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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

This has been quite a rainy spring so far, and based on the weather forecast, it looks like it will continue to be for at least a little while longer. This has made it a challenging season for farmers.

Some farmers have started vending at tailgates a week or so later than scheduled, or they’ve had less variety or quantity than they intended. If you want to know more, ask your farmer. And be sure to say thank you, let them know that they’re supported and appreciated in our community! With that said, there’s still quite a produce cornucopia to choose from at markets!

The very first blueberries and cherries have made their way to markets! Find blueberries from Is-a-bell Farm at the Oakley Farmers Market. So far they only have a small quantity, so be sure to get there early to catch ‘em. More farmers should have them too, in the coming weeks. And stop by McConnell Farms for cherries at Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market.

Cauliflower is back at markets! Cauliflower is only in season for a few weeks in the spring (but don’t fret, it will come back again in the fall). Careful to take this tasty brassica for granted, cauliflower is hard to grow — it takes up a lot of space, and needs a great deal of tending to — so tell your cauliflower farmer thank you! Just some of the farmers that have it now include Aardvark Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market and Asheville City Market) and Gaining Ground Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market and North Asheville Tailgate Market).

Herbs abound! Dill, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, and more. Fill your dishes with flavor by cooking with fresh herbs, or make them last longer by drying them to store.

Farms still have over-wintered storage crops such as sweet potato and winter squash from Ten Mile Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market and Asheville City Market). These are a treat to have at a time of year when new crops are still coming in.

Strawberry season is almost over. Before it’s totally eclipsed, preserve them! You can cut them and lay them flat on a baking sheet in the freezer, then bag, to freeze them. Or, make jams and jellies. Or, dehydrate them. You can do this with an at-home dehydrator, or in the oven at a low temperature overnight.

As we get further into spring there will be a wider and wider array of fruits and vegetables. In addition to produce, 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.