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fairy tale eggplant from Ten Mile Farm

Eggplant has joined the colorful parade of produce available at farmers tailgate markets. You’ll find many varieties of this summer stalwart from now until early fall. 

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Summer stalwarts, including new potatoes, beans, okra, and peppers, are all coming in at farmers tailgate markets now. Tomatoes and cucumbers are picking up speed and we’ll continue to see plenty of zucchini and summer squash. Plus, all the greens (dark leafies, head lettuce, and salad mixes) that have been around since spring are still going strong. You don’t have to do much to enjoy this bounty, but here are a few easy-going suggestions.

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Strawberry season is coming to a close, but cherries are here to take their place, and very soon we’ll be seeing blueberries and peaches at farmers tailgate markets as well. Look for cherries from McConnell Farms (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Lyda & Sons Orchard (Weaverville Tailgate Market). Read the rest of this entry »

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garlic scapes

June has arrived and with it an exciting spread of new produce on farmers market tables—summer squash, snap peas, cherries, kohlrabi, broccoli, garlic scapes, baby beets, and even a few greenhouse-grown tomatoes and peppers. There are more vendors, too, as some farms are returning to market after the slower spring season. Several markets have been able to adjust their layout to accommodate additional spaces while still maintaining social distancing precautions. And starting today, you have another market to visit in Asheville. East Asheville Tailgate Market reopens this afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. at Groce Methodist Church, 954 Tunnel Rd. Read the rest of this entry »

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persimmons from Lee's One Fortune Farm

Are you a handmade gift-giver? Farmers tailgate markets are a great place to get inspiration and ingredients for these extra-special holiday gifts (or treats to keep for yourself—you definitely deserve it). Here are a few DIY ideas to get your started this season.

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cauliflower

Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, and other brassicas have returned to farmers tailgate markets for the fall. These crops make a quick appearance in late spring and early summer, then fade away over the hottest part of the season, returning when the days lengthen and evenings start to cool off. Cruciferous vegetables can make wonderful, hearty comfort food dishes that actually impart a few health benefits as well (like high levels of vitamins C and K). 

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Peppers are really coming into their own at farmers tailgate markets right now. These bright nightshades can vary so much in flavor, heat, color, size, and texture. Asking the farmer about the varieties they’re growing is a great way to learn about new types and get tips on how you might prepare them. 

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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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rainbow chard

Are there colors you associate with different seasons at farmers tailgate markets? The vivid reds, yellows, and purples of summer tomatoes, crookneck squash, and eggplant? The deep golds and dark greens of fall pumpkins and kale? Shades of spring—pink, yellow-orange, and emerald green—are starting perk up market tents.

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Julie Montanea

ASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month, we talk with ASAP volunteer Julie Montanea (pictured with her sister at ASAP’s Farm Tour) about why she loves her CSA. 

Q: You’ve participated in three different CSAs. Did you receive produce or other farm goods?

I received produce from all three CSAs, but from two farms I could also get eggs and meat, separate from the regular CSA box. I didn’t eat meat for many years and still never eat commercially raised animals. But I now eat some meat and poultry from local farms that I’ve visited and seen how the animals are raised. Read the rest of this entry »

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