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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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assorted beans at farmers markets

Baskets of beans are starting to crowd farmers tailgate market tables. Common green beans, yellow wax beans, or deep purple burgundy beans are all great, versatile ingredients, whether you’re sautéeing a side dish, adding them to a salad, or preserving for later use. But here are a few specific varieties we’ve been excited to find in recent weeks.

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Wineberries from Highgate Farm

Tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, summer squash, peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage—farmers market tables are overflowing with summer superstars. You’re likely to walk away with a full market bag no matter what you’re looking for, but there a few delicacies we’re seeking out right now.

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squash, eggplants, and more at farmers markets

As the summer season continues to bring its bounty (eggplant, okra, and shishito peppers are all starting to make their way to markets now), we want to introduce two farmers tailgate markets new to Buncombe County this year.

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Lyda & Sons Family Orchard peaches

Today marks the summer solstice, and farmers tailgate markets are reaching their summertime heights. You’ll find a panoply of produce, including tomatoes, summer squash, beans, spring onions, cucumbers, new potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, greens of all sorts, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and much, much more.

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tomatoes

The first tomatoes have arrived at farmers tailgate markets! If you acted quickly this past week, you may have snagged an early variety from Thatchmore Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), Full Sun Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market), Olivette Farm, or Headwaters Market Garden (both at Asheville City Market).

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blueberries

These are giddy days at farmers tailgate markets. New summer produce is popping up everywhere, and there is a joyful sense of abundance. (Or an overwhelming experience, if you’re trying to decide what to buy first!)

This past week saw the first pints of early-season blueberries, including from Gibson Berry Farm and Flying Cloud Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Ivy Creek Family Farm (Weaverville Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Cherries, too, made their first appearance, from Lyda and Sons Orchard (Weaverville Tailgate Market) and Full Sun Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Pies are certainly the iconic way to enjoy these summertime berries, but they can also pair extremely well with the vegetables sitting alongside them. Read the rest of this entry »

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kohlrabi

This week has felt like the apex of summer, though on the farm the season’s harvest is just moving into high gear. After one of the wettest years in recent memory, farmers are compensating for unseasonably warm temperatures and a lack of rain right now. But that hasn’t stopped new produce from making its way to farmers tailgate markets.

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Spring onions at farmers markets

Memorial Day marks the unofficial kickoff to summer (even if by the calendar we’re still four weeks out) and, just in time, summer squash has made its first market appearances. We spotted baby zephyr, zucchini, and pattypan varieties this past week from Olivette Farm (Asheville City Market) and Full Sun Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market), and more farms will have it soon.

Other seasonal finds picking up speed are spring alliums. Wondering about the differences between all the spring onions, scallions, leeks, green garlic, and garlic scapes filling up market tables? Here’s a quick rundown.

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Jessica Franz Spiegel

ASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month, we talk with farmer Jessica Franz Spiegel, owner of Terra Lingua Growers, which will be a stop on the 2019 Farm Tour in the Henderson Cluster. Read the rest of this entry »

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