Why Winter Markets Rule

A crowd of people line up on the street waiting for the doors to open at Asheville City Market. They huddle with neighbors and friends until the doors are unlocked and everyone rushes in. It’s not a movie premiere. It’s not even concert tickets that they’re after. These people are waiting for local food.

Farmers markets went quiet for a few weeks after the holidays, but indoor winter markets are finally here. Piles of kale and towers of turnips are ready for the community to take home to their dinner tables. Though the range of produce is limited during the winter months, there are plenty of greens, root veggies, meat, eggs, and crafts for winter shoppers.

These markets are a gathering place for farmers and members of the community who might not otherwise see each other until spring. This past Saturday at the Asheville City Market and the YMCA Indoor Winter Market, the room echoed with vibrant conversations about everything from soil temperature to ways to cook mustard greens.

Winter markets are going strong throughout Western North Carolina. Spruce Pine in Mitchell County has an indoor market the first Saturday of the month at Dry County Brewing Company. Boone keeps its winter market running on the first and third Saturdays of the month at the Ag. Conference Center. And a few of the regular vendors from the Transylvania Farmers Market sell on Saturday mornings in on East Main street in Brevard.

Does your community have a winter market? ASAP keeps a running list of markets throughout the region in its Local Food Guide, and weekly updates on what’s fresh at the market at www.fromhere.org

Aired 1/18/16

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