>One of the many pleasures of living in Asheville is the abundance of fresh, locally grown and produced food. While there is a large, year-round farmers’ wholesale market just outside of town where one can buy produce in quantity, during the summer smaller farms and artisans come together at tailgate markets throughout the week at various locations around town.
Here the farmers literally pull into the parking lot, open up the back of their cars, trucks and SUVs, pull out a folding table and spread out their goods. The markets start slowly as the only things for sale are those which are growing right now. In May, the markets offered seedlings and cuttings for our garden. The sellers are very knowledgeable and I was able to get some unusual heirloom tomato plants which are already setting flowers in the raised beds James built.
As June has arrived, so have the strawberries and ramps, early peas and greens. You can also by eggs which are so fresh they are just about a different food. When we first get them, if we don’t have too many guests at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast, I like to scramble them over a very low flame using a balloon whisk which creates an incredibly small-curd, creamy and rich dish.
But a trip to a tailgate market is more than just a grocery outing. They are a place to greet friends, to taste food, to eat and even to listen to music. You don’t have to buy anything to enjoy yourself.
This trio had set up under an awning in the middle of the parking lot and were playing just for the pleasure of it. A little farther down, a man was making amazing balloon animals which he was handing out to the children.
Dogs and children abound.