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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

plant starts at spring markets

Midweek markets return this week as Asheville City Market-South and Weaverville Tailgate Market open for the season on Wednesday, April 4. Both have new locations: Weaverville Tailgate Market is now at Reems Creek Nursery (76 Monticello Rd., Weaverville) from 2:30-6 p.m. Asheville City Market-South, from 12 to 4 p.m., stays within Biltmore Park Town Square, but shifts up the promenade to the grassy area in front of the Reuter Family Branch YMCA, between REI and Mosaic Cafe.

Meanwhile, tomorrow will be the final Saturday indoors at the Asheville Masonic Temple for Asheville City Market, which moves outside to North Market St. next Saturday, April 6, from 8 a.m. to noon. North Asheville Tailgate Market’s opening day is also next Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon, on the UNCA campus. And coming up the following week, West Asheville Tailgate Market opens Tuesday, April 9, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at 718 Haywood Rd. For a full list of market opening dates across the region, visit Spring Tailgate Market Opening Dates on ASAP’s website.

What are some of your best bets as markets transition from winter to spring? Buying a few plant starts is always a celebratory rite for the new growing season. Wildwood Herbal Plants & Produce, at Asheville City Market-Winter, had several herb starts this past Saturday. This is a great way to jump-start a kitchen garden, as some herbs can be finicky to grow from seed. You don’t need a lot of space, and many potted herbs will thrive in a sunny window indoors. If you have a bigger plot or raised bed, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, kale, and other greens starts should be on their way to markets soon.

Not ready to commit to plant starts? You’ll also see more cut herbs for sale in the coming weeks. This past Saturday, Jake’s Farm boasted some calendula, a peppery flower that adds zips to salads or as a garnish, along with some of the more usual suspects at Asheville City Market-Winter.

Winter farmers markets across the region also offer an abundance of eggs, meats, fish, cheeses, breads, sweet treats, and preserved foods, such as ferments and pickles. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

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