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Fresh at Farmers Markets This week

McConnell Farms asparagus

The first spring bounty has arrived at area farmers tailgate markets — ramps and asparagus! These veggies have long been the first signifiers of the start of the spring harvest and evoke celebration in many agrarian traditions. Both have a very short harvest period, so enjoy them while they’re here!

Ramps (or wild leeks), have a rich history in Southern Appalachia. The Cherokee have been harvesting them for thousands of years. Today many people harvest or cultivate ramps, and the Cherokee have been educating folks about sustainable harvesting methods to leave bulbs intact for future growth. Ramp festivals have taken place throughout the range of Appalachian communities, and are still held today.

Milo Acres has fresh ramps available at the French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market and Yancey County Farmers Market. Also, try the popular ramps goat cheese from Three Graces Dairy (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and more) or pickled ramps from Green River Picklers at Asheville City Market.

Have you ever tasted fresh picked asparagus? You would know if you had! Local, fresh, and seasonal asparagus is finally here (for a limited time) and it is sweeter and thousands of miles fresher! McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market – South, and North Asheville Tailgate Market) and New Moon Herbs Farm (Asheville City Market) both have delicious, tender asparagus available now.

For more information about spring opening dates for farmers tailgate markets in our region, visit our full list of market opening dates. For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse our online Local Food Guide or online farmers market calendar.

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