The summer travel season may be winding down, but you can still plan a quick trip to one of the state’s regional farmers markets. Whether you’re in Asheville, Charlotte, Colfax or Raleigh, take time to visit a market and discover all the seasonal products still available that are grown, raised, caught or made in North Carolina. Seasons vary slightly by market, so read on to see what’s available this weekend at your market:
WNC Farmers Market, Asheville – The volume of locally grown apples are increasing with some varieties like Wolf River, Ginger Golds and few Gala showing up. We still have a plentiful supply of peaches with several varieties including Monroe, Alberta, O’Henry, and Autumn Prince, among others coming in. The peppers are brilliant in color and varieties. You’ll also find a large selection of tomatoes including the heirloom varieties. The local farmers are bringing yellow, white and bi-color corn. Fresh yellow squash, zucchini and a few fall squash are available. The market continues to have a fairly good supply of watermelon and cantaloupes with a few grapes, pears, plums and okra. The Retail Shoppes are full of farm-fresh produce, jams, jellies, local honey, handcrafted gifts, local cheese, wine, seafood and so much more. The Garden Center has nursery plants for fall planting. The Ice Cream/Deli is at hit with homemade ice cream and Moose Café serves a great breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, Charlotte – The Charlotte market is also starting to see apples at the market. There are also farm-fresh grapes, peaches, plums, watermelon, beans, cabbage, carrots, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, peas, garlic, peppers, leafy greens, okra, onions, squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Look for locally made honey, various meats and seafood items, cut flowers, herbs, baked goods, prepared food items, and handcrafted treasures.
UPCOMING EVENT: On, Saturday, Aug. 29, a number of vendors will be passing out recipes that encourage the date’s theme of “More Herbs, Less Salt.” Visitors can learn how to enhance the flavor of their cooking by using fresh herbs instead of salt.
Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, Colfax – The Colfax market has N.C. strawberries, heirloom tomatoes, red canning tomatoes in quantity, grape tomatoes, freestone peaches, new potatoes, corn, onions, colorful peppers of all kinds, grapes, organic blueberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, string beans, lettuce, kale, eggplant, herbs, purple hull peas, October peas, squash, and blackberries. Vendors also have a great selection of cut flowers, N.C. wines, goat-milk soap, lotions, goat-milk cheese, chicken, beef, fresh eggs, baked goods, bedding plants, shrubberies and trees.
UPCOMING EVENT: Mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 12. The market will host the Taste of Carolina Wine Festival. The annual event features tastings from more than a dozen local wineries, as well as live music and other entertainment.
State Farmers Market, Raleigh – Be on the lookout for watermelons, cantaloupes and other melons, as well as peaches, corn and tomatoes. The market is starting to see a selection of farm-fresh grapes, as well as more N.C. apples. There’s a good selection of beans, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, onions, a variety of peppers, honey, milk, eggs, meats and cheeses and local wines. The Market Shoppes is full of specialty products like baked goods, jams and jellies and salsas.
SPECIAL EVENT: On Saturday, Aug. 22, the market will celebrate one of the most productive pollinators around, the honeybee, during Honeybee Day. The annual event features entertaining and educational information about honeybees and other pollinators. Vendors also will be on-hand to sell fresh honey and honey products from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.