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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Area farmers tailgate markets are full of innovative farmers cultivating unique varieties of fruits and veggies. During spring, greens dominate the produce selection, and farmers are excited to bring both familiar and out of the ordinary varieties for shoppers to discover and try.

Miner’s Lettuce is native to the West Coast and got its name because during the Gold Rush miners ate it to stave off scurvy, a disease caused by a Vitamin C deficiency. Miner’s lettuce is crunchy and tender with a mild nutty flavor. Thatchmore Farm has it now and you can find them at West Asheville Tailgate Market and North Asheville Tailgate Market.

Apple mint is named for its mild fruity aroma and flavor. Apple mint has a less intense mint flavor than other varieties, which can make it a great candidate for incorporating into dishes without overpowering them. Try making a pasta dish with a hint of mint, adding mint to a bagel and cream cheese, or mixing some mint into your next batch of pesto. Find apple mint from Meadow Cove Farm at West Asheville Tailgate Market.

Sorrel from the french ‘sour’ is true to its name. Sorrel tastes more like lemons than lettuce. Used throughout Europe, sorrel is great for cooking with rich and flavorful proteins like pork or fish (you can wrap a piece of protein in sorrel leaves as a part of a marinade), but you can eat it with just about anything you’d like. Find sorrel from Root Bottom Farm at West Asheville Tailgate Market this spring.

Other, more familiar greens that are available: Find pak choy and arugula from Fork Mountain Farm at Weaverville Tailgate Market and watercress from Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm at West Asheville Tailgate Market, Madison County Farmers Market, and Weaverville Tailgate Market. There are also chards, lettuces, kales and more at every market!

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. Check out the “2016 Tailgate Market Opening Dates”  to find out when markets are opening up near you. As always, you can find information about which farm stands are open and other farms to visit in the winter months by visiting our online Local Food Guide.

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