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Asheville Slow Food Movement
Asheville is in the fast lane for "slow food," also known as the local-food or farm-to-table movement. Organic farms abound around Asheville, and many restaurants boast that they serve locally produced foods. The Asheville area also has many tailgate markets, usually in parking lots where local growers set up temporary sales stalls on certain days, and farmers' markets, which typically are larger than tailgate markets and often have permanent booths.
ASAP. About 500 small family farms in the region belong to Asheville-based ASAP. The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project lists more than 80 local restaurants that buy direct from local farmers. A farm tour is held annually, usually in September. Download ASAP's local food guide from the non-profit organization's website. 306 W. Haywood St., Downtown, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/236-1281. www.asapconnections.org.
Blue Ridge Food Ventures. Part of a local economic development organization called Advantage West, Blue Ridge Food Ventures assists entrepreneurs in developing and selling local food products. Around 30 specialty-food producers are members of Blue Ridge Food Ventures, including Carolina Pig Polish (barbecue sauce), Lusty Monk (hot mustards), and Hominy Valley Farms (free-range chicken and beef). 1461 Sand Hill Rd., Candler, NC, 28715. 828/348-0128. www.advantagewest.com.
Asheville City Market. Nearly everything at this downtown market is local. Offerings vary, but usually include farm-fresh produce, free-range eggs, homemade breads, and local cheeses from up to 30 local farms. 161 S. Charlotte St., Downtown, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/348-0340. Sat. 8-1.
Asheville City Market-South. This spin-off from the downtown Asheville City Market is a producer-only market with food from local farmers. Biltmore Park Town Square, Town Square Blvd., Metro South, Asheville, NC, 28803. 828/348-0340. Wed. 2-6.
Greenlife Sunday Market. The focus here is on organically grown produce, as well as herbs, flowers, and seasonal items from local organic farms. Greenlife/Whole Foods, 70 Merrimon Ave., Metro North, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/243-0222. www.local-farmers-markets.com. May-Oct., Sun. 1-5.
North Asheville Tailgate Market. Asheville's oldest tailgate market has about 40 vendors selling local produce, fruit, meats, breads, and crafts. UNC-Asheville, 1 University Heights, Metro North, Asheville, NC, 28804. 828/776-6286. www.northashevilletailgatemarket.org. Mid-Apr.-Dec., Sat. 8-noon.
French Broad Food Co-Op Wednesday Market. Besides organic vegetables and fruits, the market at the French Broad Food Co-Op also has local honey and jams, vegan baked goods, and brick-oven breads. 76 Biltmore Ave., Downtown, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/255-7650. Wed. 2-6.
West Asheville Tailgate Market. Local natural and organic farms bring their best stuff, including free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, and organic eggs, to this popular tailgate market. 718 Haywood Rd., Metro West, Asheville, NC, 28806. 828/216-8102. www.westashevilletailgatemarket.com. Apr.-Nov., Tues. 3:30-6:30.
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