I love tomatoes. How about you? . . .And . . .if you are relocating to, visiting or already live in Asheville, North Carolina-where can you go to find some of the best-tasting, locally-grown, organic, fresh-off-the vine tomatoes possibly in the entire world? Why...at one of Asheville's tailgate markets, of course...such as:
The Asheville City Market. This is a new tailgate market... just "sprouted up" in the Spring of 2008.
Yes, there are other tailgate markets in convenient locations around Asheville, and we'll try to visit them all as part of this series...
but aren't you curious about the "new kid on the block" ? I am. So last Saturday I headed out to find...Tomatoes.
Little did I know that I would encounter a lot more than tomatoes.. .such as
dogs with wagging tails...and some of the most attractive locally-grown, organic produce you could imagine. (see photo to your left, below)
I had parked in a City of Asheville Lot for free and snapped a couple photos (notice color of sky in the photo above,right) as I walked to the market. Asheville's renowned architecture was evident.
The carolina blue skies were, too. (see photo). But would the Asheville City Market prove to be so amazing ?. . .and would I find some outstanding red tomatoes?
IEureka! Tomatoes and more. Here, for your simple pleasure are interesting conversations with eco-friendly vendors. Sixty (60+ ) vendors enjoy telling you about their offerings- everything from organic produce and hormone-free meats and dairy products, to farm foods, prepared foods, crafts, weekly entertainment, and ...
• plants for your vegetable garden and landscape
• fresh (oorganic) produce
• farm-raised meats including lamb, pork, beef, and trout
• goat cheese (three vendors!)
• cage-free eggs
• farm-made ice cream
• jams, preserves, salsas
• breads, pastries, and cookies
• natural soaps and other herbal body-care products and gifts
• hand-sewn quilts and other modern and traditional mountain crafts
• shrimp from the family of NC fishermen
Oh. It's a delicious experience at Asheville's City Market! The smell of baked goods and coffee in the air, the sounds of music, laughter and neighborly chatting. The touch of a tomato still warm from the sun.
The Asheville City Market is just one of the cultural perks here in Asheville. It is an outreach of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project . The Project informs us:
"By buying directly from local farmers and shopping and dining at those businesses that support local farmers, you are getting the freshest, best-tasting food, contributing to a strong local economy, and helping preserve our rural mountain landscape."
Interestingly, the Asheville City Market is located at the Public Works Building, on S. Charlotte Street, right on the edge of downtown Asheville so it's convenient for visitors to Asheville- folks staying at nearby hotels and B&Bs. They amble in at intervals during the day.
MAP courtesy of ASAP Connections
Just a side note: If you choose to relocate to Asheville (or already live in the "Happiest City in the USA") you might want to discover a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) .
This is a direct connection between the farmers and the consumers. Every week throughout the season, the CSA community receives a box of that week's harvest. Most of the local CSAs deliver to several convenient area locations, but they always encourage the community to come to the farm, and even to participate in the growing of their food.
Hope you enjoy my candid shots of Asheville City Market,(seen in this post) but if you'd like to see what a professional photographer has to say about Asheville's City market...just click here for more photos
Now, I'm taking a poll. Who else love tomatoes and tailgate markets? Let me know.
(This was written for my friend LXS who's a Tomato Nut.)
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