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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

The days now feel longer, thanks to daylight savings. These first rustlings of warmer weather and longer days stir up the inclination towards spring cleaning. For shoppers at the winter farmers markets, that can mean different things.

For some, spring cleaning related to the farmers markets means eating up the last of their storage crops and preserved foods. If you have any potatoes, sweet potatoes, or winter squash, now is the time that many folks finish their last reserves from fall and winter harvests before the first crops of spring arrive in mid-April. Additionally, this also includes cleaning out the freezer of any frozen fruits and veggies, and the pantry of any canned items from last year’s harvest. Though, other shoppers like to save some of these items for mixing with early-season produce.

One interpretation of spring cleaning is to eat cleansing foods. Examples include wheatgrass juice from Sleight Family Farm (Asheville City Market and YMCA Indoor Winter Market), or microgreens and pea shoots, also from Sleight Family Farm. These offerings are fortifying, light, and uplifting and reflect ushering in the new season.

Another way to participate in a consumable spring cleaning is to juice. Purchase kale and beets from farms such as Second Spring Market Garden (Asheville City Market), and apples and ginger from McConnell Farms (YMCA Indoor Winter Market) and make a wholesome, cleansing juice at home.

For other market shoppers, spring cleaning may be more literal: scrubbing down their house, laundering all the linens, etc. For these folks, welcoming spring means stopping by Shecology for detergent made from soap nuts to do all their extra loads of laundry. Or, it may mean visiting Bonny Bath for cleaning spray made with Thieves oil for disinfecting the house. (Both vendors can be found at Asheville City Market.) Thieves oil is made with five essential oils: lemon, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus, and cinnamon. It smells invigorating and is perfect for mixing with the fresh air of open windows.

Want to hear more about local winter markets? ASAP has a radio series called Growing Local, and more than one episode had featured the indoor winter tailgate markets. Check them out on Soundcloud.

Winter markets take place throughout the region. Check out the “2016 Winter Farmers Markets” page on ASAP’s website on asapconnections.org. As always, you can find information about which farm stands are open and other farms to visit in the winter months by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

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