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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

CRACOVIENSIS LETTUCE

The bad news: It’s the end of the short ramps season—grab ’em if you see ’em. The good news: The spring harvest is just heating up, and ramps are pretty much the only produce you’ll have to say goodbye to for a while at area farmers tailgate markets! This week, say hello to all manner of fruits and veggies: lettuce, spinach, strawberries, and the list goes on.

More vendors are bringing spinach and lettuce to market to join their other leafy greens, like chard, collards, and kale. Heads of heirloom Cracoviensis (pictured) and oakleaf lettuce varieties have already been spotted. Look for salad mixes now, too; Wildwood Herbal will offer the first cutting of their lettuce mix at Asheville City Market Downtown this Saturday.

Another great green for a spring salad? Watercress, which is loving all the rain. Long Valley Eco-biotic Farm offers the peppery member of the mustard/cruciferous family at several area markets: Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market, Weaverville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market. The green is said to be at its flavor prime in the spring—not too spicy, just right. Jake’s Farm (Asheville City Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market) has another member of the mustard family now: cabbage. But note, the local cabbage crop doesn’t begin hitting markets in significant quantities until June.

Strawberry season is starting! Vendors like Full Sun Farm (Montford Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) expect berries this week. Finally Farm (Asheville City Market Downtown, Asheville City Market South, Montford Farmers Market, Oakley Farmers Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) will also have strawberry starts so that you can grow your own.

Of course, that’s not all. Asparagus still abounds, and local cheeses, crafts, meats, mushrooms, radishes, spring onions, and more can be found. Need a Mother’s Day gift? Look for gorgeous spring blooms. The French Broad Food Co-op tailgate will offer orchids this Wednesday. Asheville City Market will celebrate mom Saturday with cut flowers, handmade chocolate “bouquets,” jewelry, bath products, and more.

Oakley Farmers Market opens for the season this week on Thursday, May 9, with a special opening day deal on chicken as well as a Mother’s Day gift activity for kids. Historic Marion Tailgate Market and East Asheville Tailgate Market follow next week, May 14 and 17, respectively.

To learn more about market events/find a market schedule, visit our farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide. Also check our post “Tailgate Tents Going Up” for a list of openings.

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