THE SPICE OF LIFE: The two basic categories of garlic are hardneck and softneck, and there are numerous varieties running the flavor gamut from mild to spicy-hot.

Hardnecks and softnecks: Talking garlic with Root Bottom Farm

Thai fire, Sicilian silver, German red: The world of garlic is far more exotic than one might expect from perusing the plain, white varieties found in most supermarket aisles. Root Bottom Farm owners Morgan and Sarah Decker are working to spread the word about the diverse types of the pungent, flavorful bulb that can be grown in Western North Carolina.

LIMITED TIME ONLY: Asparagus are harvested at Fairview's Cane Creek Asparagus & Co. during a narrow window of time between late April and early June.

Spring spears: Fairview’s Cane Creek Asparagus & Co.

It started with a dare in the blizzard of ’93. Robert Ploeger’s father was having a hard time growing asparagus, and Robert said, “I’ll bet you I can grow it.” That winter, he and wife, Glenda Ploeger, co-owners of Cane Creek Asparagus & Co., started what would become their first three rows of asparagus in the greenhouse attached to their Fairview home.