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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

No, it’s not your imagination. Local veggies—from beets to squash—are getting bigger at area farmers tailgate markets!

Last week, Blue Meadow Farms offered up Detroit and Chioggia beets the size of large potatoes. While they look like your average beet on the outside, Chioggias are uniquely red and white striped inside. What’s more, the beauties are sweeter than other varieties. Find Blue Meadow at West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market (downtown and South).

Larger winter squash are arriving. In contrast to petite Delicatas and early Acorns, look for pumpkins, Spaghettis, and weighty Candy Roasters. Hominy Valley Farms brought their first of the traditional Appalachian crop to Asheville City Market last week. Candy Roasters can reach upwards of 60 pounds and range in shape from round to cylindrical (they’re often called banana squash). Buy one of the giants to enjoy right away, and then store or freeze another for a better-than-pumpkin pie during the holidays.

Even bell peppers and eggplants are tipping the scales these days. One Asheville City Market shopper described the eggplants he’d been seeing as “huge, giant” and, of course, “purple!”

Although smaller by comparison, muscadines can be found now. Look specifically for Scuppernongs, a large variety of the Southeastern grape. Bee Tree Farm should have them at West Asheville Tailgate Market for a few weeks, but if you miss out, look for scuppernong jam from Loaf Child Bakery at select markets in Buncombe and Madison counties.

As the seasons shift, also look for unique handcrafted items. Faerie Made is currently offering their limited edition autumn soaps—find them at North Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market—and Green Goddess Farm is offering up local loofahs. Farm owner and operator Joan Chesick grows the vine plant to create exfoliating sponges every year, bringing them to market just as the cooler weather begins to do a number on our skin.

There are only two 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.

Saturday, September 24, is the final cat adoption event by Asheville Humane Society at Asheville City Market. The event runs from 9 am to noon, and there is no adoption fee. The 24th also marks the extended deadline for the Black Mountain Tailgate Market Logo Design Contest; more information on the market’s Facebook page and at blackmountaintailgatemarket.org.

West Asheville Tailgate Market just announced their final market supper: October 4 from 7 until 10 pm. Tickets are $25. More information can be found on the market’s Facebook page or at westashevilletailgatemarket.com.

 

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