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Is baking, grilling, and relaxing all on your agenda for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend? Get yourself some rhubarb, which has a short window of availability at farmers tailgate markets. Beyond the name of one of Asheville’s locally sourcing restaurants, rhubarb is a prized ingredient in many springtime desserts, beverages, and toppings. We’ve seen it from McConnell Farms (North and West Asheville Tailgate Markets) and Myseanica Family Farm (ASAP and Enka-Candler markets).  Read the rest of this entry »

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beets

Beets can usually be found at farmers tailgate markets year-round, especially with farmers employing cold frames or high tunnels to extend their season through the winter. So the spring beet crop often arrives without much fanfare. But these early-season beets are worth getting excited about.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Karen Chapman

ASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month we talk with Karen Chapman, the garden coordinator at W.D. Williams Elementary School in Swannanoa, N.C.

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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. 

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strawberries

Just in time for Mother’s Day, strawberries are hitting farmers tailgate markets! You can get them now from Lee’s One Fortune Farm and Ivy Creek Family Farm, and more farms will have them in the coming days and weeks. Find the Lees at the ASAP, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, and East Asheville markets. Ivy Creek is at the North Asheville and Weaverville markets. Note that North Asheville Tailgate Market is moving to Salvage Station for this Saturday only, due to UNC Asheville’s graduation.

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chicken and veggies from Fiddler's Green Farm

As temperatures continue to rise, more farmers and others vendors are returning to fill out farmers tailgate markets—and a few more markets are ready to open! Enka-Candler Tailgate Market, at the A-B Tech Small Business Center in Enka, opens this Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Black Mountain Tailgate Market will open next Saturday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to noon. (If you’re looking for a market outside of Buncombe County, here’s a full list of opening dates throughout the region.)

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Carol Griffith

ASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month we talk with Carol Griffith, manager of Ashe County Farmers Market in West Jefferson. The market will open May 1 and run Saturday mornings through October.

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pepper plants

Early-season plant starts, like snow peas, leafy greens, and cabbage are giving way to summer vegetables and herbs, including cucumbers, summer squash, tomatoes, and peppers. Farmers tailgate markets, in addition to offering plenty of ready-to-eat produce, are also a great resource for plant starts and gardening advice. Most of these frost-sensitive types should wait to go into the ground until temperatures won’t dip below freezing. (After Mother’s Day is the traditional guideline.) But you can choose and gather your starts now!
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chestnut mushrooms from Black Trumpet Farm, photo by Camilla Calnan

Springtime brings on foraging dreams for many of us—returning to your favorite ramp patch or happening upon an elusive morel deep in the woods. But if you’re not able to wander off the path in search of these delights, farmers tailgate markets can also be great places to gather wild foods, in addition to cultivated spring crops.

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Nettles

One of the joys of shopping at farmers tailgate markets is getting to try things you would never find in a grocery store. That’s especially true in the spring, when a myriad of unique greens start to join the more tried-and-true spinach, arugula, and kale. Right now we’re excited to see the first stinging nettles, sorrel, and Tokyo bekana, among other greens. 

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