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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

There has definitely been a broccoli buzz lately at area farmers tailgate markets! Expect that buzz to build and build in the coming weeks.

Broccoli is most prominent at markets in early summer, and again in the fall, but farmers have been offering up the veggie ahead of schedule this year. At the French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market alone, three vendors brought broccoli last week: MiLo Acres, Tucker’s Garden, and Old Ground Farm. Find broccoli at other markets this week as well, but do get there early to shop. Harvest amounts are limited and going fast.

Keep your eyes peeled for different types of broccoli, too, including broccoli raab. Paper Crane Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market) has been harvesting the bold-tasting option, which only needs a quick blanch and saute to become the perfect side.

If you’re a garlic fan, try sauteing broccoli raab or your other market finds with garlic scapes, available from many vendors now. A scape is the shoot or flower stem of a garlic plant. Scapes are tender and flavorful, although more mild than mature garlic, and can be eaten in their entirety.

Beyond these options, markets are even more awash in green. May is ASAP’s Get Local lettuces month. At mid-month, many varieties abound; vendors also offer mixes of several varieties, like Wildwood Herbal’s “Wildwood’s Spicy Mix,” which includes lettuces, arugula, and seasonal herbs and edible flowers (find Wildwood at Asheville City Market). And, you can still find greens like chard, collards, and kale now. Radishes are adding splashes of color to markets, as they can for your salads, along with bright spring bouquets.

Of course, find farm-fresh eggs, meats, and seafood; notably, Sunburst Trout Farms is back vending at Asheville City Market for the season! This week, Historic Marion Tailgate Market (May 15), Waynesville Tailgate Market (May 16), and the East Asheville Tailgate Market (formerly Riceville Tailgate Market, May 18) open. Next week, look forward to the soft opening of the brand new Oakley Farmers Market (May 24) as well as the opening of the Bakersville Farmers Market (May 26).

To learn about more markets already open and opening, as well as market events, visit our online farmers market calendar and browse our online Local Food Guide (look for ‘What’s Fresh’).

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