What’s fresh at area farmers tailgate markets this week? A better question would be, what isn’t! As we come to the peak of the summer growing season, the age old question of “what to eat for dinner” is harder than ever to decide. There’s so much more than can be mentioned here, so be sure to check out a market near you to discover the full range of exciting seasonal fare!
Stone fruit and berries are on the rise! Every week there are more and more reported at markets. Creasman Farms (Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and Black Mountain Tailgate Market) has yellow and white peaches, plums and blackberries, too. M&M Berry Farm (Saluda Tailgate Market) has blackberries AND raspberries. You can find blueberries at almost every market, as well. In addition to using fruit in pies and other desserts, try adding some peaches to your savory dishes to broaden the range of flavors.
Hearty greens are always a good addition to a meal. Swiss chard, collards, mustard, and kale are all still available, but as the heat kicks in, it might be harder to find these cooler weather crops. Find kale and collards from Adelbert Farm (Black Mountain Tailgate Market and Oakley Farmers Market) and swiss chard from Highgate Farm (East Asheville Tailgate Market, Weaverville Tailgate Market, and Black Mountain Tailgate Market). Greens are incredibly nutritious, but can sometimes be bitter. Try marinating or cooking your greens with sweeteners like honey or maple syrup and acids like citrus or vinegar to break down those cell walls and mute the strong bitter flavors.
There are more varieties of summer favorites as July progresses. Becki’s Bounty (East Asheville Tailgate Market, Oakley Farmers Market and Black Mountain Tailgate Market) has a wide variety of tomatoes to choose from right now including Cherokee purple, Amish late, Mountain Magic and The Mayer. New Moon Herbs Farm (Asheville City Market) has a wide selection of pepper varieties- nearly 10 different kinds!
In the next couple of weeks, there are more reasons than just food to visit the market. At Hayesville Evening Market this week, July 17, there will be corn festivities, including cornhole games, corn on the cob and kettle corn; music, and a cooking demo. Transylvania Farmers Market is hosting a Local Food Fest on Saturday, July 19, including hot breakfast, produce taste testing and food samples, cooking demos, and live music. Check out markets in your community to discover other special events, enjoy live music, and gather to celebrate the bounty of the season.blackberries, collards, kale, peaches, peppers, plums, raspberries, Swiss chard, tomatoes