Spring is here, which is exciting and inspiring, but for local farmers, the cold snap we had a couple of weeks ago isn’t fading from memory like it’s wont to do for the rest of us. The effects of two days of super cold weather and snow have varied between farms based on their microclimates, what they’re growing, and how they’re growing it.
One of the many amazing aspects of area farmers tailgate markets is that you get to hear the stories behind the food — the challenges, triumphs, and steadfast resilience of the folks and farms where our food comes from.
Dry Ridge Farm (at Asheville City Market, as well as the River Arts District Farmers Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market, once they both open for the season) had calves born during the coldest days. One of the baby cows became hypothermic, so the farmers brought it into the mudroom in their house to keep it warm overnight. They posted the story to Facebook, and one person commented: “I’ve heard of free range, organic, grass fed, but never house warmed. That’s some quality!”
Creasman Farms (at Asheville City Market, as well as the River Arts District Farmers Market once it opens) said that their apples were minimally affected but that their peaches took a hit. How much they were impacted remains to be seen over the course of the growing season.
Weather hasn’t been the only danger for these peaches — they’ve also been under siege by beavers! An entire tree was cut down and relocated by the pesky new farm neighbors. Creasman Farms brought photos of the tree to Asheville City Market this past week to show customers and tell the story.
Visiting farmers markets is a wonderful opportunity to build connections with the farmers who grow our food and learn about the people, land, and tales behind what we eat. Additionally, following your farmers on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) will keep you up-to-date about their stories all week long — not just on Saturday mornings!
Outdoor markets start opening in April. Visit ASAP’s list of dates to mark your calendar for when the markets near you get going!
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.