With the recent bouts of sunshine and rain, farmers tailgate markets should soon be popping with produce and blooms.
While at the market you can grab supplies for starting the day in the best possible way. Pick up beans from Biltmore Coffee Roasters (Asheville City Market), Mountain Air Roasting (North Asheville Tailgate Market), Dynamite Roasting Company (Black Mountain Tailgate Market), or Notorious Coffee Roasting Company (River Arts District Farmers Market).
To pair with the coffee, quiche is a great way to showcase the multitude of spring vegetables and greens—as well as eggs—available now. Try asparagus, pea tendrils, and goat cheese (look for them at McConnell Farms, Flying Cloud Farm, and Spinning Spider Creamery, all at North Asheville Tailgate Market). Watercress, spring onions, and feta is another great combo (Lee’s One Fortune Farm and Three Graces Dairy, both at Asheville City Market). Sautéed kale and breakfast sausage (Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Dry Ridge Farm, or HeadShrink Farms, various markets) is a hearty option for meat lovers. You could also pick up pre-made quiche to go from Ma Belle France or Sweetheart Bakery (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market).
Or go for a make-ahead pepper, cheese, and grits casserole. Get grits from Cove Creek Nursery Farm at Black Mountain Tailgate Market or Asheville City Market–South or East Fork Farm at North Asheville Tailgate Market. Thatchmore Farm has had early Carmen peppers at North Asheville Tailgate Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market. Check out what cheeses Looking Glass Creamery has for sale at River Arts District Farmers Market (the cheddar-style Drovers Road would be good). Serve next to a salad of tender spring greens garnished with vibrant nasturtiums (Headwaters Market Garden has had them at Asheville City Market).
Or skip the cooking, and grab some fresh-picked strawberries (many vendors have them now) alongside yogurt from Once Upon a Cow Microdairy (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), drizzled with local honey from Bee Tree Farm (East Asheville Tailgate Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market) or Osada Bee Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market).
Don’t forget flowers! Poppies, snapdragons, ranunculas, anemones, peonies, foxglove, bachelor’s buttons, and so many more are blooming now. Carolina Flowers (Asheville City Market), Full Sun Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market), and Flying Cloud Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market) have you covered.
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.
Prepared by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.