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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Local Basil

Summer is settling in nicely at area farmers tailgate markets! Produce abounds; think cucumbers and corn, garlic and greens, peaches and plums, and the list goes on. Blooms are bursting open. And, market calendars are scheduled with summer soirees.

Looking for ways to enjoy the season’s tomatoes? Make a fresh Caprese salad with mozzarella and basil. Finally Farm has a huge selection of the herb now, including the popular sweet Genovese variety and the lesser-known Magical Michael, described as an all-around culinary dynamo. The farm’s basil plants are ready to enjoy in a meal and plant in your garden or perch on your windowsill. Find Finally Farm at Asheville City Market Downtown and South and Oakley Farmers Market.

Markets are also offering something unexpected: apples! Although usually seen as a sign of fall, there are crisp local summer apples, too. They’ve been spotted from Lyda Farms at Weaverville Tailgate Market recently, as well as at Black Mountain Tailgate Market and Oakley Farmers Market.

Although all this produce is bright and beautiful, blooms are simply stunning now. Find fresh cut flowers, including gladiolas and zinnias in all shades and sunflowers by the stem or bunch. Also look for seasonal flowering plants like Coleus and Lantana.

This Saturday, August 3, Mills River Farmers Market hosts their Summerfest (8 am-noon). The event includes music from the Wootones and Rush Dittbrender, a raffle, face painting, antique tractors, and more.

Mark your calendars now for more August market events, including ASAP’s Tomato Festival at Asheville City Market Downtown on August 10, a tomato tasting at North Asheville Tailgate Market on August 10, and a Summer Splash Festival at Oakley Farmers Market August 15; more details in future reports.

Don’t forget the Jackson County Farmers Market EBT promotion sponsored by Buy Haywood runs through August 10, and the Asheville City Market EBT promotion runs through August 31. August is also the final month for Growing Minds @ Market children’s activities at Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market.

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

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