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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

There are always unique treasures to find at area farmers tailgate markets! In the midst of the the abundant summer produce, among heaping piles of zucchini, tomatoes, corn and peaches, we can lose sight of other offerings. Below are some lesser celebrated, but still exciting, fresh, and seasonal options to fill your basket at market.

Though winter squash seems an unlikely choice for the summer, it may be just the thing you’ve been craving on these chillier August days or a new addition to try on the grill. Root Bottom Farm (Madison County Farmers Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market), and Corners Knob Farm (Madison County Farmers Market) have some of the first winter squash of the season available. Corners Knob Farm has spaghetti squash and Root Bottom Farm currently has acorn, carnival and delicata, and report that the delicata are their favorite; sweet, smooth and the perfect size for one or two people.

Okra is a versatile vegetable with roots around the world. Okra is just beginning to hit its stride in the growing season, and there are already multiple varieties you can find at market. Blue Meadow Farms (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market – South, and Black Mountain Tailgate Market) has a longer green variety and Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market) has smaller red tinted okra available.

Orange bell peppers are one of the sweetest varieties of peppers. They are generally more intensive to grow, and it’s harder to have good yields compared to other varieties, but many think it’s worth the extra effort when you take that first sweet, crunchy bite. You can find these peppers now from vendors such as Paper Crane Farm.

Looking to try something new? Gardens United (West Asheville Tailgate Market) has some especially unique offerings available right now, including Autumn-Olive berries, a wild variety that tastes similar to pomegranate fruit. They also have fresh hazelnuts in their shells and husks (pictured above).

Leaning Willow Farm (Madison County Farmers Market and French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market) has black radishes; a gorgeous variety that’s black on the outside with a smooth creamy white inside, spicy but smooth when baked.

For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse our online Local Food Guide or online farmers market calendar.

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