ASAP Local Food Strong Farms Healthy Communities

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corn from McConnell Farms

This Thanksgiving recipe comes from Emily Jackson, Development Director and Program Director for Growing Minds Farm to School

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popsicles

Is there a more quintessential summer experience than eating a popsicle in the sun, with sweet fruit juices dribbling down your chin? Farmers tailgate markets offer a wealth of popsicle ingredients, including some options for thinking outside the tried and true mold. 

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corn from McConnell Farms

There are many methods for shopping at farmers tailgate markets. There’s the make-a-list-in-advance tactic (we offer a weekly rundown here for that kind of shopper). There’s the do-a-lap-first-then-form-a-plan strategy. And then there’s the grab-everything-that-looks-good-and-figure-it-out-later approach. It’s after shopping excursions like the latter that we fully appreciate a dish like succotash.

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Tomatillos from Gaining Ground Farm

Corn, tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos—it’s officially salsa season at farmers tailgate markets! 

Two markets are offering special events capitalizing on salsa fever: West Asheville Tailgate Market’s Pepperpalooza will take place this Tuesday, July 23, featuring a hot pepper eating contest, hot sauce tasting, demonstrations of ristra (a traditional Spanish method for drying peppers), and more. Weaverville Tailgate Market’s salsa competition and fundraiser is the following week, on Wednesday, July 31. Register to enter via the market’s Facebook page—or just show up to taste the contenders and vote your picks.

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Chefs Challenge Semifinal

ASAP was thrilled to be asked to attend and blog about one of the 2013 WNC Chefs Challenge semifinals (and we’re excited to report we’ll have a front-row seat at the finale this weekend, so stay tuned for that post)! Keep reading to learn why things got corny in the battle between chefs Daniel Wright of Tomato Jam Cafe and Steven Goff of Zambra/Ben’s Tune-Up/King James Public House…

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Sweet Corn

It’s a family affair at farmers markets these days! The Three Sisters—beans, corn, and squash—can be found now. Called sisters historically because they share a season and help each other grow and thrive, these three plants were the principal crops of Native American groups. Farmers still companion plant these crops today.

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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!

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Peppers—hot and not—are popping up at farmers tailgate markets across WNC! From sweet bells to spicy jalapenos, you can find many types and varieties now. Keep your eyes open for unexpected colors, too. Purple bell peppers were spotted from several vendors last week, including Blue Ribbon Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market) and Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market).

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A trip to your neighborhood farmers tailgate market this week is sure to be fruitful—fruits from berries to nectarines are ripe for the picking!

Creasman Farms (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market) is back at markets after bringing their apples last fall. Now, they’ve got nectarines. They expect peaches in the coming weeks.

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