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raspberries

Steamy weather and intermittent thunderstorms can make cooking meals a real drag. Times like these call for a few refrigerator staples that can perk up a simple salad or help power through an afternoon lull. Luckily, fruit and berry season is kicking into gear at farmers tailgate markets. Beyond fresh eating and desserts, these are great for making zippy vinaigrettes and icy drinks.
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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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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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sour gherkins and cherry tomatoes 550x250

Hey, parents. How are you doing out there? We know the next few weeks may be tough (as if the past six months hadn’t already been difficult). Whether your family is heading back to in-person school, navigating distance learning, or trying to unravel the particulars of a hybrid system, healthy snack food might not be top of your mind. And that may be the case even if you don’t have kids in the house. But there are some simple things you can grab at farmers tailgate markets right now that might appeal even to picky or stressed-out eaters.

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For most of us, the Fourth of July is likely to feel a lot less spectacular this year. But that’s all the more reason to create your fireworks in the kitchen and celebrate what local farmers have at farmers tailgate markets right now. There isn’t a better time of year to be turning a colorful array of fruit into flavor-bursting pies, cobblers, and galettes. Read the rest of this entry »

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School’s out and it’s officially summer now, which means you might be ready to head out to your favorite hiking trails, swimming holes, or parks (maintaining good social distancing, of course). Want to pack a picnic on the way? Farmers tailgate markets are a great place to do that, even if you want to focus on simple, low-preparation (or no-preparation)  meals. Here’s a guide to the best markets have right now that require nothing more than a folding knife and a cutting board. Read the rest of this entry »

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With Memorial Day weekend and a possible break in the rain, your grill may be calling to you. As Phase 2 of the state’s reopening approaches, it might even feel safe enough to grill up a few burgers and brats for someone other than yourself and immediate family members, especially if you’re dining outside. No matter how you decide to enjoy the holiday, farmers tailgate markets have what you need. (Remember that even as the city and state progress through planned phases of reopening, it’s important to continue precautions like wearing a mask and maintaining a six-foot distance from others when you shop at markets.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Mother’s Day is Sunday and fresh cut, local flowers are bringing a riot of color to farmers tailgate markets right now—peonies, ranunculus, sweet William, bachelor’s buttons, and even poppies. Pick up a bouquet for the mothers you’re social distancing with or buy some for yourself and send a picture to far away moms. We think she’ll still appreciate the gesture. Find bouquets Saturday morning at ASAP Farmers Market at A-B Tech from Carolina Flowers and Lee’s One Fortune Farm or at North Asheville Tailgate Market from Full Sun Farm. Read the rest of this entry »

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Quarantine is taking its toll on all of us. It’s hard to remain cheerful, productive, and even at little bit at peace with life feeling perpetually on hold. We’re not saying that strawberries are going to solve this. But we really think they might help a little. 

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