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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Raspberries and peaches have made their debut at the Transylvania Farmers Market. Her Heartbeat Farm brought raspberries and Calee’s Coops has South Carolina grown peaches. Stay tuned — both fruits will arrive imminently at Asheville area farmers tailgate markets.

In the meantime, blueberries abound. Find them from Aardvark Farm (Asheville City Market, Yancey County Farmers Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market), Flying Cloud Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and Asheville City Market), as well as other area farmers.

In addition to a wide range of vegetables — leafy greens, salad mixes, green beans, carrots, beets, herbs, and more — farmers are cultivating unique, specialty produce to bring to markets.

Lemon cucumbers look like lemons, or lemon-like gourds, however their name is not reflected in their flavor. These cukes have a sweet and mild cucumber flavor and they’re known for being less likely to develop bitterness as they grow than some other cuke varieties. Check out these crisp yellow treats from Blue Ribbon Farm (Asheville City Market and River Arts District Farmers Market).

Celtuce is a variety of lettuce originally from southern China, cultivated for its long stem instead of its leaves. Traditionally, the mildly-flavored stem is sliced thinly and stir-fried. Celtuce has slowly been growing in popularity in the American food scene for the past few years, and it’s exciting that it’s reached our region thanks to Fork Mountain Farm at the Weaverville Tailgate Market.

Fennel an herb most known for its seeds and leaves which provide its strong, licorice-like flavor, leaving the fennel bulb to sometimes be overlooked. The white bulb can be cooked and eaten like a root vegetable. The signature licorice-like flavor mellows when cooked, and becomes quite sweet. This makes it great for caramelizing, roasting, or braising. Then, add it to pasta dishes; use it to accompany proteins (meat, fish, etc); or eat it on its own with parmesan cheese. Many farmers at market have fennel including Gaining Ground Farm at North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and Asheville City Market.

Don’t miss ASAP’s Farm Tour happening this weekend! The tour is an opportunity to visit multiple farms that you shop from at market, and discover other farms that might be new to you. Bring your family (or friends) to visit family farms in WNC, as they open their barn doors to the public and offer guided tours, hands-on demonstrations, and family-friendly experiences for visitors of all ages.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about when tailgate markets, farm stands, and other farms to visit, are open by visiting our online Local Food Guide.

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