WCQS partners with ASAP -- the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project -- for tailgate market updates, heard Thursdays and Fridays during Morning Edition (5am - 9am).
What’s fresh at markets this week? What isn’t! These days, summer favorites like beans, bell peppers, cabbages, eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes are joining an already seasonal abundance of greens, summer squash, berries, and peaches.
Look for beans in all colors now: green, yellow (wax beans), and purple. The same goes for potatoes: purple, red, and golden taters have all been spotted. Speaking of purple and green, green bell peppers and eggplants are just starting to arrive. Stay tuned for more.
Thinking summer slaw? Find cabbages in all sizes. Blue Ribbon Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market) has been offering some impressively big ones perfect for feeding a backyard get-together. Mini-cabbages and Chinese cabbage options are also available. What’s more, summer is just the start of cabbage season; they’ll stick around through year’s end.
If you want maters, get to market early. Ten Mile Farm debuted the first of their heirloom tomato crop this past week at Asheville City Market and Montford Farmers Market and sold out quick. Earthlife Farm had some of the first of their field-grown maters at Asheville City Market recently. And Hominy Valley Farms is bringing their early maters to market with green bell peppers; find Hominy Valley at Asheville City Market and Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market.
Do buy tomatoes when you see them, along with root crops cropping up now, including a wide variety of sweet onions and garlic. Recent rains and flood waters have certainly impacted area farms—some only slightly, some catastrophically. Water has damaged roots and ushered in diseases like late blight in tomatoes. In other words, farmers may not have the amount or variety of produce now and in the coming weeks that they’d like to or typically do have. It’s important to support them through this, as always. Now’s a great time to buy and try their in-season fruits and veggies you might not normally choose!
This Saturday, July 20, Jackson County Farmers Market will host a cooking demonstration and tasting at 10 am. Chef Jen Pearson of Guadalupe Cafe in Sylva will whip up an original recipe featuring the season’s eggplant. The market’s EBT/SNAP Match Incentive also begins Saturday. Through August 10, the first 15 SNAP customers who spend as little as $1 at the market will receive a $5 market coupon.