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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Squash

This week, a whole range of new produce items made their seasonal debut. Area farmers tailgate markets are looking lush! What are some recently arrived vegetables you might find? 

Gaining Ground Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market) brought three new items to markets this past week: broccolini (which you can also find from Fiddler’s Green Farm at Asheville City Market), radicchio, and kohlrabi.

Fresh spring garlic made its way to the West Asheville Tailgate Market from Root Bottom Farm. Spring garlic has not yet been dried and cured and therefore needs to be kept in the fridge and used within a couple of weeks. It’s more tender than mature, cured garlic, and it has a wonderful garlicky flavor.

A new vendor at West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market, Dreamy Bean Farm, will be growing peas and beans all season. At her debut this week, she had snow peas, sugar snap peas, pea greens, and English shell peas! Sugar snap peas and snow peas are both great for spring salads or snacking on with tasty dips like hummus and goat chèvre. English shell peas need to be shelled, but the peas are delicious raw or cooked. They’re the same variety of peas that you would buy canned or frozen from the supermarket!

Some of the first summer squash are here! Small zucchini were spotted from Full Sun Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market) this past week. Perfect for adding to egg and veggie scrambles or grating into a slaw, they’re a sure sign that we’re moving into late spring!

One new vendor at the River Arts District Farmers Market this year, Intentional Swine, has unique and tantalizing products for the Asheville-area omnivore. Sourcing from local farms, including their fellow vendors, Intentional Swine is bringing artisanal charcuterie to the farmers market. Their recent selections include strawberry bacon, duck liver pate, and ramp terrine (among others). They’ll be co-hosting a Memorial Day cookout along with All Souls Pizza and the River Arts District Farmers Market. The event will be held where the market is located each week (in the field next to All Souls). Admission is free, and plates will be available in the $13–$15 range. For more information, visit their Facebook event page.

Saturdays from 9 to 10 am, WPVM has begun a new radio series called Tailgate Market Live! They will be broadcasting live from area markets, talking with market managers, farmers, vendors, and customers and reporting what’s fresh at the market. You can listen to Tailgate Market Live at 103.7 FM or stream it from WVPM’s website.  

This Saturday, May 27,  stop by the market table at Asheville City Market and draw to win $3 in market bucks, which you can redeem for fresh fruits and veggies from market produce vendors!

What else can you find at early spring tailgate markets? As far as produce, you’ll find a wide range of greens. Depending on the market and farm, you’re likely to also spot asparagus, rhubarb, turnips, and radishes. You can always find a range of meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, baked goods, value-added items, plant starts, fresh flowers, and other treats!

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.