Farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs provide opportunities to promote access to delicious, healthy foods and provide families with nutrition education. As trusted providers of accessible nutrition hubs and wellness opportunities, multiple departments within the City of Asheville have worked closely for years with local organizations to expand access to healthy food and locally made products from farmers, bakers, and others.
Supporting local farmers markets is a win-win for Ashevillian, the City, community partners, and the food producers themselves. They serve as venues for community engagement and cultural reflection, bringing together and providing an opportunity to explore the history of foodways in our city, connect with neighbors, and discover new foods that are unique and inspirational. Farmers markets, tailgate markets, and CSAs also create job opportunities as most market produce, meat, and other items are sourced within a 100-mile radius of the market location.
While the Western North Carolina Farmers Market and some roadside stands are open year-round, most markets are seasonal. ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) has an easy-to-navigate guide to opportunities throughout the mountains, but if you’re looking to stay close to home, check out these markets in Asheville.
- Asheville City Market: Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon (April-December) and 10 a.m-1 p.m. (January-March)
- River Arts District Farmers Market: Wednesday, 3-6 p.m. (May-November) and 3-5:30 p.m. (December-April)
- Southside Community Farmers Market: First Sunday, noon-3 p.m. (May-October)
- East Asheville Tailgate Market: Friday, 3-6 p.m. (April-October)
- North Asheville Tailgate Market: Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon (April-November)
- WNC Farmers Market: Daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Open year-round with Farmers Truck Shed #1 designated for farmers who only sell what they grow.)
- West Asheville Tailgate Market: Tuesday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. (April-November)
Many local markets participate in ASAP’s Double SNAP for Fruits and Vegetables program with a one-on-one dollar match spent by SNAP customers. If you swipe your EBT card for $10, you’ll get $10 in SNAP tokens as well as $10 in Farm Fresh Bucks which can be spent with any vendor for fruits and vegetables.
For info on community gardens, seed libraries, and urban foraging, read our previous Wellness Wednesday post. If you are experiencing hunger or food insecurity, visit the City of Asheville’s food resource map or explore NC 211’s database.
If you have a passion for health, wellness, and the outdoors, turn it into a career! Check out current employment opportunities with Asheville Parks & Recreation.