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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

You could say that the bases are loaded now at area farmers markets. And that the shift is on; the seasonal shift, that is. Summer’s heavy-hitters—tomatoes, eggplants, and more—remain, while fall’s rookies are being called up to play.

This week, McConnell Farms plans to have some of the last of summer’s peaches at Asheville City Market South (Wednesday) and downtown (Saturday). He should still have sweet corn, too. But the cobs are sure to go fast.

Expect to hit a grand slam if you’re looking for peppers this week, as hot and sweet varieties abound. For spice, Gladheart Farms has fiery South African Habaneros. Find Gladheart at Asheville City Market South and the West Asheville Tailgate Market. For sweet, look for bells in all shades and all shapes. Long, tapered Marconi peppers, offered by Angel Ridge Farm at the Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market, look a lot like a hot jalapeno or chili. But, don’t let them fool you; they’re actually sweet!

More and more winter squash are joining the team now. At a recent Montford Farmers Market, Flying Cloud Farm had an entire table filled with Delicatas, Red Kuris, Butternuts, Carnivals, Acrons, Spaghettis, and pie pumpkins.

Sweet potatoes are just joining the rotation this week. Also welcome new fall/winter craft items. Randall Glen has been bringing Shetland sheep raw fleece to the West Asheville Tailgate Market. Last week, Last Penny Farm brought their alpacas to the Madison County market, along with warm wool socks, rugs, and more.

Wednesday, September 14, at Asheville City Market South, participate in a tomato taste test with the Mountain Organic Research and Extension Program. They’re working to breed disease-resistant tomatoes with heirloom flavor and want to know your thoughts!

The Black Mountain Tailgate Market is also looking for your input, specifically when it comes to their logo. Images must convey the essence of the market and be submitted by September 17 to manager@nullblackmountaintailgatemarket.org. The prize is $50 in market bucks; more information can be found on their website.

There are only three more Fridays to shop the Riceville Tailgate Market, held in Groce United Methodist’s parking lot on Tunnel Road from 4 until 7 pm. The market ends for the season on September 30. The majority of area markets will remain open through October, with many running through November and into December.

Play ball! We mean, shop your neighborhood market ‘til you drop!

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