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Tailgate Market Report

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 area farmers tailgates now? Almost too much to fit into one report! After a wet season that impacted crops and even kept some farmers from markets, things are starting to turn around. Farmers are back with fall crops, and there’s an amazing variety of both summer and fall produce available.

Let’s hit some of the highlights from A-Z:

Apples are arriving. Early Lodi apples have been spotted from John’s Berry Patch at West Asheville Tailgate Market. Thatchmore Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) reports they should have three to four varieties of apples available this week. And Blue Heron Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market) has Granny Smith apples now.

Learn more about market events and find a market schedule.
Speaking of fruit, grapes are growing and making their way to markets. Find from McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market Downtown and South, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Jake’s Farm (Asheville City Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market).

Greens like chard, collards, and kale are back, although still in small quantities. Vendors report more are on their way in the coming weeks.

It’s a pepper paradise these days, with lots of unique sweet and spicy varieties—who says heirloom tomatoes have all the fun names?! Firefly Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market, Yancey County Farmers Market) has Iko Iko, Hungarian Black, Jimmy Nardello, King Crimson, and Cubanelle peppers now. New Moon Herbs Farm (Asheville City Market) offers up Mariachi, Piccante Calabrese (also known as Devil’s Kiss), Padron peppers, and lots more. Mountain Harvest Organics (North Asheville Tailgate Market, Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market) has Krimzon Lee peppers, poblanos, and the selection goes on.

Plus, artisan food vendors are featuring peppers in their products. Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon is incorporating  local red peppers into their Roasted Red Pepper and Peach Jam, which just got a mention in Food & Wine; find at Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market. The pepper paradise won’t be lost until next month.

There’s a serious squash selection, too. Winter squashes are newcomers, with varieties of acorn, butternut, and spaghetti showing up on the scene. Summer squashes remain, including patty pans and zucchinis…which takes us to “Z”!

But that’s not all. Find beans, cucumbers, eggplants, lettuces, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, breads, cheeses, artisan products, mushrooms, melons, meats, and more.

Michelle Keenan was the Associate Director of Development at Blue Ridge Public Radio. She began volunteering for the station in 1996 and has been a full-time staff member since 1998.