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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

pears

It’s a pearfect week to pick up pears at area farmers markets! Asian pears have been spotted at tailgates around the region. They’re crisp (hence their nickname ‘apple pear’), juicy, and slightly sweet. They’re a tad tart, too, especially near their cores. Look for additional varieties in the coming weeks, and keep your eye out for vendor Fresh Pearspective to join Asheville City Market—and likely more markets—through the end of September. Last year, they offered both Bosch and Seckel pears.

While more and more varieties of apples are ripening now and becoming available at area markets, none can quite compare to the “No More Like Them” apples from Waters Farm, which they sell at the Transylvania Tailgate Market in Brevard. Waters Farm encompasses 100 acres of land, but only one mysterious tree produces this tart and sweet variety. Its appearance is a mixture of a Honeycrisp and an Asian pear, while its taste is similar to that of a Granny Smith.

The cooler weather has already ushered in fall produce like winter squash. But it also means the reappearance of items last seen at markets in spring. This month, look for spinach to make its comeback. Next month, broccoli and cauliflower return.

Potatoes, turnips, beets, radishes, garlic, onions, and cabbage will continue to be available over the next several months, along with local meat, dairy products, and eggs. And, even though beekeepers are extracting the last of their season’s honey this month, they should have the sweet stuff for a while.

North Asheville Tailgate Market celebrates the changing seasons with a special event they’re calling “The Big Roast” this Saturday, September 10, from 8 am until noon. The event will include activities like face painting, and the market’s 2011 Season Sponsor, Gardens of Health Chiropractic, will provide chiropractic screenings.

At Asheville City Market (ACM), look for the Mountain Arts Festival setup near the tailgate’s info table. The new area features an expanded group of local artisan and craft vendors and will remain through the fall and into early winter. ACM runs from 8 am until 1 pm.

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