And they’re off—area outdoor tailgate markets, that is—to a great start (pun intended)! Leicester Farmers Market, the first outdoor market to open this spring, overflowed with beautiful plant starts last weekend. In fact, Finally Farm had almost five tables of starts. Vendors will have lots more this Friday (4-7 pm) and Saturday (9 am-2 pm); the market will continue now two days a week.
Hoping to start a culinary herb garden? Visit vendors like Blue Heron Farm for thyme, parsley, lemon verbena, rosemary, and more. Thinking about planting veggies? Find starts for heirloom tomatoes, peppers, squash, and beans from vendors like Synchronicity Farms. Garden-friendly flowers like marigolds will also be available.
Of course, Leicester’s grand opening offered many more signs of the season. John’s Berry Patch brought mesclun salad mixes and bags of stinging nettles. Kale & Kin Farms brought spring onions and bright green bunches of spinach with leaves much larger than what you typically see.
The new bi-weekly market features more than veggies. This week, look for Mountain Lady Farm and farm-fresh eggs in all colors, just in time for Easter egg hunts. That’s because Ameraucana chickens naturally lay eggs with green and blue shells! Expect meat vendors, too. Carolina Bison grilled up some tasty samples last weekend.
The market momentum from last Saturday will spread this week, as it’s a BIG one for outdoor spring tailgate openings:
- The French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market will have their soft opening Wednesday, April 4; they expect to keep adding more vendors through April.
- On Saturday, Asheville City Market in downtown (8 am-1 pm), Henderson County Tailgate Market (7 am-noon), Transylvania Tailgate Market (8 am-12:30 pm), Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market (9 am-1 pm), and the Jackson County Farmers Market (9 am-noon) all celebrate their outdoor season grand openings; click the links for locations. Asheville City Market reports they expect 48 vendors on opening day, their largest opening to date!
- A couple mid-season markets are also still happening. White Horse Farmers Market—at White Horse Black Mountain—continues Wednesday (3-6 pm) and will run until the Black Mountain market opens later this season. Asheville City Market South (2-6 pm) also continues Wednesday.
Look ahead to more opening dates, including next week’s West Asheville Tailgate Market and Weaverville Tailgate Market, with our new online farmers market calendar.
For a full list of tailgates, visit our online Local Food Guide at buyappalachian.org.