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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Spring continues to blossom, even when it feels like the world is on hold. Many of us hunkered down at home are beginning vegetable gardens and eager to find plant starts, typically in wide supply at farmers markets this time of year. Though many farmers markets have fewer vendors or are shifting to preorder models, you can still get spring starts in the age of COVID-19.

The ASAP Farmers Market at A-B Tech is adding a second market on Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, beginning April 9. For the month of April, in addition to regular produce, meat, cheese, and bread vendors, the market will bring in farms featuring plant starts. At the ASAP Farmers Market tomorrow, look for plant starts from Bear Necessities Farm and Wildwood Herbal. And at River Arts District Farmers Market, Ross Farms and Finally Farm will alternate Wednesdays over the coming weeks.

Right now, expect to see starts for herbs and culinary flowers, strawberries, lettuces, arugula, kale, mustard, chard, bok choy, cabbage, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions. In a few more weeks, tomato, pepper, cucumber, squash, eggplant, and other later-season vegetable starts will be available. 

Updates on market openings and delays in Buncombe County for the coming week:

ASAP Farmers Market: open Saturdays and—starting April 9—Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon, at A-B Tech’s Asheville campus, in the parking lot at the end of Persistence Dr. Only a limited number of people are allowed into the market area at one time and social distances are maintained between vendors and shoppers. All payments are made online after shopping. Double SNAP is available (i.e., a customer shopping for $20 worth of SNAP items will only have $10 charged to SNAP account). 

West Asheville Tailgate Market: opening this Tuesday, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., at its regular location, Grace Baptist Church, 718 Haywood Rd.

Weaverville Tailgate Market: open Wednesdays, 2:30 to 6 p.m. at an alternate location in the lower parking lot behind West Funeral Home, 17 Merrimon Ave. Customers are asked to reserve the first hour, from 2:30 to 3:30 pm, for elderly and at-risk shoppers. All payments are electronic, either to individual vendors or market management. 

River Arts District Farmers Market: open Wednesdays, 3 to 6 p.m., outdoors at Plēb Urban Winery, 289 Lyman St., The number of vendors is reduced and preordering is encouraged to limit in-person transactions.

Openings for Asheville City Market (downtown and south locations) and North Asheville Tailgate Market are delayed indefinitely.

We will do our best to keep you posted on market schedules, but information can change quickly as markets adjust to new directives or recommendations from public health and local governments. It’s best to check directly with your market to confirm if it will be open or if it has changed shopping procedures. Contact details for farms and farmers markets across the region, as well as links to social media where the most up-to-date information is often posted, can be found in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

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