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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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blueberries

These are giddy days at farmers tailgate markets. New summer produce is popping up everywhere, and there is a joyful sense of abundance. (Or an overwhelming experience, if you’re trying to decide what to buy first!)

This past week saw the first pints of early-season blueberries, including from Gibson Berry Farm and Flying Cloud Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Ivy Creek Family Farm (Weaverville Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Cherries, too, made their first appearance, from Lyda and Sons Orchard (Weaverville Tailgate Market) and Full Sun Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market). Pies are certainly the iconic way to enjoy these summertime berries, but they can also pair extremely well with the vegetables sitting alongside them. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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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