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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

With all the dry weather throughout the summer, farmers were hoping for rain, but as the adage goes, “be careful what you wish for.” Farmers have not been affected uniformly by the heavy rains that hit the region last week; each farm has different soil type, elevation/gradient of their fields, microclimate (which affected how much rain they got), and growing practices (raised beds, tunnels, etc). The variation in produce affected by the rain at area farmers tailgate markets this week will vary from farm to farm.

Some crops that won’t be as abundant this week include leafy greens. Many greens crops faltered due to root rot caused by continued exposure to wetness and not enough oxygen. Okra, which was already at the end of its season, is all but entirely curtailed in the rain. Apple crops suffer a great deal in the rain due to swelling and cracking. Root crops are susceptible to rotting in the wet ground, and some farmers scurried to harvest what they could from these crops. It’s possible that over time more damage from the rains will become apparent that isn’t visible just yet.

Some crops that were affected in a positive way by the rain include mushrooms. Shiitakes love the wet weather, and are available from many farms including Ivy Creek Family Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market and Weaverville Tailgate Market) and Meadow Cove Farm (Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market). Foraged maitake mushrooms can be found from Asheville Wild Foods at River Arts District Farmers Market. Stop by Asheville Fungi’s booth at West Asheville Tailgate Market and French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Market to see what mushrooms they have this week. Additionally, more storage roots will be abundant partly because more were harvested in the face of the rain.

Generally, you will find all of the same produce throughout a given market, regardless of the rains, with some changes here or there. Some items you’re likely to find will be a range of tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, some late cucumbers, garlic, onions, carrots, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ginger, turmeric, and more!

Be sure to support your local farmers this week in full force! One of the wonderful things about our area farmers tailgate markets is the community that they foster, and community is of the utmost importance in times of struggle; in order for all members to thrive and flourish.

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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