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Tulips from Carolina Flowers on their way to Asheville City Market

With spring’s official arrival yesterday, outdoor farmers tailgate markets can’t be far off! Most area markets start their season during the months of April and May.

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red sorrel

More harbingers of spring showed up at markets around the region this past weekend. One such pioneer is sorrel, which Jake’s Farm at Asheville City Market-Winter has had for the past two weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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spring CSA box

These can be weeks of whiplash as the temperature swings from tantalizingly warm to hard freeze. Is it time to look for seed starts, or hunker down with a hearty stew and fridge full of provisions in case of a snow day?

The slower shoulder season is a good time to ask your favorite farmers tailgate market vendors about what they might have in coming weeks. As storage crops like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash begin to wane, you’re likely to see an uptick in greens, including salad green mixes, baby kale, microgreens, and pea shoots. Read the rest of this entry »

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a handful of sweet potatoes

As farmers tailgate markets have grown in recent years, it gets easier to eat local through the winter and still enjoy some variety. Even so, we suspect there’s a moment for even the most ardent local eaters when you ask, “But what else can I do with sweet potatoes?” The classic winter storage crop is a standby at fall and winter markets (at Asheville City Market-Winter, look for them from Ten Mile Farm or Sleight Family Farm). They can be easily roasted, pureed, fried, and gratinéed for cold-weather meals, but we’re here to offer a few less conventional ideas to add to your repertoire.

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Mother Ocean Fish at Asheville City Market

Seafood isn’t something particularly local to the mountains of Western North Carolina, but farmers markets can still be a chance to find good fish choices to enjoy alongside more locally grown fare. Asheville City Market-Winter offers a few possibilities.

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Apples from Creasman Farms at Asheville City Market

Fruit can be hard to come by in the winter if you’re shopping locally in Western North Carolina. Apples are a rosy-hued exception, and they continue to be available from storage through most of the season. Creasman Farms (Asheville City Market-Winter, Transylvania Farmers Market) usually has ten or so varieties, ranging from the crunchy-tart Arkansas Black to the sweeter, juicier Pink Lady. Read the rest of this entry »

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crowd at Asheville City Market-Winter

It pays to be an early bird at Asheville City Market-Winter, which often sees a line forming outside the doors of the Asheville Masonic Temple on Saturdays before the 9am opening. Some specialty or sought-after products are in short supply, and often sell out before market’s end.

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mizuna

The belief that the winter months are a time of culinary asceticism has certainly been debunked by the early markets of 2019. An abundance of produce has lined the booths, including assorted lettuces and salad greens; darker greens like Chinese broccoli, spinach, kale, collards, and bok choy; jewel-toned radishes and sweet potatoes; buckets of apples; and more. With such a wealth of options, there is opportunity to branch out and try a few meal-time variations.

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