ASAP Local Food Strong Farms Healthy Communities

Comment. Share. Connect. Join ASAP in an ongoing conversation about local food FROM HERE in the Southern Appalachians.


Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

snap peas

We’re coming into the height of spring produce—and even getting the first glimpse of summer—at farmers tailgate markets now. Cucumbers, sugar snap peas, spring onions, and bamboo shoots have arrived, along with other spring treats like asparagus and strawberries. And farms continue to offer the best of spring spinach, chard, tender lettuces, arugula, radishes, beets, carrots, salad turnips, mushrooms and more. 

Lee’s One Fortune Farm has sugar snap peas now, in addition to snow peas and pea tendrils. While snow peas can be used interchangeably in recipes, the plumper sugar snaps are true to their name and a bit sweeter for fresh snacking. We highly recommend thinly slicing snap peas on the bias and tossing them with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and cracked pepper for a refreshing spring salad. Add herbs and top with fresh goat cheese if you want. Find Lee’s One Fortune at the ASAP, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, and East Asheville markets. Get goat cheese from Spinning Spider Creamery at North Asheville Tailgate Market and Three Graces Dairy at the ASAP and West Asheville markets.

True spring onions are distinct from scallions or green onions with a more bulbous root end. Because these young onions haven’t been dried for storage, they are milder than their full-grown counterparts. Spring onions are fantastic grilled or roasted whole, especially accompanied by fresh asparagus and radishes. Look for spring onions from Fiddler’s Green Farm at ASAP Farmers Market and Ivy Creek Family Farm at North Asheville and Weaverville markets. McConnell Farms, at the West Asheville and North Asheville markets, has asparagus, and radishes are widely available.  

For an early taste of summer, look for greenhouse-grown cucumbers from Thatchmore Farm. They have three varieties: an elongated, curved Asian type; the shorter, fatter American or common garden cucumber; and a petite Persian. All of these are great for slicing and snacking, but also blend well into soups, smoothies, or even paletas. Find Thatchmore at the North Asheville and West Asheville markets.

In addition to spring fruits and veggies, markets offer an abundance of farm-fresh eggs and meats, including chicken, pork, beef, rabbit, and lamb. You can also get bread, cheese, pastries, fermented products, drinks, prepared foods, and more. There are more than 100 farmers tailgate markets throughout the Appalachian Grown region. Find them, as well as farms and other local food businesses, in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.