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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

The very first sweet potatoes have been reported at area farmers tailgate markets. Sweet potatoes are beloved for their flavor and versatility — great in both savory dishes, such as sweet potato au gratin, and sweet dishes, like pies.

Stop by Her Heartbeat Farm at Transylvania Farmers Market for the earliest sweet potatoes of the year, and keep your eyes out as more farmers and markets add them to their availability list in the coming weeks.

The next couple of months are generally prime time for root vegetables. Though many root vegetable crops are available throughout the year either fresh or as storage crops, late summer through autumn is arguably the best time for sweetness, freshness, and variety from local farmers at markets. Try beets, rutabaga, carrots, and more!

While sweet potatoes may be market stars, there are many other root veggies that certainly deserve mention. Celeriac is an often under recognized variety and a stellar ingredient in the kitchen. Deeply fragrant and flavorful, celeriac is great for soups, stews, and roasting and is available from vendors such as Gaining Ground Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, Asheville City Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market).

Looking for an accompanying condiment for your roots? Pesto is always a great choice. Visit Bee Tree Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, East Asheville Tailgate Market, and Madison County Farmers Market) for a range of pesto flavors.

Some great upcoming events at markets:

Jackson County Farmers Market will be celebrating their 15th anniversary on Saturday, September 19. Jen Pearson of Guadalupe Cafe in Sylva will be using market ingredients for cooking demonstrations and sharing samples from 10 am-12 pm. Many vendors will be sharing a taste or demonstrating a craft. It’ll be a great time! For more information visit their website, www.jacksoncountyfarmersmarket.org.

ASAP’s Farm Tour is around the corner, during the weekend of September 19-20. Pick up a guide at your local farmers market and see if your favorite vendors are on the tour. Also, ASAP will be setting up a booth at a few Asheville area markets to answer questions about the tour. If you see us, please say “hi!”

For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse ASAP’s online Local Food Guide or the online farmers market calendar.

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