Tailgate party

Green and Growing: Find plant starts like these mustard greens at WNC tailgate markets.

Asheville boasts an abundance of local food. All of the ingredients that make this area’s restaurants stellar (along with the finesse of our local chefs, of course) can be found at tailgate markets nearly every day of the week, at least during the growing season.

Visiting tailgate markets gives you the opportunity to meet the source of your food. Many WNC markets are producer-only, meaning that vendors can only sell the food that they grow themselves. Want to know how to best utilize a zebra tomato? Curious to know when the zephyr squash will be ripe this year? Ask the grower directly.

If you’re eager to check out what this area has to offer, visit the markets listed below, all of which open in April or May. Some even feature live entertainment and kids’ activities — and they all offer the opportunity to shake the hand of the person who grew your food.

Asheville City Market
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. April-December
Where: Parking lot of the Public Works Building at 161 S. Charlotte St.

Asheville City Market – South
When: Wednesdays, 2-6 p.m. May-October
Where: Town Square Boulevard in the center of Biltmore Park Town Square, I-26 Long Shoals Road exit in south Asheville.

Big Ivy Tailgate Market
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, May-October
Where: Parking lot of the old Barnardsville fire station, across from the post office on Highway 197.

Black Mountain Tailgate Market
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, May-October
Where: Behind the First Baptist Church in Black Mountain at 130 Montreat Road.

Greenlife Sunday Market
When: Sundays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Season TBD
Where: Grassy area near the Greenlife Grocery parking lot.

Mission Hospital Tailgate Market
When: Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May-October
Where: At the back entrance to the Mission Hospital Heart Center on the Memorial Campus.

North Asheville Tailgate Market
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon, April-December
Where: UNC-Asheville (UNCA) Campus Commuter Lot C. Take Weaver Boulevard and follow signs.

Riceville Tailgate Market
When: Fridays, 4-7 p.m.
May-September
Where: Groce United Methodist Church parking lot at the corner of Beverly and Tunnel roads.

Weaverville Tailgate Market
When: Wednesdays, 2:30-6:30 p.m. April-October
Where: On the hill overlooking Lake Louise behind the yellow Community Center on Weaverville Highway.

Wednesday Co-op Market
When: Wednesdays, 2-6:30 p.m. May-November
Where: 76 Biltmore Ave. in the parking lot next to the French Broad Food Co-op.

West Asheville Tailgate Market
When: Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m. April-November
Where: 718 Haywood Road, in the parking area between the Grace Baptist Church and Sun Trust Bank.

— Maggie Cramer is the communications coordinator at ASAP. Contact her at maggie@asapconnections.org.

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