The market as muse

You may know that there are more tailgate markets operating in WNC this winter than ever before. But did you know that they offer all of the same local foods as regular-season markets — on a smaller scale, of course? Produce, meats and seafood, cheeses, eggs, honey: the makings of a meal. What’s more, they […]

From Australia to Asheville

Western North Carolina doesn’t have lush rainforests covering volcanic mountains. Nor is our landscape dotted with pineapple plants and macadamia nut trees. But Australian Elaine Bradley — who currently lives and farms 30 miles inland from the country’s northeast coast, in what’s called the Mary Valley — says there are commonalities. Specifically, our mountainous geography […]

Tater time

Move over dragon. 2012 is actually the year of the potato—at least in Western North Carolina. “We’ve conducted two different potato trials this year,” says Jeremy DeLisle with Mitchell County’s Cooperative Extension office. One, an organic trial, tested the feasibility of growing 12 different potato varieties organically for specialty markets, restaurants and beyond. The other, […]

Back to Farm to School

Hickory Nut Gap Farm’s “parents” aren’t buying the farm snazzy new clothes and a super cool new backpack, but they are giving it a back-to-school makeover. After all, students will begin arriving for field trips almost as soon as the first bell of 2012-2013. “We’ve been gearing up since June,” shares Amy Ager, a co-owner […]

Asheville Wine & Food Festival to grow growing minds

The weekend just after Buncombe County schools get back in session brings the Asheville Wine & Food Festival. This year, ASAP’s Growing Minds program is an event beneficiary. “It’s about revitalizing our food culture and industry, and ASAP is the premier reason WNC has a vibrant local food culture now,” says event founder and director […]

Eating with the eyes: Chef William Dissen offers heirloom tomato salad on the menu at the Market Place and during the celebration on Aug.11. Photos courtesy of ASAP

A toast to summer’s tomatoes

Not a fan of tomatoes? Then you’ll want to turn the page, as this article is, unabashedly, one giant love letter to the summer staple. “Local tomatoes are the quintessential ingredient to the summer season,” says William Dissen, executive chef and owner of the Market Place. “They’re bright, juicy, sweet and help make any dish […]

Berry good: Berries are in abundance at area tailgate markets now, like these wineberries from Highgate Farm at East Asheville Tailgate Market. Photos courtesy of ASAP

A summer scrapbook

It’s summer, the bountiful season. Blueberries, cucumbers, fennel, garlic, onions, potatoes, raspberries, squash, tomatoes — there’s an offering for nearly every letter of the alphabet at area farmers markets right now. Don’t just take our word for it … here’s what administrators of several Asheville tailgates had to say: Carly Esslinger, Oakley Farmers Market (Thursdays): […]

Feeling blue? Blueberries are chock full of antioxidants and guaranteed to offer a nutritional boost. Photos courtesy of ASAP

Cream of the crop

“This should be a great year for berries,” says Walter Harrill of Imladris Farm in Fairview. “A very solid berry year indeed.” That's good news for local food lovers and supporters, who have been worried about the possible impacts to berry production from the late frost, which had devastating effects on WNC's apple crop. “There […]

Salt of the earth: “We either love what we are doing or we are nuts!” says Zeb Jolley. Photo by Emma Scudder

The Jolley farmers

“We either love what we are doing or we are nuts,” says Zeb Jolley, who owns and operates Jolley Farms, an Appalachian Grown-Certified farm in Canton, with his wife, June. June farms on nights and weekends after her full-time job as greenhouse manager at the North Carolina Arboretum, a position she’s held for the past […]

Crisp: Find radishes at your local farmers market right now, along with lettuces and other salad fixings. Photo courtesy of ASAP.

Radical radishes

Radishes get a bad rep. But, they get their name from the Latin word radix, related to the word radical. The crisp root is much more than a medium for culinary students to practice their veggie-carving prowess. Prepared correctly, they pack a big flavor punch — and they’re even more versatile than you think. Radishes […]

Get growing!

While tomatoes are only available from greenhouse growers in the spring, now is the time to plant tomatoes out in the garden. In celebration of ASAP’s Get Local campaign in August (which highlights tomatoes), The Market Place will host a Homegrown Tomato Contest on Saturday, Aug 11. The contest will be open to all home […]

Rise and shine: Plant starts at Heirloom Uprising, a local hydroponic-lettuce grower.

Lettuce, elevated

Black-seeded Simpson, Cherokee, Deer Tongue — the selection of locally grown lettuces available now, during ASAP’s Get Local lettuce month, goes far beyond iceberg. But, they’re not anything new. “There are a lot of really old varieties out there that consistently work well,” says Tuck Hunt who co-owns the year-old Swannanoa-based hydroponic operation, Heirloom Uprising, […]

Standing guard: Sam, a Jack Russell and border collie mix, keeps the deer and turkey away from the fruit. Photos courtesy of Addison Vineyards.

Risky agri-business

“Vineyard work is farming, plain and simple, and weather is always a consideration in agriculture,” says Jeff Frisbee. Frisbee and his family own Addison Farms Vineyard, an Appalachian Grown farm in Leicester. And since Western North Carolina (and much of the rest of the nation) experienced a mild winter this year, all of Addison’s varieties […]

Tis the season: With the rise in popularity of Southern foods, ramps are having their moment in the sun. Photo courtesy of ASAP

Ramps: A love story

For the first time, ramps, the region’s most beloved early-spring green, are April’s featured food in ASAP’s Get Local initiative. Ramps and other local forest products are now becoming more and more available, but it hasn’t always been that way. “Not long ago, you had to go to the more rural communities to find ramps,” […]

Choose your veggie: ASAP’s CSA fair will let people connect with farmers ... and vice versa. Photo courtesy of ASAP

The CSA community

ASAP’s CSA Fair is here, March 29; find more details below. This article is the second in a two-part series profiling farmers who will exhibit that are new to CSAs. Find the first, which focused on longtime CSA farmers, at Eatin’ in Season online. Community eatin’ After only one season of farming, Joe Evans of […]

Say cheese: Andy Perkins, the owner of Looking Glass Creamery and Will Goldberg, an employee, making cheese. Photo courtesy of Looking Glass Creamery

Get Local gets cheesy

Say cheese! The cheese plate is a must when entertaining, a party show-stopper. Some say a perfect platter can only be obtained by adhering to strict standards. Tips include arranging from the mildest flavor to the strongest, choosing a variety of textures and serving at least one familiar cheese. But for Michel Baudouin — who […]