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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

As sunny days increase and the temperatures rise (mostly) above freezing, many of us are itching to start our own garden plots. In addition to offering an abundance of local food, farmers tailgate markets are also a great place to get plant starts or even pick up a few gardening tips.

So far we’ve seen plant starts available from Wildwood Herbal at ASAP Farmers Market and Finally Farm at River Arts District Farmers Market. Right now you’ll find early-season varieties like strawberries, snow peas, lettuce, kale, chard, collards, and an assortment of herbs. Both farms grow using organic practices. As we move fully into spring and more markets open for the season, there will be additional farms with starts available. Expect warmer-weather vegetable plants, like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, in late April and early May. 

Starting a garden with kids? ASAP Farmers Market is handing out seed packets to kids for the next few weeks until supplies run out. Just stop by the market information table to get some (along with other resources from ASAP’s Growing Minds program). There are swiss chard and collard greens seeds available, which can be directly sown in the garden around the first of April or started indoors right now.

Buying scallions at market? If you didn’t hop on the quarantine trend of regrowing your produce last year, now is the time to give it try! You can replant the root ends (leave about an inch of bulb for best results) directly in your garden in an area with at least six hours of sunlight. Or try regrowing them in a jar of water on a sunny windowsill. You should see new growth within a few days.

There are a few other signs at markets that spring is coming, including the first spring garlic we’ve spotted this year from Lee’s One Fortune Farm. There are also radishes, carrots, turnips, lettuce, salad mixes, cabbage, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, Chinese broccoli, kale, collards, apples, mushrooms, and more. In addition to produce, markets have meat, fish, bread, rice, prepared foods, fermented products, baked treats, and much more. 
Farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even in the winter. You can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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