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tomatoes

The first tomatoes have arrived at farmers tailgate markets! If you acted quickly this past week, you may have snagged an early variety from Thatchmore Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), Full Sun Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market), Olivette Farm, or Headwaters Market Garden (both at Asheville City Market).

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shiso

Have you tried shiso? This herb, also called perilla, is in the mint family and is most familiar as the garnish on a sushi platter. But it has many more culinary uses—and you can get it now at multiple farmers tailgate markets from Lee’s One Fortune Farm.

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Quiche from Ma Bell France

With the bouts of sunshine and rain we’ve seen through the past week, farmers tailgate markets should be popping with produce and blooms this week. Mother’s Day is Sunday, so make that part of your Friday afternoon or Saturday morning shopping plan. Even if you’re a mid-week market-goer, our guess is that Mom would be happy to be showered in local food love any day of the week.

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strawberries from McConnell Farms

Strawberries and rhubarb—we look forward to the classic pairing each spring. But this week we’re thinking beyond the pies and syrups to bring you some savory (or at least a bit less sweet) preparation ideas.

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rainbow chard

Are there colors you associate with different seasons at farmers tailgate markets? The vivid reds, yellows, and purples of summer tomatoes, crookneck squash, and eggplant? The deep golds and dark greens of fall pumpkins and kale? Shades of spring—pink, yellow-orange, and emerald green—are starting perk up market tents.

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Dry Ridge Farm eggs

Will you be dying eggs this weekend? More farmers tailgate markets vendors than ever are selling eggs right now, so this is a great chance to go local with your Easter, Passover, Earth Day, or other springtime celebrations. With many cartons containing a pretty mix of blue, brown, and white, you could go minimalist and skip the dye altogether. But if colored eggs are non-negotiable, we have a few food-based suggestions to avoid artificial food coloring. These dyes will work on both brown or white eggs, though the resulting color will vary.

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McConnell Farms asparagus

Do you follow your favorite farmers on social media? Besides being a great way to get a tantalizing sneak peek into what they’ll bring to market each week, many farmers have taken to advertising special sales in the week before market, which can guide you as you plan your shopping route.

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