Markets are ramping up in multiple senses of the word. More markets and vendors will be in attendance throughout the coming weeks with an increasing abundance of spring fare such as asparagus and rhubarb. And, ramps are in season and available from some farms.
Asparagus — one of the most festive, spring-screamin’, season-marking produce of the year — has arrived! It’ll be around through May, and from some farms, even into June. Right now, McConnell Farms (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and Asheville City Market) has a whole bunch of it, as well as Highgate Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Weaverville Tailgate Market) and New Moon Herbs (Asheville City Market) will likely also have some in the coming weeks.
Ramps, or wild leeks, were spotted from Wendy Town Farms at West Asheville Tailgate Market this week. In addition to ramps, they also have green onions and wild onions. Other vendors have wild-harvested goods, too, including Japanese knotweed and stinging nettles. Japanese knotweed is an edible invasive similar to rhubarb in flavor and uses, while the aptly named stinging nettles are greens with medicinal properties that are great for soups, keep in mind they do indeed sting and need to be handled and prepared properly. Visit Bear Necessities Farm at Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market to learn more about these and other early-spring wild edibles.
Fermented foods — wild in their own way — appear to be growing in popularity, reflected in several new vendors selling fermented krauts, kimchis, pickles, and such. Our Daily Kraut has started at Asheville City Market and Fermenti can be found every week through May (and alternating weeks, thereafter) at West Asheville Tailgate Market.
Another growing food interest — grain-free baked goods. New vendor, Rebel Oven, creates breads, cakes, tarts, and more using grain-free flours, such as coconut and arrowroot. Stop by and see what they’ll have this week at Asheville City Market.
What else can you find at early spring tailgate markets? You can always find a range of greens, meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, baked goods, value added items, and other treats!
Find these farmers tailgate markets opening next week throughout WNC:
Yancey County Farmers Market: April 22, Saturdays 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. More to open first week of May.
Additional outdoor markets will be opening throughout the months of April and May. Visit ASAP’s list of dates to mark your calendar for when the markets near you get going!
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.