Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Assorted Peppers

Late summer and early autumn produce continues to mingle on farmers tailgate market tables, giving shoppers a panoply of options. You can get ripe tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, okra, beans, and potatoes alongside winter squash, apples, the earliest sweet potatoes, and hardy greens like kale, collards, arugula, chard, and mustard. With this abundance, you might be thinking about preserving a little bit for later. Not sure where to start? DIY hot sauce is one of the easiest ways to savor local flavor all winter.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

shishito peppers

We’ll have dry weather in the mountains for Labor Day, which means it’s safe to plan a few leisurely outdoor meals for the long weekend (or week). And just because we’re celebrating labor, doesn’t mean you should work too hard! Get everything you need at farmers tailgate markets to pull together a simple meal for sharing.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

mixed bell peppers

Melding summer’s produce into a single simmered dish gives you a satisfying vegetarian meal and celebrates the height of the farmers tailgate market season. We’re thinking about recipes like French ratatouille, Spanish piperade, and Middle Eastern shakshuka. These similar dishes all start with tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, and garlic, with additions of eggplant, summer squash, potatoes, or eggs. All of these recipes adapt easily to accommodate market purchases or what you have leftover in your fridge.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

pozole

Did you dry peppers earlier in the season? Or are you still finding fresh ones at farmers tailgate markets? Many farms will continue have them, probably until the first frost. Try making red or green pozole. This simple-but-satisfying Mexican soup showcases local peppers, as well as peak fall produce and local meats. 

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Peppers are really coming into their own at farmers tailgate markets right now. These bright nightshades can vary so much in flavor, heat, color, size, and texture. Asking the farmer about the varieties they’re growing is a great way to learn about new types and get tips on how you might prepare them. 

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Tomatillos from Gaining Ground Farm

Corn, tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos—it’s officially salsa season at farmers tailgate markets! 
Two markets are offering special events capitalizing on salsa fever: West Asheville Tailgate Market’s Pepperpalooza will take place this Tuesday, July 23, featuring a hot pepper eating contest, hot sauce tasting, demonstrations of ristra (a traditional Spanish method for drying peppers), and more. Weaverville Tailgate Market’s salsa competition and fundraiser is the following week, on Wednesday, July 31. Register to enter via the market’s Facebook page—or just show up to taste the contenders and vote your picks.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

There’s at least one hue of every color represented at area farmers tailgate markets. Farmers’ booths are vibrant and polychromatic. There’s a saying that goes: “Eat your colors.” Variety in the colors of your diet, may or may not live up to this advice, but it sure will make your fridge drawers look beautiful!

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

With all the dry weather throughout the summer, farmers were hoping for rain, but as the adage goes, “be careful what you wish for.” Farmers have not been affected uniformly by the heavy rains that hit the region last week; each farm has different soil type, elevation/gradient of their fields, microclimate (which affected how much rain they got), and growing practices (raised beds, tunnels, etc). The variation in produce affected by the rain at area farmers tailgate markets this week will vary from farm to farm.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Going to area farmers tailgate markets is more than just “going shopping.” The market can be an event — wonderful music, catching up with old friends, and connecting with folks that grow our food — a festive way to celebrate life, food, and our vibrant communities.

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