Never out of season

Our visits to 3 markets find fall fruits and veggies moving in, with winter crops not far behind

09/02/2008 12:00 AM

09/02/2008 4:27 PM

So long, tomatoes. Corn, it was sweet.

And cantaloupes – we'll see you again next July.

Summer is shifting into fall at local farmers markets. Pumpkins, apples and scuppernongs have started to nudge their way in among the dwindling green beans and peaches.

But that doesn't mean it's time to put away your market baskets. The crowds of shoppers drop off after Labor Day, but the food doesn't stop coming. If anything, it gets even more interesting.

A few weeks ago, photographer Gary O'Brien and I made a visit to three local markets, video camera in hand. We wanted to capture a typical Saturday morning and to show the difference in style between three markets – the Matthews Community Farmers' Market, the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market and the Charlotte Tailgate Market.

We also caught the markets at their height, when tables were bursting and the aisles were popping with people.

For a look at our trips, go to www.charlotteobserver.com/food. And for a rundown on fall and winter plans at several local markets, see Page 6E.

In the meantime, stay hungry. Greens, carrots and winter squash are just ahead.

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