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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Deep reds and purples have arrived at area farmers tailgate markets to rival the bright greens of early spring that have blanketed farmers’ tables up until now.

The first fresh fruit of the year is here — strawberries are back! “Strawberries are the most perfect things ever,” according to one child at the Asheville City Market this past Saturday. It’s true — there’s nothing that can quite live up to the first bite of a fresh, local strawberry in spring. Find them from McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market), Bear Necessities Farm (Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market), Meadow Cove Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market), and more!

Purple snow peas catch your eye as you walk past them at the market. This week, Second Spring Market Garden brought some beautiful purple snow peas that are as sweet in flavor as they are by sight! Find Second Spring Market Garden at Asheville City Market.

Each week, more vendors return to markets. One of the exciting aspects of going to market each week is seeing farmers that you haven’t seen since last season. A delightful reunion, indeed!

As the threat of frost starts to decline in May, plant starts take more of a center stage for a lot of market shoppers. Plant starts are eligible to be purchased with SNAP/EBT at many markets across the region. Many farmers have plant starts available, including Finally Farm (Asheville City Market), Aardvark Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market and Asheville City Market), and B & L Organic (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market).

Storing crops varies depending on the item. It’s a great way to extend the availability of certain products, without extending their growing season. Right now, farms may have produce for sale that wouldn’t otherwise be found at markets this time of year. Ten Mile Farm has sweet potatoes and Aardvark Farm has containers of frozen blueberries, both grown last season. Find each of these farms at the River Arts District Farmers Market and Asheville City Market.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. Check out the “2016 Tailgate Market Opening Dates”  to find out when markets are opening up near you. As always, you can find information about which farm stands are open and other farms to visit in the winter months by visiting our online Local Food Guide.

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