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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

With Memorial Day weekend and a possible break in the rain, your grill may be calling to you. As Phase 2 of the state’s reopening approaches, it might even feel safe enough to grill up a few burgers and brats for someone other than yourself and immediate family members, especially if you’re dining outside. No matter how you decide to enjoy the holiday, farmers tailgate markets have what you need. (Remember that even as the city and state progress through planned phases of reopening, it’s important to continue precautions like wearing a mask and maintaining a six-foot distance from others when you shop at markets.)

Most spring veggies, rubbed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe some chopped herbs, grill up beautifully. Try whole spring onions from Green Toe Ground and Mighty Gnome Market Garden (both at ASAP Farmers Market Saturday) or Full Sun Farm and Ivy Creek Family Farm (both at North Asheville Tailgate Market; Full Sun also at River Arts District Farmers Market and Ivy Creek also at Weaverville Tailgate Market). The time for asparagus is fleeting, but you should still be able to get it from McConnell Farms (NATM, WATM) or Root Bottom Farm (WATM). Hakurei turnips (the small white ones, also called salad turnips) and radishes are available from numerous produce vendors. You can grill both in foil packets or on skewers to get that charred skin.

What about fruit? You can grill strawberries too! These are great drizzled with balsamic for a salad, as a secret ingredient in your barbecue sauce, or just enjoyed over ice cream. Threading the berries on water-soaked skewers will make grilling a bit easier. Find strawberries from Bear Necessities Farm (ASAP Farmers Market Saturdays and WATM), Full Sun Farm, Ivy Creek Family Farm, and McConnell Farm.

Just want some grill-ready meats? Here’s a quick rundown of what you can find at each market: On Saturdays at the ASAP Farmers Market, Dry Ridge Farm has a wide assortment of sausage, pork ribs, chops, steaks, brisket, and more. Hickory Nut Gap Farm has beef, pork, and chicken products at North Asheville Tailgate Market, where you can also find lamb from Grassroots Farm & Dairy. At Black Mountain Tailgate Market, look for chicken and lamb from Sugar Hollow Farms. On Tuesdays at West Asheville Farmers Market, you have another chance to shop from Dry Ridge and Grassroots Farm & Dairy. On Wednesdays at the River Arts District Farmers Market, try the specialty Belted Galloway beef from Headshrink Farm or take another opportunity to stock up from Dry Ridge. You can also pick up beef and pork from Dillingham Family Farm at Weaverville Tailgate Market. And on Thursdays, find Headshrink Farm again at Enka-Candler Tailgate Market or grab pork sausages from Cove Creek Farm at the ASAP Farmers Market.

If gardening is on your agenda, markets still have lots of plant starts like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash. You’ll find also find plenty of greens as well as eggs, cheese, bread and baked goods, honey, ferments, and more.

For a full list of markets open throughout the region, visit asapconnections.org. Find contact information and more details about the region’s farms and farmers markets in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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