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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Rice is not commonly grown in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. While we don’t have expansive rice paddies filling the mountain valleys, local farmers are pioneering rice production in our region. This week, farms brought the first of their season’s rice harvest to area farmers tailgate markets.

Chue Lee, of Lee’s One Fortune Farm, started their operation by growing ethnic produce that was not available in chain supermarkets. This year marks their third year growing rice, and they have three varieties for sale: sweet sticky rice, purple sticky rice, and red rice. They sow and harvest all of it by hand. At market, they offer fresh rice as well as cooked rice inside bamboo shoots. Find them at East Asheville Tailgate Market & Black Mountain Tailgate Market.

Lee’s One Fortune Farm isn’t the only rice producer in town. Joseph Carswell, of Clyde Valley Farm, learned to grow rice from the Hmong community near Morganton and started selling forbidden black rice at Asheville City Market last week. Also look for Joe’s purple sushi and Carolina Gold rice in coming weeks.

Corn is a more traditional grain grown the Southern Appalachians and farms in in region are revitalizing that tradition with Appalachian Grown and ground grits and cornmeal, listed as available at 17 farmers markets in in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide. Find grits and cornmeal from East Fork Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Farm & Sparrow Bakery (Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market).

What other produce can you find at market this time of year? Tomatoes, peppers, collards and other greens, potatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, apples, carrots, beets, onions, garlic, and more! In addition, there’s artisan bread, eggs, cheeses, meats, tempeh, jams, pickles, and other delectable products to discover at area farmers tailgate markets!

Oakley Farmers Market will have their last official market day of the season on Thursday, September 24.

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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