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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Shoulder season is setting in—no longer winter, not quite spring. While winter farmers markets continue to offer an impressive variety of produce, you may notice certain varieties begin to wane and some farmers may not be at market for a few weeks until new crops start coming in. This can be a good time to talk to farmers about what they expect to have over the coming weeks or what they’re most excited about bringing in this spring.

Apples are still plentiful at markets right now, along with carrots, turnips, and kohlrabi. Look for a wide variety of greens, including spinach, collards, swiss chard, kale, mustard, cabbage, and bok choy. Head lettuce, salad greens, and microgreens are abundant. In addition to produce, winter markets have plenty of staple goods like eggs, bread, cheese, mushrooms, meats, fish, ferments, pickles, baked goods, and more. 

Today is also National CSA Day, which is a good reminder to think about signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture program. A CSA is similar to a subscription—you pay upfront or on a recurring basis to for a “share” of a farm’s harvest. Most of the CSA farms in our area have a pickup location at one of Asheville’s weekly farmers tailgate markets. If you’re already a dedicated market shopper, this can be a convenient way to get your produce as well as make a stronger commitment to a local farm.

ASAP will offer a CSA Fair in Asheville on Thursday, March 12, from 3 to 6 p.m. at New Belgium Brewing to learn more about CSA opportunities in the area. The fair is set up like a farmers market and many of the participating farms will have produce or other farm goods available for sale. Meanwhile, several of the farms currently at winter markets offer CSAs, so you can get the conversation started now. These farms include Highgate Farm at River Arts District Winter Market and Fiddler’s Green Farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Mighty Gnome Market Garden, and Ten Mile Farm at Asheville City Market–Winter. Learn more about CSAs at asapconnections.org.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. 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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