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Buying fresh & buying local at farmers markets can become addictive

Close up of colorful flowers

Nestled under a canopy of trees in one of the parking lots at UNC Asheville, the cool breeze belies that it’s late July. And the market is buzzing. “You really need to bring a basket, but I always forget it,” a shopper is overheard saying one Saturday mid-morning at the North Asheville Tailgate Market. “There is nothing like cooking and eating fresh food.”

One of the oldest in the area, NATM happens every Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon from early April through late November. You’ll find not only locally grown seasonal vegetables, but you can round out your grocery shopping with honey, probiotic drinks, cheeses, farm fed beef and pork, vegetarian proteins, seafood, breads, herbs and so much more from one of the 40+ vendors who sell their goods almost every week. You’ll even find handcrafted jewelry and all kinds of beautiful flower bouquets.

Free samples of sour melon

It’s a most definite feel good kind of place. Strolling amongst the vendors, sampling some of the newly made goodies, and listening to the old-time music by a group of smiling musicians easily takes you back to a time when shopping at outdoor farmers markets was the norm in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Buying from local farmers markets can become addictive. A guilt free addiction. One that is good for your health, the local economy, and perhaps most importantly your taste buds. There is nothing as delicious as freshly made.

Western North Carolina is abundant with farmers markets. No matter where you live, you can probably find one nearby most weekends and even throughout the week.

Here's a list of some Farmers Markets in the area compiled using this website: farmers-markets

Please use that link to learn more.

Buncombe County

Asheville City Market Public Works Building 161 S Charlotte St. Asheville, NC Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon April – October Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon November – December Asheville Masonic Temple 80 Broadway Asheville, NC Saturdays, 10 a.m. – noon January – March

Asheville City Market South Biltmore Park Town Square 2 Town Square Blvd. Asheville, NC Wednesdays, noon – 4 p.m. April – October

Big Ivy Tailgate Market 1679 Barnardsville Hwy. Barnardsville, NC Saturdays, 9 a.m. - noon

Black Mountain Tailgate Market 130 Montreat Rd. Black Mountain, NC Saturdays, 9 a.m. - noon

East Asheville Tailgate Market Groce United Methodist Church 954 Tunnel Rd. Asheville, NC Fridays, 3 p.m. – 6 pm. May – September

French Broad Food Co-Op Wednesday Tailgate Market 76 Biltmore Ave. Asheville, NC Wednesdays, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. April – November

Greenlife Third Thursday Tailgate Market 70 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC Every third Thursday, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. April – September

Leicester Farmers Market 338 New Leicester Hwy. Asheville, NC Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 pm.

Mission Hospital Tailgate Market 509 Biltmore Ave. Asheville, NC Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. North Asheville Tailgate Market 1 University Heights Asheville NC Saturdays, 8 am. – noon April – November

Oakley Farmers Market 115 Fairview Rd. Asheville, NC Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

River Arts District Farmers Market 175 Clingman Ave. Asheville, NC Wednesdays, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Warren Wilson College Market 701 Warren Wilson Rd. Swannanoa NC Garden Shed, Tuesdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. May to October Outside Gladfelter Cafeteria, Fridays, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. May to December

Weaverville Tailgate Market 60 Lakeshore Dr. Asheville NC Wednesdays, 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

West Asheville Tailgate Market 718 Haywood Rd. Asheville, NC Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. April – November

Close up of purple skinned potatoes in a bucket

Haywood County

Waynesville Tailgate Market 171 Legion Dr. Waynesville, NC Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon May – October

Henderson County

Flat Rock Tailgate Market 2720 Greenville Hwy. Flat Rock, NC Thursdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. May – October Henderson County Tailgate Market 100 North King St. Hendersonville, NC Saturdays, 7 a.m. – noon April – October Mills River Tailgate Market 5046 Boylston Hwy. Mills River, NC Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon May – October Monday Afternoon Tailgate Market Hendersonville Community Co-Op 715 South Grove St. Hendersonville, NC Mondays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Madison County

Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market 100 Athletic St. Mars Hill, NC Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. April – November Marshall Island Farmers Market Blannahassett Island Marshall, NC Sundays, Noon – 4 p.m. April – November Upper Laurel Farmers Market Bright Hope United Methodist Church 271 Laurel Valley Rd. Mars Hill, NC Tuesdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m May – October Transylvania County Transylvania Co. Tailgate Market 190 E Main St. Brevard, NC Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon April – December

Tracy D. Hyorth has been writing about Asheville and Western North Carolina since the late ‘80s and can be reached at

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