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Fresh at (Winter) Farmers Markets This Week

Valentine’s Day was definitely the theme of winter farmers markets last week—think handmade jewelry, crafts, and desserts galore, including giant chocolate hearts bearing the quintessential phrase Be Mine. Though the holiday and its special sweets will have come and gone before this week’s markets arrive, there will still be lots to swoon over!

Market favorites Rio Bertolini’s—who offer fresh pastas, sauces, and pizza dough—came back for good last week to Asheville City Market South’s winter tailgate (Wednesdays 2-6 pm). For their return, they brought several new flavors of raviolis, including pea and pancetta and parsnip and chestnut. Be on the lookout for exciting new fillings this week and every Wednesday. You can also find Rio Bertolini’s at the Winter Market at the Neighborhood Y at Woodfin (Saturdays 10 am-noon).

Speaking of the Winter Market at the Y, they’ll welcome not one, not two, but three new vendors this Saturday! Mudluscious Pottery & Gardens will offer eggs, greens, and pottery; Creasman Farms (who also sells at Asheville City Market South) will offer apples and apple baked goods; and Mountain Harvest Organics will offer pork and produce.

Speaking of produce, fresh veggies are getting lots of love this winter. So much love, in fact, they’re selling out very quickly, vendors and market coordinators report. That means, get to market early! In addition to the produce vendors mentioned above, you can find Lady Luck Farm and Full Sun Farm at the Y. At the Jackson County Winter Market (Saturdays 9 am-noon), look for lots of fresh greens along with a variety of root vegetables. And at Asheville City Market South, look for Jake’s Farm; so far this winter, they’ve offered kale, peppers, rutabagas, turnips, celery, and even edible flowers. Thanks to greenhouses and high tunnels, these farms should still have items to offer through spring despite the recent arrival of true winter weather.

And speaking of winter weather, you’ll also find many meat vendors with just what you need for a hearty stew. In fact, last week at the Y, vendor East Fork Farm offered samples of rabbit curry, along with the simple, warming recipe. East Fork offers chicken, lamb, rabbit, and duck, along with eggs—you can pre-order by emailing stephen@nulleastforkfarm.net. Hickory Nut Gap Farm also offers a variety of meats at the market, including beef, pork, and poultry. Beulah Farm won’t be at Asheville City Market South this Wednesday, but expect them and their steaks back on February 22.

To learn more about which handmade items and sweets will also be available (who needs a holiday to buy treats?!) check out past updates.

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