Spring’s boldest flavors—from ramps to asparagus and stinging nettles to spring onions—were front and center at area farmers tailgate markets this past week and weekend, and they should be available for your favorite recipes a little longer.
Visitors to the French Broad Food Co-op (FBFC) Wednesday Tailgate Market last week were greeted with samples of ramp pancakes prepared by chef Michael Gentry of Everyone Cooks; this is his 12th year at the market. Vendor MiLo Acres brought ramps, too, but sold out of their bunches quickly. They hope to be able to bring more this week, along with asparagus, radishes, a variety of greens, and quail eggs.
Ramps also went fast at Asheville City Market (ACM) on Saturday, but not by the bunch. Shoppers snagged ramps in baked goods like scones and flocked to Three Graces Dairy’s booth for their ramp goat cheese! The seasonal selection sat next to another bold cheese option: cumin.
McConnell Farms’ display of asparagus couldn’t be missed. Despite the unseasonably warm weather early on in the season, farmer Danny McConnell expects to bring the veggie to ACM for another three weeks.
Stinging nettles and spring onions can also be found at nearly all markets now. But, of course, offerings go beyond veggies. Plant starts will still be available this week; there should even be tomato starts! A variety of eggs, meats, and seafood can be found—from chicken to duck eggs, grassfed beef to pork, and shrimp to trout. Even look for unexpected offerings, like chicken livers from Which Came First Farm (FBFC Wednesday Tailgate Market) and bison cuts from Carolina Bison (FBFC Wednesday Tailgate Market, Leicester Farmers Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market).
Bread makers, bakers, and artists and crafters are back for the season, too, with everything from spring cleaning products to jewelry in, you guessed it, bold spring hues!
Markets continue to open this week:
- West Asheville Tailgate Market (Tuesday, 3:30-6:30 pm; they’re now accepting EBT/debit/credit cards)
- Weaverville Tailgate Market (Wednesday, 2:30-6:30 pm)
- Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market in Waynesville (Saturday, 8 am-noon; they will begin also running on Wednesdays next week)
- North Asheville Tailgate Market (Saturday, 8 am-noon)
- Sundays on the Island in Marshall (Sunday, noon-4 pm)
On Saturday, Galen Kipar will kick off the musical performances at Asheville City Market.
To find out which other markets are open now, visit our online farmers market calendar and our online Local Food Guide.