Summer has officially arrived, and with it has come plenty of new fruits and berries at farmers markets this week! Be sure to arrive early to get in on some of the goodness.
Creasman Farms brought their first picking of peaches this season to Asheville City Market last week. For more peaches, also keep an eye out for Lyda and Sons Family Orchard at Weaverville Tailgate Market or Bright Branch Farm at East Asheville Tailgate Market! In addition to peaches, we’re starting to see more of our favorite seasonal berries making their long-awaited return to markets as well! Full Sun Farm and Flying Cloud Farm brought some delicious blueberries to the River Arts District and North Asheville markets. McConnell Farms also had blackberries at North Asheville Tailgate Market. Bear Necessities has had red and golden raspberries for the past few weeks at Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market.
After temperatures crawling into the 90s the past few weeks, a sweet treat on the colder side could be just what you need! Whether you’re having trouble getting your kids to eat more fruit, or simply just want a healthy and delicious way to cool down this summer, popsicles are the perfect way to use any extra peaches and blueberries. The two-ingredient recipe only requires small cups (a popsicle mold will work as well), popsicle sticks, a blender, a freezer, and of course, local peaches and blueberries from your nearest farmers market.
Start with about two cups of peaches (this is about four medium peaches), and a half cup of blueberries. Wash all of your fresh fruit and set aside. Place your peaches into a blender, then blend for about 30 seconds until smooth. If you prefer your popsicles to be creamier, add a half cup to one cup of plain Greek yogurt. Place some blueberries into the bottom of your cups or popsicle molds, then pour in the blended peach mixture. Add more blueberries as you pour. Once your cups are filled with blueberries and blended peaches, insert a popsicle stick into the middle of the cup, and freeze for 4-5 hours until solid. Sometimes it’s easier to wait 1 hour before inserting the popsicle sticks. After much anticipation, your popsicles are ready to enjoy!
If you’re pressed for time and still looking for a way to cool down while using some of this week’s produce, try pairing some peach slices and blackberries with some honey cardamom ice cream from Gospel Ice Cream! This vendor usually brings a limited supply to the River Arts District Farmers Market, but you need to preorder online beforehand to get a taste of this made-from-scratch dessert, sourced from local Western North Carolina producers.
Another way to enjoy peaches and berries is with our variation of a peach bruschetta! Toast a few slices of bread to a golden brown, then spread a plain goat cheese on top. Thinly slice your peaches, then place about three or four slices on top of the cheese. Add berries of your choice, then drizzle some honey on top. This easy snack is the perfect appetizer for any summer gatherings!
At farmers markets now you’ll also find a variety of vegetables, such as summer squash, cucumbers, new potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Also look out for greens like lettuce, arugula, chard, kale, spinach, bok choy, and mustard greens. Markets are stocked with a variety of meats, cheese, rice, pasta, bread, drinks, and prepared foods. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.
Prepared by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.