As temperatures continue to rise, more farmers and others vendors are returning to fill out farmers tailgate markets—and a few more markets are ready to open! Enka-Candler Tailgate Market, at the A-B Tech Small Business Center in Enka, opens this Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Black Mountain Tailgate Market will open next Saturday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to noon. (If you’re looking for a market outside of Buncombe County, here’s a full list of opening dates throughout the region.)
Shoulder season is setting in—no longer winter, not quite spring. While winter farmers markets continue to offer an impressive variety of produce, you may notice certain varieties begin to wane and some farmers may not be at market for a few weeks until new crops start coming in. This can be a good time to talk to farmers about what they expect to have over the coming weeks or what they’re most excited about bringing in this spring.
Greens and cabbages are abundant at farmers markets right now, and winter can be a great time to try new ways of serving them. Stuffing with a mixture of rice, herbs, spices, and ground meat places these vegetables front and center as a hearty main course.
It’s common for chickens to slow down their laying in January and February, meaning that eggs can rise to a new level of scarcity at winter markets. If you’re looking to score a dozen (or more), it’s best to get to market early and head straight for one of the following vendors.
This past December didn’t bring the same significant snowfall and freezing temperatures we’ve seen in recent years, and as a result we’re seeing some unexpected produce at winter farmers tailgate markets alongside winter stalwarts like sweet potatoes, apples, and collard greens.
This week offers several prime opportunities to shop local farmers tailgate markets for holiday gifts, party preparations—or just your weekly grocery needs. East Asheville Tailgate Market’s holiday market and fundraiser is today, from 3 to 6 pm, plus there are still several Saturday morning (Asheville City Market and The Holiday Bazaar) and midweek (West Asheville Tailgate Holiday Market, River Arts District Winter Market, Weaverville Tailgate Winter Market) markets open for convenient shopping.
As we move into November thoughts turn to holiday feasting, and for many that means a turkey centerpiece. Local turkey is available from several local farms in the region, including Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Dillingham Family Farm, though you will need to order in advance—and act fast! These birds tend to sell out every year. Find a list of farms in the area with local turkeys, and information on how to order them here.
It’s that time of year again—break out your canning jars and start preserving the end of the summer season! Mid-September is an ideal time to put up tomatoes, which are still abundant at markets now, but will start fading out over the next month. Remember, you can ask farmers if they have large volumes of tomatoes (or other produce) that you can purchase in bulk.
Do you follow your favorite farmers on social media? Besides being a great way to get a tantalizing sneak peek into what they’ll bring to market each week, many farmers have taken to advertising special sales in the week before market, which can guide you as you plan your shopping route.