Farmers, even in the best of times, experience setbacks. Many farms in our region are grappling with enormous loss due to Tropical Storm Fred. Meanwhile, a series of late frosts in April significantly damaged apples and other fruit this year. The effects of these events might not be felt at farmers markets immediately, but you’ll see fewer of your favorite crops come fall and winter. Check in with your farmers and continue to support them by shopping for what is available. If you’re looking for ways to directly help fams impacted by Tropical Storm Fred, you can donate to ASAP’s Appalachian Grown Farmer Relief Fund. This fund provides immediate needs grants to farmers impacted by natural disasters and other emergencies. Find out more at asapconnections.org/farmer-relief-fund.
For a stress-free Thanksgiving, making a plan and doing as much prep work in advance is the way to go. That means you should start your farmers tailgate market list now, and even get some of the shopping out of the way, rather than wait for the mad rush on the final pre-holiday weekend. (Although if you do find you need to do some last-minute shopping, West Asheville Tailgate Market is open on Tuesday and River Arts District Farmers Market is open on Wednesday the week of Thanksgiving.)
There is so much ingenuity that our local farmers employ in order to consistently have produce throughout the harsh winter conditions over the past few weeks. Be it through alternative growing practices like hydroponics, or attentively caring for greenhouse plants as if they are newborns, farms still have produce to bring to area winter farmers tailgate markets. All those veggies still go quickly, though, so get to market early.
Winter farmers tailgate markets are going strong with farm-fresh local food offerings every week. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, than by shopping for or with loved ones at a winter tailgate market! Markets have great gift ideas such as chocolates, baked goods, and jewelry, as well as plenty of produce, including lettuces and greens, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, microgreens, and turnips. And don’t forget to pick up local meats, cheeses, eggs, and plenty more!
When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than something hot to eat or drink. At area farmers tailgate markets, there are piping hot beverages and plenty of options to create your favorite warm, steaming dishes at home.