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Sleight Family Farm microgreens

This past week’s weather makes talking about the start of spring, only a few days away from now, feel jarringly out of place. But the season of rebirth is almost upon us. What does that mean for area farmers tailgate markets?

March and April can be the sparsest months for farmers markets. Stored crops such as potatoes, cabbage, and beets have dwindled; main-season produce has just begun to be planted; and even greens — which can be grown year-round — are less abundant because many produce farmers are focusing their time on planting and cultivating what will be harvested later in the year.

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Sleight Family Farm microgreens

Spring is just around the corner, and outdoor markets will be opening back up soon. (My, this “winter” has flown by!) Check back in throughout March and April as we let you know which markets will be opening up and where they’ll be held. As for this week, it’s still winter, and indoor markets are still in full swing!

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Bone broth

Perhaps you think of bone broth as a hip trend, or perhaps you reminisce about your grandmother’s chicken stock as an age-old cure for ailments. Either way, bone broths, stocks, and broths are perfect for giving our systems a boost in the face of recent erratic weather that has wreaked havoc on immune systems and allergies.

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Breakfast looks wildly different across the world — some cultures fill up on hearty fare, while others go lighter with the morning meal. No matter your preference, you can pick up ingredients at area farmers tailgate markets to fix a breakfast that’s just right for you. Standard regional breakfast fare abounds: eggs, bacon, bread, grits, potatoes, and cheese. But what about some playful and unconventional options?

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Farms can cultivate all sorts of things on the land — from fruits and veggies to fibers and flowers, milks, meats, mushrooms, and more. When folks think of area tailgate markets, they often think of veggies — and for good reason, as vegetables often abound at markets — but there’s a whole cornucopia that can be available on Saturday mornings, even throughout the winter.

Farmers at markets are producing meat that is unparalleled in quality. Farm-raised, grass-fed, pastured, humanely raised, organic — ask your local farmers what practices they use for more precise insight. They’ll be happy to tell you all about the methods behind the meat.
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ASAP’s broad approach to supporting the local food movement in the Southern Appalachians means that we always have a lot on our plate. But thanks to our latest class of spring interns, we don’t have more than we can chew. These five interns are helping to run many of ASAP’s programs while learning more about the ins and outs of life at a bustling nonprofit.

If you’d like to get involved in our internships program, ASAP is currently recruiting for the summer season. Visit our internships page to learn about opportunities with our Local Food Research Center, Local Food Campaign, and much more!
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Farm & Sparrow Bread

There’s something about a really great loaf of bread that speaks to our stomachs and our souls in wonderful ways. The texture and flavor of wood-fired oven baked sourdoughs are unparalleled. At area farmers tailgate markets, bakers have some of the best breads around.
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Area farmers tailgates are fully stocked to equip your full week’s worth of meals: bread, eggs, chocolate milk, bacon for breakfast; cheese, greens, apples, and all the fixins for leftovers at lunch; and a wide range of roots veggies, squashes, dark leafy greens, and more for dinner. The possibilities are endless!
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Ten Mile Farm Leeks

Eating with the season — not the same foods or dishes month after month — allows the vegetables and dishes we consume to mirror the time of year and our bodies’ responses to the weather. Spring is light and green with small bursts of sweetness, much like the new leaves and budding blooms. Summer is brimming with so many flavors and colors, all juicy, vibrant, and full. Fall is rich and earthier — as the leaves move towards the ground, so do our foods’ colors and flavors. Winter is the most grounded, with root vegetables, hardy greens, wholesome grains, and fermented foods (which traditionally were fermented underground). Winter has always been a time to hunker down, and our seasonal, local foods help us to do so.

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Winter Farmers Market Crowd

The doors are set to open into the main room of the Asheville Masonic Temple — where Asheville City Market winter vendors have set up tables full of their products — and the atmosphere is anticipatory, festive, and full of excitement. In the entryway, a trio of musicians play old bluegrass tunes, and early-arriving customers order coffee and breakfast pastries (filled with local veggies grown by farmers at the market) while chatting merrily with one another.

Indoor winter farmers markets in Western North Carolina — including the Asheville City Market — offer shoppers and visitors a very different experience from the outdoor spring-through-fall markets. The produce selection follows the seasons, of course, but their smaller size and indoor locations make them feel more intimate than their warm-weather counterparts. They feel more like community events than simple errand stops to pick up weekly groceries.

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