Asheville area residents count themselves lucky to call this region home for many reasons, not least of which is its easy access to high-quality local produce and regionally crafted artisanal creations. The farms surrounding Asheville and extending throughout Western North Carolina provide an eclectic offering of both seasonal and year-round farmers’ markets as well as working farm tours. Spring heralds the start of the season, so grab your shopping bags and hit these memorable markets and farms!
· Asheville City Market (North Market St. between Woodfin St. and Walnut St.; Saturday mornings, now through Dec. 16) – Vendors feature farm-fresh produce, local eggs, meats, farm-raised trout, wild salmon, fresh baked goods, handmade pasta, gourmet cheeses, honey, preserves, salsas, flowers, natural body care products, and artisan crafts. Enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations and food tastings from local chefs. For midweek shopping needs, visit Asheville City Market – South in the center of Biltmore Park Town Square.
· East Asheville Tailgate Market (954 Tunnel Road; Fridays 3-6 p.m. now through September) – Everything from fiber arts to herbs to hand-crafted popsicles are available against a backdrop of local music and camaraderie.
· North Asheville Tailgate Market (330 University Heights on UNCA’s campus; Saturday mornings now through Nov. 18) – Enjoy a full range of more than 40 vendors of local, sustainably produced meats, eggs, produce, cheeses, breads, plants, prepared foods and crafts.
· Oakley Farmers Market (Meadow at Highland Brewing Co., 12 Old Charlotte Hwy.; Thursdays 3:30-6:30 p.m. now through Sept. 28.) – This market’s mission is to provide fresh, locally produced foods to its neighbors, “regardless of differences in income, race or social status.”
· River Arts District Farmers Market (175 Clingman Ave.; Wednesdays 2-6 p.m.) – Flying Cloud Farm, Spinning Spider Creamery and Asheville Wild Foods are just a few of the vendors you can find here.
· West Asheville Tailgate Market (718 Haywood Road; Tuesdays 3:30-6:30 p.m.) – Farmers’ market staples can be found alongside diverse offerings like plant starts for gardens, natural soaps and herbal products, and locally made art and crafts.
· Western North Carolina Farmers Market (570 Brevard Road; daily 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., April-October; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., November-March) – This year-round indoor market features fruits and vegetables, mountain crafts, jams, jellies, preserves, sourwood honey, fresh baked breads, cookies and dozens of other farm-fresh items.
Asheville Area Farms
If you’d like to go straight to the source, many working farms in the area are open to the public and offer an array of on-site activities and products for sale. Here’s a small sample of area farms to visit:
· Hickory Nut Gap Farm in Fairview offers Farm Dinners, HNG Kitchen Classes and Friday Night Barn Dances, just to name a few activities.
· Franny’s Farm in Leicester hosts everything from summer camps to weddings to the annual Barnaroo Music Festival.
· Sky Top Orchard stands out among pick-your-own apple and fruit orchards for its ponds with ducks and geese, a barnyard area with sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, peacocks and more, a bamboo forest to explore, tractor rides and lots of picnic areas.
· For a fun way to visit sustainable family farms in Western North Carolina, check out Asheville Farm to Table Tours. The themed tours take participants to several farms in a day, providing a unique window into regional farming.
For more information about our area or about real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.