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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Flowers from Flying Cloud Farm

Area farmers tailgate markets are full of delights to discover. On any given week, you can find locally grown and locally made treats that can surprise you, make you smile, and give you something to look forward to cooking or preparing when you get home.

Flowers. More and more produce farmers are growing and selling flowers at farmers markets. It’s a way for them to diversify their market offerings and attract pollinators to their farm. And for shoppers, it’s an opportunity to bring home something fresh and beautiful to decorate your home with each week, as well as an additional way for you to support local farmers.

Dreamy Bean Farm is back at Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market after a brief hiatus. Dreamy Bean farmer Lexie has edamame, greasy beans, and heirloom varieties of shell peas, including Big Red Ripper cowpeas. This shell pea variety has 15–18 peas per pod, and once shelled, cooks quickly (in about 10–15 minutes). These fresh, local, and unique protein options are a treat to add to any meal! Many other farms throughout the area have beans as well, including a long, stringless green bean variety from B & L Organic (North Asheville Tailgate Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market).

Each year, it feels disorienting when winter squash arrives while it’s still 80 degrees outside. But that first taste of flavorful, rich, meaty squash is amazing no matter the temperature! The first winter squash is on the scene from Root Bottom Farm at West Asheville Tailgate Market.

Ground cherries are a special treat. They look like small, tan tomatillos. They can be eaten raw, like a sweet snacking fruit, or cooked (either alone or mixed with other fruits) into dessert dishes such as cobblers, crisps, and pies. Blue Meadow Farms (Asheville City Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market) have them now.

Sweet peppers are making a strong appearance this time of year. There are so many colors, varieties, and sizes to choose from. Lunchbox peppers are a particular treat — they’re small, super sweet, and perfect for snacking on raw or using as a scoop with your favorite dips! Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market and River Arts District Farmers Market), Olivette Farm (Black Mountain Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market), and Blue Meadow Farms all have these gems available.

Next Thursday, August 24, is ASAP’s Local Food Experience — an opportunity to taste delicious seasonal flavors and to connect with many of the farms and businesses from area farmers tailgate markets who are working together to build our local food movement. Learn more about the event on ASAP’s website.

Each week farmers have a wide array of fruits and vegetables. In addition to produce, you can always find a range of meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, baked goods, value-added items, fresh flowers, and other treats!

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.