Can you give your loved one a locally grown Valentine’s Day bouquet, even in midst of winter? Yes, you can!
Carolina Flowers returned to Asheville City Market-Winter a few weeks ago and has anemones, hyacinths, paperwhites, and amaryllis. The farm offers vases of flowers as well as bulbs, which means your gift will last longer than a traditional cut-flower bouquet. Enduring living-plant gifts can also be procured from Finally Farm, which has an assortment of potted succulents in many sizes.
You could also get a little more creative about how you define “flower.” Some winter lettuces, like radicchio, sport pink and purple hues that are pretty enough to substitute for roses (and healthier, too!). Put together a “salad bouquet” from farms like Ten Mile or Olivette, which returns to Asheville City Market-Winter this week.
Or go for an olfactory bouquet and select a collection of floral-scented soaps, salves, or sprays for your sweetheart, from local makers like Bonny Bath, Hap Mountain Herbal, or Balm Mountain Soap, all at Asheville City Market-Winter.
Of course farmers tailgate markets offer an abundance of that traditional token of love—chocolate. At Asheville City Market-Winter, you can find chocolate candies from Good Cheer Chocolates as well as chocolate baked goods from Sweetheart Bakery and Ma Belle France. Goddess Ghee even has several varieties of cacao ghee, including one with CBD oil. You can use this spiced chocolate ghee in place of butter in baking, as a substitute for icing on cakes or cupcakes, whipped into milk or coffee, or gently melted as a ganache for frozen bananas or ice cream.
A practical gift—if you can get past the slightly ominous overtones—would be to bring your beloved’s dull knives down to Asheville City Market-Winter and have them sharpened on the spot by Home Slice, a knife-sharpening service new to the area.
But if what you’re really after is an excuse to splurge on a fancy shared meal at home, markets offer all kinds of special-occasion purchases, from your meat cut of choice at East Fork Farm or Dry Ridge Farm (Asheville City Market-Winter) to creamy cheeses like the fresh goat’s milk varieties from Spinning Spider (Asheville City Market-Winter or Transylvania Farmers Market).
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even through the winter. 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.
Prepared by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.