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Mar 27, 2008 05:00 AM

Asheville Tailgate Markets Question

Are they combining all the little ones (North, Greenlife, West, and French Broad Co-Op) and making one big one this season? I am confused. For some reason I thought they were (from Leah, perhaps?) but I can't seem to find any more information. I really, really hope they do this! I think it would be a great thing for the city of Asheville to have a large market like that in Santa Fe and other cities. Why they have always had so many small ones on different days and times has always perplexed me.

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  1. I know I have seen that they are taking applications for the new farmer's market behind city hall and near MLK. I saw a list of all the markets in the Mountain Express recently. I think most will probably start up in April.

    1. Someone posted a Foodtopia website the other day. They are still showing a variety of markets.

      1. I tend to lurk here and have sleuthed out that I know at least a couple of you frequent Asheville posters. Figured I should register to post on this subject. At this point you may be seeing/hearing some advertising on this . . . the Asheville City Market is opening April 19th in the Public Works Building parking lot, 161 S. Charlotte St., and will run through December from 8-1 on Saturdays. Largely the other tailgate markets will still exist - there was/is enough strong loyalty to them by both vendors and customers that the new bigger market could not replace them, only provide another option and hopefully draw lots of new customers to tailgate markets in general.

        The City Market currently has more than 60 vendors signed on although in April it will probably be more like 30. There will be at least 3 goat cheese vendors, 3 vendors with pork, 2 with lamb, and of course lots of great produce (less in April), baked goods, crafts, jams/jellies, farm-made ice cream, sunburst trout products, honey. A guy with shrimp his son catches on the coast. A couple people who grow fruit and make ice cream on the farm. Cooking demonstrations every week except maybe the first one.

        The French Broad Food Coop Saturday market starts April 12 and North Asheville (at new UNCA location) on April 19th. We'll have a link up on our website with a complete list by Monday. The foodtopia list isn't accurate but they'll update when I get them the info. Great new markets popping up all over in various places like Flat Rock, Barnardsville, Marshall . . . I'm at work right now on the 2008 Local Food Guide and it will be out mid-May and of course has the complete listings in print form.

        Peter Marks
        Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

        9 Replies
        1. re: anchovy128

          That sounds like good news...thanks for letting me know. I saw the ad somewhere (Mountain Xpress, I assume?) and the City Market logo looks great. For what it is worth, I think it would be an incredible coup for the city of Asheville to get as much support in this one central location, eventually phasing out the FBFC and North markets and having those vendors come over to the City Market for one great big one. They are all so close to each other, anyway...what's the point of three markets all in a 5 mile radius of each other? With all the local purveyors in this area, I would think it would behoove them to have space in one large, world-class market, and it would be yet another tourist attraction, not to mention a huge asset to the locals. Sounds like you have played an integral role in getting all of this in place, so congrats and best of luck. I know I will be there!

          1. re: anchovy128

            What about South Asheville, we'd love to see a farmers market down here. How does one set something like that up? We have plenty of empty commercial space along the Hendersonville Rd corridor that I'm sure a landlord would love to collect a little money on.

            1. re: anchovy128

              Thanks for the info. Here's my pet peave: why must almost all tailgate markets be on Saturday morning? That obviously can't work for everyone. Any market not opened until 4 or 5 will not get my business...and I LOVE a farmer's market.

              1. re: danna

                According to the link in my above posting, 5 out of the 7 markets listed are in the afternoon. Of these 5, only 1 is on the weekend.

                But the weekend morning is typical in most markets. Why? It is convenient for the majority of shoppers - the M-F 9-5 world! And for smaller growers who want to be at the market in person, well, how much time can they take away from their farm during growing season? If you can only participate in one market it is best to do the one with the most chance of success.

                1. re: meatn3

                  I'm sure you're right about the time out of a farmer's day...but Saturday afternoon is my only shot at Asheville Markets. I looked at your link (finally) and see that Greenlife has apprently decided to move my beloved Sat afternoon market to Fri and Sun. CRAP. So much for the Russian lady who sells me lettuce.

                  1. re: danna

                    I agree. I generally have always worked afternoons or nights & weekends - so it has usually been difficult to take advantage of these things. That's partly why I am doing a CSA this year.

                    1. re: meatn3

                      catsailor, S. Asheville is a good idea, several people (as well some businesses) have tried to do this and either didn't get off the ground or started and fizzled. I think this will happen in the next 3 years one way or another. The truth is that even though our region (WNC) has 12,000 farms there are not enough that do the kind of growing that is right for market, but more farms are shifting toward locally-geared production & sales.

                      danna & all, regarding the times of day, I think the mornings happen because of how darn hot a parking lot is for much of Jun-Sep in the afternoon - instant wilted spinach and fried vendors, also in a usual summer (not like the last couple) there is a thunderstorm many many Jul/Aug afternoons around 4 or 5 p.m. and the market dies and nobody sells anything. I think a market with a simple roof-and-pole structure would give the shade and cover needed and hopefully a market will be able to develop to that point soon.

                      The "russian lady who sells you lettuce," Olga Tucker, will likely be outside Greenlife Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun no matter what the store is promoting, that is just what she does and I doubt she's going anywhere soon.

                      I just posted a market list on our website with opening dates for western NC and the mountain counties in neighboring states:


                        1. re: anchovy128

                          "The truth is that even though our region (WNC) has 12,000 farms there are not enough that do the kind of growing that is right for market, but more farms are shifting toward locally-geared production & sales..."

                          Exactly, which is why I think that ONE central market would be a great idea! This would be such a great asset to the city Asheville. Sorry, but I just don't think Asheville is even close to being big enough to warrant all these little markets. Drive the ten minutes from South Asheville to downtown...wouldn't it be worth it for what sounds like could be close to 100 vendors?

                          Sorry, I just miss the Santa Fe market so much. I guess I should not compare the two, I just see such great opportunity here for something similar. I really don't get having 5-10 separate markets with only about 10 or so vendors at each in a town with a 10-mile drive radius. Combine all in one spot and have a great big market!

                          This is where my confusion is stemming looked like that was the direction it was going with the birth of the City Market, but from the sounds of things, maybe that's just another neighborhood market with a snazzy logo. I am shocked that the Co-Op market, which can't be more than 5 miles or so away, will still be up and running with the City Market in place. And looking to add a South market...well, that to me just seems to be defeating the purpose of all of this.

                          I wish the best of success for the City Market in the hopes that all of the local farmers and artisans will jump on board and see that having one dominant market would be a great benefit to this city.

              2. Due to conflicts I haven't been able to visit the new City Market yet but I'm hoping to this week. For those of you who have, how has it been?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Leepa

                  We're going this week and will report back...

                  1. re: miss piggy

                    So we went to the City Market this morning. I say kudos to everyone involved in this project as it is more along the lines of what I think Asheville has needed for a long time. I know it is early in the season and I look forward to seeing the market grow and additional vendors come on board. There were a lot of tents up, maybe around 40 or so (?) and there was a lot of variety. Fresh flowers, handmade soaps, Spinning Spider cheese, Hickory Nut Gap Farm meats, artisan breads. As for veggies there was not too much, mainly lettuces, radishes, spring onions and herbs, so I am looking forward to seeing more as the season develops. I really hope it takes SO convenient having all of these vendors in one place. Parking was a breeze.