Berries remain bountiful at area farmers tailgate markets this week. McConnell Farms’ tables promise to again overflow with quarts of big, bold blackberries at Asheville City Market South, Asheville City Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market. Also expect raspberries, nectarines, and peaches at markets around the region. There is another fruit that’s begun to steal the show from berries, though: the tomato!
Not ready to say ‘so long’ to spring produce? Then head out to area farmers tailgate markets this week and stock up before summer officially arrives!
Garlic scapes will begin waning with heat on our heels. Luckily, the flower stem of the garlic plant can easily be preserved to enjoy throughout the year. Scapes pickle well and make a great pesto, which can be frozen. If going that route, also pick up basil for a batch. The herb is available from many vendors now; Fisher Branch Farm (Asheville City Market) even has three kinds of basil starts if you want to plant yourself.
It’s the best of both worlds—rather, seasons—at area farmers tailgate markets now! Spring strawberries can still be found among exciting newcomers like mushrooms, summer squash, and sunflowers.
Chanterelles were a crowd pleaser at Asheville City Market this past weekend. In fact, the mushrooms flew out of Paper Crane Farm’s booth fast (see pic above; also find Paper Crane at West Asheville Tailgate Market). Expect to see more chanterelles along with other wild and cultivated mushrooms, from chicken of the woods to shiitakes, at markets this month. June is officially dedicated to mushrooms in ASAP’s Get Local initiative, and local mushroom expert Alan Muskat shares it will be the peak time for favorite wild varieties like chanterelles. Your farmer may grow and/or forage their mushrooms; just ask!
The new kids on the block at area farmers tailgate markets now are far from wallflowers! A brand new tailgate has started out strong, new produce offerings can’t be missed, and new vendors are joining in and attracting crowds.
Last week, the newly formed Oakley Farmers Market hosted their soft opening; they will celebrate their official grand opening this Thursday with live music, baby goats, and a children’s activity. Vendor Gladheart Farm (also at East Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market South) offered up some of the very first zucchinis and cucumbers of the season from their high tunnels. Fiddlesticks Farm, in their first year and also vending at the East Asheville Tailgate Market, caught shoppers’ eyes with their not-often-seen French radish; the variety is GIANT for a radish—reaching almost softball size—and very spicy.
This week, scoop up your summer favorites from area farmers tailgate markets before they’re gone and store them away for winter. After all, fall will officially take summer’s place in about a month. Try freezing fresh okra so you can warm up with a pot of local gumbo once the cool weather arrives. Pickle beans and peppers together for dilly beans; they’ll serve as a crisp summery reminder. Or, freeze berries and can peaches to enjoy more than apples next season. We hear McConnell Farms had three types of peaches at last weekend’s Asheville City Market!