Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Area farmers tailgate markets are brimming with wild, early spring delights! The first weeks of outdoor markets reflect the newness of the season, characterized by tender greens and native wild plants.
Ramps have long been an iconic spring item throughout Appalachia. This week will be the first week ramps make an appearance at markets. Find them fresh from Shady Brook Farm at Asheville City Market. Ramps are endangered in our mountains and so it is important to make sure the ramps you buy are sustainably harvested. How can you tell? Those that are sustainably harvested are cut just above the bulb so that the bulb can remain intact in the soil — producing ramps year after year.
Three Graces Dairy offers their coveted seasonal ramps goat cheese now — perfect spread on crackers, bread, or fresh radishes. Find Three Graces Dairy at Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market.
To many folks, wild greens are as emblematic of spring as ramps. Sochan, a native green cultivated by the Cherokee (also known as green-headed coneflower) is a great spring-specific green to eat at this time of year as an alternative to more familiar greens like kale. Asheville Fungi (at West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market) have sochan available. Bear Necessities Farm (also at WATM and ACM) have multiple varieties of wild greens, including garlic mustard, stinging nettles, and a mix containing chicory, chickweed, violets, onion grass, and dandelion greens. The mix is great either alone or combined with standard lettuce and a drizzle of dressing.
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. Check out the “2016 Tailgate Market Opening Dates”  to find out when markets are opening up near you. As always, you can find information about which farm stands are open and other farms to visit in the winter months by visiting our online Local Food Guide.

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