CSAs, Markets and Farm Stands as an Alternative for Fresh Produce

Photo: WNC Farmers Market (posted facebook March 30, 2020

Looking for ways to limit exposure while still obtaining fresh produce? Today we are focusing on the abundance of locally-farmed produce and how you can support our local farmers by shopping at the ASAP Farmers Market, signing up for a CSA to receive regular boxes of seasonal variety produce, or taking advantage of farm stands.

ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) has organized an interim farmers market on the campus of A-B Tech in Asheville. This new market, on Saturdays from 9 am to noon, is designed to protect shoppers and vendors by maintaining social distances and mitigating potential virus transmission points–no cash or card, requires online payment. See the ASAP website for more details.

The West Asheville Tailgate Market is scheduled to open Tuesday, April 7, 2020 in the parking lot of Grace Baptist Church, 718 Haywood Road. Hours are from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm. They have implemented Emergency Safety Guidelines and ask that you review those before attending the market. See their Facebook page for details.

We recommend signing on to a CSA as a great way to support local farmers and ensure you have fresh produce for the season. Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs for short, are like having a subscription for veggies and seasonal farm goods. If you are unfamiliar with CSAs, you can find a guide here at ASAP connections. Our favorite way to search via the Local Food Guide search was by region, and using CSA as the search term. Remember, each farm is unique in what they offer so be sure to read their terms closely for deposit and payment requirements, where to pick up your produce, what months they farm, and what produce and goods (like herbs and flowers) to expect over their upcoming season.

Here’s just some of what we found available:

  • Flying Cloud Farms no longer has traditional boxes but is offering market shares
  • Tiny Bridge still has farm shares available for 2020
  • The Bird & The Beasts Farmstead also has market-style shares still available
  • Full Sun Farm is offering both market shares and working CSA memberships
  • Ivy Creek is selling produce through their online shop
  • Bearwallow Farms only had two egg subscriptions left as of this writing, but scroll down–they are also offering delivered veggie, egg and egg/meat boxes to Buncombe and Henderson country residents two days a week.

These are just a sampling, so be sure to explore further. Being in Asheville means being central to three different regions! Additionally, if delivery is vital, you can also check if your zip code is available for service by Farm to Home Milk for dairy, egg and meat products.

Finally, don’t forget that the WNC Farmers Market is open, and has implemented procedures to ensure social distancing, including curbside pickup.