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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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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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Carolina Flowers at Asheville City Market-Winter

Can you give your loved one a locally grown Valentine’s Day bouquet, even in midst of winter? Yes, you can!

Carolina Flowers returned to Asheville City Market-Winter a few weeks ago and has anemones, hyacinths, paperwhites, and amaryllis. The farm offers vases of flowers as well as bulbs, which means your gift will last longer than a traditional cut-flower bouquet. Enduring living-plant gifts can also be procured from Finally Farm, which has an assortment of potted succulents in many sizes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Last Saturday, Chef Nate Allen from Knife & Fork proved that you can grill just about anything, and, of course, that it’s always best to use fresh local ingredients! He gathered ALL the produce from different vendors at Asheville City Market: watermelon from Earthlife Farm, radicchio from Firefly Farm, celery from Flying Cloud Farm, spring onions from Ten Mile Farm, and tomatoes from Green Toe Ground Farm.

We want to know: Are you grilling with local ingredients this summer? What’s the most unique food you’ve grilled up?

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It’s a veritable pumpkin patch at area farmers tailgate markets now that October is here! Pick pie pumpkins for your favorite recipe. They’re smaller, sweeter, and less grainy than their carving counterparts, making them perfect for, well, pie!

Of course jack-o-lanterns can be “picked,” too. At Asheville City Market, visit Hugh Wright of Arbor Studios. He brings a selection of already carved pumpkins that are truly works of art. What’s more, he carves live at his booth and offers custom designs. He’ll keep his patch packed through Halloween, but his intricate designs should last until well after the spooky day. Vendors also sell Indian corn, colorful squash, and gourds for decoration. Read the rest of this entry »

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