Farmer's Markets in Asheville are the Best Places to Shop!

farmers-marketAsheville has a proud history of relying off the land. This awareness and respect for nature has been a piece of Asheville culture that has been passed down from generation to generation and has been adapted for each generation to suit it's own era. Due to this tradition, Asheville has one of the largest and most active "Farmer's Market" communities on the East Coast and it's time to grocery shopping!

Best Kept Secret

It's a well known fact that Asheville is a phenomenal destination for unique and artisan shopping and beer. And while Asheville is known for serving delicious, organic and very health oriented meals, most visitors to our region don't know that they can buy all their produce for their rentals from the local Farmer's Market! Regardless of the time of year, this is a great way to support local farmers and their families while buying the best produce and experience Asheville culture up close and personal. Asheville's official Tailgate Farmer's Market season is April 1 - November 21. This is exactly what it sounds like and exactly what you expect when you think of a Farmer's Market. Farmers from the surrounding area will bring their produce and products to one place every Saturday morning from 8am til noon.

If you don't have time to make it out, the inclination to wake up early enough to go, or happen to come to Asheville between November 12 and March 31, all you have to do to get your fresh local produce and goods is to go to Western North Carolina's Farmer's Market. This option is set up like an open-air market that has various vendors come out every day. This allows for a varied experience that can range from the traditional expectations of fruits and veggies to live performances of traditional mountain music and fresh flowers. The Western North Carolina Department of Agriculture (WNCDA) is also very kid friendly! Traditions, like valuing the land and cooking healthy meals with fresh ingredients can only become traditions if they're instilled in the next generation. Therefore, the WNCDA emphasizes keeping the Farmers' Market welcoming and engaging for families regardless of the ages!

As the oldest from a big family who believed in an extensive amounts of supplemental educational experiences, I can assure you that touring farms and talking to farmers about their produce and products are some of the most vivid memories of my childhood. I've milked a cow, churned butter to the tune of old butter churning songs (yes, those are real), helped rotate crops, made a corn husk doll and even hammered my own nail in an old-school blacksmith shop. Churning our own butter has actually become a Thanksgiving tradition, though only newbies need to sing the songs. Choosing fresh vegetables, like Kale or pumpkins, and then making something from it is an experience that is not only enriching to the mind but enabling to the spirit. There's a fortifying element to knowing that you knew the people who grew the ingredients that you chose and made into a dish your family and friends are enjoying. For a couple ideas of what to make with all your new delicious groceries, check out this month's Asheville Eats Kale, for one of my family's favorite soup recipes for winter and keep your eyes peeled for Asheville Eats Pumpkin Pie coming next month!

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