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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Potatoes are sure to be plentiful at area farmers tailgate markets this week. After all, it is officially Get Local potato month! But we’re not talking about the average russet…

Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) offers striking purple potatoes, with hints of red and pink. Unlike purple beans, which lose their hue during cooking, purple potatoes retain their color. Fingerlings—which do look a bit like fingers—can also be found from many vendors, including Red Wing Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Blue Meadow Farms (Asheville City Market, Asheville City Market South, West Asheville Tailgate Market). Also keep your eyes out for sweet potatoes—Green Toe Ground (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) has begun offering the popular Beauregard—along with more and more varieties of traditional ‘taters as September progresses.

Beans are still bountiful, with offerings beyond the standard green bean. Blue Meadow Farms brought Gita beans, which are an astounding 16 to 20 inches long, to Asheville City Market last weekend. Crowder peas and lima beans have also been spotted at markets.

Apples are arriving in larger quantities. McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, Asheville City Market South, North Asheville Tailgate Market) offered up Red Delicious last weekend, while B and L Organic (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) offered up heirloom varieties like Grimes Golden and Mountain Boomer. They expect Royal Limbertwig, Red Rome and more in the coming weeks. Baked goods vendors like Smoke Signals Baking (Weaverville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) are excited about that; Smoke Signals recently created an apple buckwheat tart.

And, more and more greens are appearing, along with cool-weather crops like beets, carrots, and turnips. Do snag tomatoes this week if you see them, as farmers report the summer staple is on its way out.

Speaking of tomatoes, Oakley Farmers Market will present a canning demonstration this Thursday, September 6, to help you create salsa with market ‘maters, garlic and peppers. The workshop will run 4:30-5:30 pm. The demo will also include details on canning green beans.

Mark your calendars for September 13. Black Mountain Tailgate Market will team up with area chefs for a benefit from 4 to 7 pm at Pisgah Brewing Company entitled “Local Plates, Local Pints.” The event will feature samples of foods from market farmers and producers, a silent auction, and more. Tickets are $20 and available at the market this Saturday.

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