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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

The times, they are a changin’ at area farmers tailgate markets. Some summer varieties won’t be around for much longer, and you should get them while you still can. Fall produce varieties are just now arriving, and we can look forward to them in the coming weeks.

Last days and weeks for these veggies: Scoop up okra, summer squash, and sweet corn — soon they’ll be absent from vendors’ tables, and we’ll have to wait until next summer to see them fresh again. A great way to extend the availability of these varieties is to can, pickle, or freeze them — then you get eat them all winter long. Pick up sweet corn from farms such as Kay Farm at West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market, and okra from farms such as Ten Mile Farm at River Arts District Farmers Market and Asheville City Market.

Are you a fan of summer fruits? Get the last of em’ now: Stone fruit, blueberries, and melons will only be here for a bit longer. Again, freeze so these sweets last longer. There are multiple ways to freeze stone fruit: blanch and peel off skin, or to keep the skins, slice, dip in lemon juice and water bath, and freeze on a baking sheet. Then, combine frozen fruit into bags and store until ready to eat. Grab peaches from Creasman Farms at Asheville City Market and River Arts District Farmers Market.

Even though these produce are making their seasonal exit, that doesn’t mean there will be less at market. For fruit, apples are coming into full force and there will be many varieties to choose from. As for veggies, an increased diversity of winter squash, more dark leafy greens like collards, and brassicas such as broccoli and cauliflower will be abundant once again.

Other notable market news: Check out Aardvark Farm at Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and Yancey County Farmers Market. Pick out two or more pounds of any combination of peppers (sweet and/or spicy) and they’ll roast them for you on the spot. They smell amazing, they’re absolutely scrumptious, and it’s an exciting process to witness. Try sweet potato greens from Flying Cloud Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and Asheville City Market), and cook them like spinach for a new and delightful green. Also, Imladris Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market) has a new item: smoked ketchup, which is absolutely delectable.

ASAP has canceled the 2015 Farm Tour due to the threat of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza). HPAI does not affect eggs or poultry meat, but can be devastating to flock survival. Now, more than ever, local family farms need your support. Shop at area farmers tailgate markets to help ensure that our mountain farms flourish and thrive.

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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