WCQS partners with ASAP -- the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project -- for tailgate market updates, heard Thursdays and Fridays during Morning Edition (5am - 9am).
With recent unseasonable temperatures reminding us that fall is officially only one month away, now is the time to savor the flavors of summer still available at area farmers tailgate markets.
In fact, now’s the time to try new varieties of summer favorites like eggplants, peppers, and beans. Angel Ridge Farm offered up eggplants and peppers that stopped shoppers in their tracks this past weekend at Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market. Striking selections included white eggplants, which are said to be creamier and a little less bitter than varieties with purple flesh, and sweet Marconi peppers. Although long and tapered like many hot varieties—they can grow as long as 10 inches—Marconi peppers are very sweet and mild. Edamame is beginning to join green beans around the region, which still abound. Lots of varieties of tomatoes remain, too.
Along with more melons—especially watermelons—figs are starting to arrive to tailgates. The late summer fruit has already been reported at Black Mountain Tailgate Market. Summer squashes also remain, but a few winter squashes have begun joining them, hinting at what’s to come. Spaghetti squash and varieties like Delicata have been spotted at several markets from vendors like Aardvark Farm (Asheville City Market, Yancey County Farmers Market) and Corners Knob Farm (Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market). Cool-weather greens like chard and kale can also be found in small quantities.
And speaking of fall, some farms are bringing fall garden starts to market now. B&L Organic (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) has starts of broccoli, cabbage, collards, and more.
Of course, local meats, breads, cheeses, and baked goods can also be found.
There are only two more weeks of summer Growing Minds @ Market children’s activities at Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market. To end the month, Jackson County Farmers Market will host their annual Taste of the Market on August 31. The event will include cooking demonstrations and samples from 10 am until noon.