Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Adore asparagus? Then get thee to a farmers tailgate market this week and weekend! Although stalks have been trickling in for a bit, markets are moving toward asparagus abundance thanks to vendors like McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, Asheville City Market South, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market).

But don’t just shop produce vendors, asparagus addicts! Artisan food producers are incorporating the springtime staple, too. Look for items like asparagus and cheddar croissants from Farm & Sparrow (Asheville City Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market).
Kale is also kicking into high gear. Jake’s Farm (Asheville City Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market) has been offering up bountiful baskets of the must-have green. And, multiple varieties of kale have been spotted at markets around the region. Jake’s also offered stinging nettles, another seasonal green, last Saturday at Asheville City Market Downtown.
Didn’t know you could eat stinging nettles? What about Japanese knotweed? You can, and Asheville Wild Foods Market offered the option at Asheville City Market Downtown last weekend. The young stems are edible and are said to taste similar to rhubarb—which can also be found at tailgates now. The foragers’ booth also began offering bamboo shoots.
Expect even more greens this week and in the coming weeks, including more widespread offerings of lettuce and spinach. And keep your eyes peeled for early spring garlic, or green garlic, from vendors like Ivy Creek Family Farm. As the season picks up, also find new vendors joining markets and additional markets opening.
Montford Farmers Market and Spruce Pine Farmers Market kick off Wednesday, May 1; Flat Rock Tailgate Market opens Thursday, May 2; and Black Mountain Tailgate Market and Mills River Farmers Market open Saturday, May 4.
To celebrate their opening, Montford Farmers Market is hosting a Garden Gala on May 1. Several vendors will sell vegetable and herb starts along with other plants, including Japanese and native irises. The market runs 2-6 pm and has new additions this year, including Simple Bread and the Ursa Minor Coffee Truck.
North Asheville Tailgate Market is dedicating their May 4 market to moms! At their Spring Fling/Mother’s Day Celebration (8 am-noon), find gifts like flower bouquets, jewelry, and pottery. B & L Organic plans to have a potting table so kids can pot up a special plant for Mom.
To learn more about market events/find a market schedule, visit our farmers market calendar or browse our online Local Food Guide. Also check our post “Tailgate Tents Going Up” for a list of openings.

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