offer organic and farm-fresh produce in a festive atmosphere
In Asheville and Western North Carolina, tailgate markets are a once-weekly outdoor farmers market. Usually held on Saturday mornings, local farmers gather to sell their just-picked, ripe-today and often organic fruits and vegetables, as well as baked goods, crafts and pasture-raised meat and poultry in a friendly, relaxed, social setting.
The real fun of the tailgate farmers markets, aside from the ultra-fresh produce and great food, is the festive, social atmosphere. Casually dressed shoppers leisurely browse, and often pause to sample artisan cheeses or enticing baked goods as they shop. Neighbors greet neighbors, and everyone chats with the farmers about heirloom vegetables, organic practices and farm life, as well as the weather, family and the latest local news.
Every week the selection of available produce is different, a perfect reflection of what is being harvested on each farm.
Often you'll find items never found in grocery stores, such as sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes, garlic greens, rainbow potatoes, wild apples and much more. Spring arrives with red strawberries, leafy greens and baby beets, while summer showcases beans, peaches, watermelon and fresh corn-on-the-cob. Fall harvest brings a cornucopia of apples, pumpkins and winter squash to market. Look too for hand-crafted goat cheese, fresh baked pastries and cookies, sweet berries, mushrooms and bouquets of flowers.
There are several excellent tailgate farmers markets in and around Asheville, with more than 40 additional tailgate farm markets in towns throughout Western North Carolina. Most WNC tailgates take place on Saturday mornings, but there are some mid-week markets as well. These markets are very popular, so it's a good idea to arrive soon after they open to have the best selection of fresh produce and to pick-up the ever popular berries and fresh pastries before they sell out.
The largest and most centrally located Asheville Tailgate Farmers Markets for many visitors are:
- The downtown Asheville City Market. Many vendors sell their superb baked goods, crafts and artisan cheeses as well as an exceptional variety of fresh organic produce and natural pastured meats and poultry.
- North Asheville Tailgate Market. At this large market you can often find a cooked breakfast-from-the-griddle, fresh flowers, organic fruits and vegetables and natural pastured meat and poultry. This is Asheville's oldest tailgate farmers market, with more than 30 vendors.
- We also enjoy the smaller tailgate farm markets where the farmers can become personal friends. The selection may not be as large, but the social network is fun at places like the Black Mountain Tailgate Market, the Big Ivy Tailgate Market in Barnardsville and many other WNC tailgate farm markets in mountain towns across the state.
- There are dozens of tailgate farm markets in Asheville and throughout Western North Carolina to choose from.
- If you are visiting Western North Carolina and want to shop at an Asheville farmers market that is open every day of the year, then the WNC Farmers Market is the best place to go.
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