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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Corn is finally making an appearance at area farmers tailgate markets, although a little later than normal. According to Creasman Farms (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market), recent dry conditions are to blame. Despite the weather, their booth—along with those of vendors like McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market downtown and South, North Asheville Tailgate Market)—will give you an earful now!

But do get to market early if you’re corn crazy. Lunsford Farms sold out of their bi-color cobs in a flash at last week’s Henderson County Tailgate Market. They’re currently taking advance orders for bags to pick up Saturday.

Luckily, potatoes can also be found in more abundance these days. After all, corn and potatoes are the veggie partnership of peanut butter and jelly! Look for varieties of fingerlings, waxy, small ‘taters described as creamy and sweet. Keep your eyes peeled for other varieties, too, in many shades. Firefly Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, Yancey County Farmers Market) is offering “patriotic potatoes,” spuds in shades of red, white, and blue.

Lots more new produce is arriving. Okra and melons are increasing in availability. Artichokes have even been spotted from Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market). Pantry musts like garlic and onions abound, and veggies from beets to beans and chard to cucumbers can be found, along with fruits from berries to peaches.

Of course, heirloom tomatoes are also abundant. And, they’re popular. Chef William Dissen of the Market Place in Asheville (host of our upcoming tomato party and contest) was spotted shopping for some to include on his menu at Montford Farmers Market last week.

The season’s excitement and abundance don’t just stop at produce. More and more unique craft vendors and artisan food producers are joining on this summer. French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, for example, boasts vendors like Biscuit Wagon Bakery—who offer crackers, flat breads, and new vegan beer biscuits—and Little Bee Thai—who offer flavorful curries and sauces.

On Saturday, July 28, Slow Food of Asheville will lead a play and cooking activity for children at Kids Corner Market at Asheville City Market (9 am-noon). Jackson County Farmers Market will also host kids activities on Saturday: splatter painting (10 am) and story time (11 am). Beginning Thursday, August 2, librarians from Oakley Library will present children’s story time at 5 pm during the Oakley Farmers Market.

To learn more about market events and find a market schedule, visit our online farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide.

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