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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

The changing leaves and long-overdue crisp chilly weather has our attentions turned to fall foods, such as apples.

Farms such as McConnell Farms (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market) and Creasman Farms (Asheville City Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market) have up to 12 varieties of apples at their stands each market. Other vendors have small inventories of apples as well, including B & L Organic (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market) and Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm (Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, Weaverville Tailgate Market)

The varieties of apples evolve from August when they bring their first harvests to market, through winter when they bring apples best for storing. Here are just a few of the varieties they have now:

Gala and Fuji – sweet eating apples, great for slicing and eating as an afternoon snack or an addition to lunch boxes.

Honey crisp – popular because of their thin skin and their crispness and juiciness. Creasman Farms will only have them another week or two so get ‘em while you still can.

Mutsu, Jonagold, Stayman (or, Stayman-Winesap) – sweet-sour apples that good for eating raw as well as cooking. These are all varieties you don’t usually find in the grocery store.

Additionally, they have Swiss Gourmet, Cameo, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Cortlands, Romes and several other varieties.

Arriving in the next week or so will be Pink Lady, Arkansas Black, and Gold Rush, which are all market favorites!

Want to learn more about Creasman Farms? Listen to “Apples for Everyone” an episode of ASAP’s radio segment, Growing Local, featuring the farm.

B&L Organic, Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm, and other farms with small apple inventories usually have heirloom, organic apples. These varieties often have blemishes and are misshapen, but don’t let that deter you — they are often some of the best apples you’ve ever eaten. Ask these farmers about their varieties to learn more, and, they’ll sometimes let you sample them. Once you do, you’re sure to want to bring some home.

Looking to make apple butter or sauce, can, store, or feed a family or group of friends? Buy apples in bulk from farmers at market. If you’re looking for a specific variety, it’s recommended to call the farm in advance, but you can also just ask them at market what they have that you might buy by the case.

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.