped varieties like Calliope and Fairytale.
Tomatillos have been spotted recently on many vendors’ tables, including Blue Meadow Farms (Asheville City Market/Asheville City Market South, West Asheville Tailgate Market), Long Valley Eco-biotic Farm (Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market, Sundays on the Island, West Asheville Tailgate Market, Weaverville Tailgate Market), and Gaining Ground Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). The husked fruit pairs perfectly with the heat-packing peppers available now, especially in salsa verde; find Gaining Ground’s favorite recipe below.
Waiting for corn? The summer staple is already a feature at markets outside of Asheville, like Mills River Farmers Market and the Historic Marion Tailgate Market, where they’ve been grilling up cobs. In Asheville, a few ears have been spotted at West Asheville Tailgate Market, but there is much more to come.
Wednesday, check out the new tailgate market on the campus of Western Carolina University. The market is held Wednesdays, 5-6:30 pm. Thursday, Oakley Farmers Market will host a kids market scavenger hunt. Saturday, children can join Biltmore Estate and Lioncrest for a local food and farm craft at the Kids Corner Market at Asheville City Market, 9 am-noon.