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With flooding earlier this week, some farms in our region are experiencing additional loss and frustration in this already uncertain time. You likely already know that shopping at farmers markets is one of the best ways to support local farms. Preordering what you want can also add a level of stability for farmers right now. Many farms are offering a preorder option at markets (some require it). This can take a little more advance work on your part, but it’s worth it to know that you will get what you want—and that you are helping farmers plan as well. Here’s a guide to the process.

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Like so much else, visiting a farmers market these days has changed. Once an active hub of social interaction in our region, markets now feature social distance protocols, no-touch payment transactions, and sometimes fewer vendors. While outdoor markets and buying direct from farmers can be considerably safer than closed-in grocery stores, it’s important as shoppers that we change our behavior as well to help keep these markets running as safely as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spring continues to blossom, even when it feels like the world is on hold. Many of us hunkered down at home are beginning vegetable gardens and eager to find plant starts, typically in wide supply at farmers markets this time of year. Though many farmers markets have fewer vendors or are shifting to preorder models, you can still get spring starts in the age of COVID-19. Read the rest of this entry »

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ASAP Farmers Market at A-B Tech

This is normally the week we would be reporting on the opening dates for spring outdoor tailgate markets throughout the region. The COVID-19 emergency has left farmers markets, like most businesses, in a state of uncertainty. We will do our best to keep you posted on market schedules in the coming weeks, but it’s best to check directly with your market to confirm if it will be open or if it has changed shopping procedures. Contact details for farmers markets, as well as links to social media where the most up-to-date information is often posted, can be found in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hominy Farm's man'oushe flatbread

Hominy Farm is a new vendor at River Arts District Winter Market, selling naturally leavened, wood-fired breads produced in the Candler bakery formerly used by Farm and Sparrow. Their collection includes ciabatta-like gan au levain, whole grain rustic boule, sesame rye, and apple toast tatin (from Creasman Farms apples). But it’s the man’oushe—a flatbread slathered with za’atar spice and olive oil—that might inspire you to pick up ingredients for a Middle Eastern–style platter while shopping at farmers markets this week.

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As farmers market finds go, turmeric can feel like one of the more exotic ones here in Western North Carolina. The sunny yellow rhizome—a relative of ginger—is native to South Asia, but has been grown by an increasing number of farmers in our region in the past several years. It’s typically harvested in October, but you can find it right now from New Moon Herbs Farm at Asheville City Market–Winter.
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Shoulder season is setting in—no longer winter, not quite spring. While winter farmers markets continue to offer an impressive variety of produce, you may notice certain varieties begin to wane and some farmers may not be at market for a few weeks until new crops start coming in. This can be a good time to talk to farmers about what they expect to have over the coming weeks or what they’re most excited about bringing in this spring. Read the rest of this entry »

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Melissa Harwin and John Kunkle

ASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month we talk with Melissa Harwin of Highgate Farm, who will be attending the Asheville CSA Fair.

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In: Faces of LocalNo Comments

Greens and cabbages are abundant at farmers markets right now, and winter can be a great time to try new ways of serving them. Stuffing with a mixture of rice, herbs, spices, and ground meat places these vegetables front and center as a hearty main course. 

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February is often the height of cold and flu season. While the common cold is not usually cause for medical treatment, it can certainly knock you out for a few days (or longer), and that first throat scratch or sneeze might have you reaching for your standby home remedies—if not for a cure, at least for some comfort. Winter farmers markets can be a good place to stock up on your arsenal of cold-fighting and feel-good foods, from chicken broth to elderberry syrup.

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