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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Long, hot summer days are fading into cooler evenings and the first hints of fall. That means a new crop of late-summer fruits at area tailgate farmers markets, even as you savor the last of the berries and peaches.

Figs are an exciting fruit to be found this time of year. They’re beautiful to share and display with friends and family, and their taste and texture is so unique and delightful! If you’re feeling ambitious, you can try making your own homemade fig cookie rolls (like the famous store-bought ones). Another great option is to dehydrate them and eat them as snacks for weeks to come. Figs can be found from McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Jake’s Farm (Asheville City Market).

Concord grapes are a wonderful snack on their own, but they’re also great for pairing with cheeses. Find concord grapes from McConnell Farms. Stop by Spinning Spider Creamery (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and Asheville City Market) or Three Graces Dairy (West Asheville Tailgate Market and North Asheville Tailgate Market) to pick up goat and other cheeses for pairings.

Apples, apples, apples! We’re rolling into apple season to find increasing varieties of the fruit each week at market. Creasman Farms (Asheville City Market and River Arts District Farmers Market) and McConnell Farms both have a wide variety of apples throughout the season, along with a number of diversified produce farmers that have some apple trees along with their veggies. These include Thatchmore Farm and B&L Organic (both at West Asheville Tailgate Market and North Asheville Tailgate Market). Pears are available alongside apples from farms such as Tucker’s Garden (West Asheville Tailgate Market and North Asheville Tailgate Market).

Some peak summer favorites are less abundant, but still around. Bear Necessities Farm will have late summer and early fall varieties of strawberries in the coming weeks in small quantities at Asheville City Market. Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm had blueberries this past week at West Asheville Tailgate Market. And, if you’re looking for something new to try, Sleight Family Farm has Kiwano melons at Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market. Be sure to wait until they’re fully yellow and ripe before giving them a taste.

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.