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new potatoes and summer squash

Freshly dug new potatoes in red, yellow, and purple are here! You really don’t need to do much to enjoy these. They are delicious on their own, salt-boiled or roasted with olive oil. But new potatoes also work well in simple salads that celebrate some of the best summer produce at markets now, including green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and more. Look for new potatoes from Full Sun Farm and Gaining Ground Farm at North Asheville and River Arts District markets; Sleight Family Farm at West and North Asheville markets; Root Bottom Farm at West Asheville Tailgate Market; Smallholding Farm at Weaverville and East Asheville markets; and Ten Mile Farm at ASAP Farmers Market.

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Sure, the image is a little trite: Dad in his battleworn apron, presiding over the Weber. But since Sunday is both Father’s Day and the first day of summer, we’re going to lean into the stereotype and devote this column to grilling. Grillable veggies like summer squash, spring onions, and mushrooms are plentiful at farmers tailgate markets right now, in addition to a wide assortment of steaks, sausages, chops, and birds.

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strawberries

Just in time for Mother’s Day, strawberries are hitting farmers tailgate markets! You can get them now from Lee’s One Fortune Farm and Ivy Creek Family Farm, and more farms will have them in the coming days and weeks. Find the Lees at the ASAP, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, and East Asheville markets. Ivy Creek is at the North Asheville and Weaverville markets. Note that North Asheville Tailgate Market is moving to Salvage Station for this Saturday only, due to UNC Asheville’s graduation.

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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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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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Wreath from Fisher Branch Farm

With the first of December (and the first snow!), most Buncombe County farmers tailgate markets have switched to holiday market mode, which means you’ll find more artisan and craft vendors and slightly fewer produce vendors. While you can still grab what you need to make nourishing meals this week (including greens, potatoes, winter squash, meat, cheese, bread, and more), you can also check a few items off your holiday shopping list. 

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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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Strawberry season is coming to a close, but cherries are here to take their place, and very soon we’ll be seeing blueberries and peaches at farmers tailgate markets as well. Look for cherries from McConnell Farms (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Lyda & Sons Orchard (Weaverville Tailgate Market). Read the rest of this entry »

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apple taste test

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the multitude of apple varieties on offer at farmers tailgate markets each autumn. Some are better for baking, some for snacking. Maybe you prefer a sweeter apple or something more tart. Maybe you know you’ve tasted the perfect apple before, but you can’t remember what it was called. How do you choose? Well, apart from asking the farmer’s advice (which is always a good first step), you might consider throwing together an apple taste test.  Read the rest of this entry »

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