Yes, it is spring. One way to know for sure, even with the confusing cold and snow? Tailgate tents are going up, and area farmers markets are opening outdoors for the harvest season. At spring tailgates, expect fresh greens, spring onions and asparagus; meats, cheeses, baked goods, value-added farm items like preservers, and a wide selection of plant starts. Produce offerings will differ from market to market based on the location of the vendor farms - micro-climates vary greatly in the region. Last winter was also much warmer, so early April markets won't have the exact same offerings as they did in 2012.
Find a list of spring tailgate opening days below. Markets listed are all members of the Mountain Tailgate Market Association (MTMA), a collaborative group of farmer- and vendor-only area markets. For a complete list of the 90+ tailgates in the region, including their season start dates (a new feature for 2013!), visit ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org. The 2013 print guide hits stands in late April.
Mountain Tailgate Market Opening Dates
Asheville City Market: April 6, Saturdays 8 am-1 pm
Parking lot of the Public Works Building at 161 S. Charlotte St.
Asheville City Market South: April 3, Wednesdays 2-6 pm
Town Square Blvd. in the center of Biltmore Park Town Square, I-26 Long Shoals Rd. exit in South Asheville.
Bakersville Farmers Market: May 25, Saturdays 8 am-12 pm
In the Bakersville Community Medical Clinic parking lot, opposite the US Post Office.
Black Mountain Tailgate Market: May 4, Saturdays 9 am-12 pm
Behind the First Baptist Church in Black Mountain at 130 Montreat Rd.
East Asheville Tailgate Market: May 17, Fridays 3-6 pm
In the upper parking lot at Groce Methodist Church on Tunnel Road in East Asheville.
Flat Rock Tailgate Market: May 2, Thursdays 3-6 pm
Parking area behind the Hand in Hand Gallery in Flat Rock on Greenville Hwy. (225 S.).
French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market: April 3, Wednesdays 2-6 pm
In the parking lot of Build It Naturally, next to the French Broad Food Co-op on Biltmore Ave. in downtown Asheville.
Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market: April 20, Wednesdays/Saturdays 8 am-12 pm
Located in Waynesville at the HART Theater/Shelton House )Museum of NC Handicrafts) parking lot at 250 Pigeon Street (Hwy. 276 S.).
Henderson County Tailgate Market: early spring TBA, Saturdays 7 am-12 pm
Parking lot at 100 N. King Street (between First and Second Avenues).
Historic Marion Tailgate Market: May 14, Tuesdays 3-6 pm, Saturdays 9 am-12 pm
Public parking is available on site, at the Marion Depot, or the public parking lot across from the market on the corner of Logan Street and West Henderson Street.
Leicester Farmers Market: March 30, Saturdays 9 am-2 pm
Parking lot of Leicester Landing Shopping Center. Behind Zaxby's. 338 Leicester Rd.
Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market: April 6, Saturdays 9 am-1 pm
Across from the tennis courts on the Mars Hill College Campus.
Mills River Farmers Market: May 4, Saturdays 8 am-12 pm
Directly off of NC 280 in the G&B Energy Plaza, Mills River.
Montford Farmers Market: May 1, Wednesdays 2-6 pm
In the lower parking lot of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Ave.
North Asheville Tailgate Market: April 13, Saturdays 8 am-12 pm
On the UNC-Asheville (UNCA) Campus Commuter Lot #C. Enter UNCA from WT Weaver Blvd traffic circle. Market is first lot on the right. Follow yellow signs for additional parking.
Oakley Farmers Market: May 9, Thursdays 3:30-6:30 pm
In the parking lot behind Oakley United Methodist Church at 607 Fairview Rd, Asheville.
Spruce Pine Farmers Market: May 1, Wednesdays 2-5 pm
On Pollyanna's Porch, next to Wildflowers, on Upper St. in downtown Spruce Pine.
Transylvania Tailgate Market: April 20, Saturdays 8 am-12:30 pm
Located in the parking lot behind Comporium on the corner of Jordan St. and Johnson St.
Waynesville Tailgate Market: May 15, Wednesdays/Saturdays 8 am-12 pm
At the American Legion, just off S. Main St., Waynesville. Behind Bogart's.
Weaverville Tailgate Market: April 10, Wednesdays 2:30-6:30 pm
On the hill overlooking Lake Louise behind the yellow Community Center on Weaverville Hwy.
West Asheville Tailgate Market: April 9, Tuesdays 2:30-5:30 pm
718 Haywood Rd., in the parking area between the Grace Baptist Church and Sun Trust Bank.
Yancey County Farmers Market: April 20, Saturdays 8:30 am-12:30 pm
S. Main St. at US 19E in Burnsville, at the Burnsville Town Center.
ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)
ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.