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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

We’re nearly in the home stretch of summer. Just one more month and autumn will be upon us. In the meantime, while many of us bemoan the persistent heat, let’s not overlook the last of the magical abundance of the season, as we also welcome the very first signs of fall.

One of the wonderful summer traditions in the region is Yancey County Farmers Market’s tomato tasting contest. This year the winners were as follows: Robert Thompson (Bee Log Garlic & Flower Farm) took the honors for his “Black Icicle” tomato. In second place was Jim Stockwell (Common Ground Farm) with “Rose/Rouge de Berne”. Third place was Stephanie and Patrick Poetter (Locally Good Farm) with “Dr. Wyche’s Yellow”.

What better way to honor these tomatoes than with a simple, classic tomato sandwich? All you need is a thick slice of an heirloom tomato on market bread from Farm and Sparrow (Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market) or Simple Bread (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market), and a thin layer of mayonnaise.

Some folks can make this southern summer staple more elaborate. For example, make your mayo at home from scratch using eggs from the market, such as from Fiddler’s Green Farm at Asheville City Market. Take it up a notch by adding bacon from Dry Ridge Farm (Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market) or Hickory Nut Gap Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market). Or, perhaps you’d prefer to substitute chevre for mayo, using chevre from Spinning Spider Creamery (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and Asheville City Market), Three Graces Dairy (West Asheville Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and Asheville City Market) or OakMoon Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market).

The first of fall is making it’s way to market in the form of winter squash and new root vegetables. Root Bottom Farm has butternut and acorn squash at West Asheville Tailgate Market now. Gaining Ground Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and Asheville City Market) have celeriac and sorrel. Celeriac, or celery root, has a sweet, savory flavor that has an underlying classic celery flavor with a twist. It’s great grilled with a little oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Sorrel is a leafy green that has a strong tart citrus flavor. It’s great for adding to meat dishes, including rubs and marinades.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. Find out where farmers tailgate markets are on which days. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting our online Local Food Guide.

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