At the end of April I returned from a weekend in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I attended a wedding in Black Mountain just outside of Asheville. I squeezed in as much food and farms as possible. Minutes after leaving the airport I spotted a farm stand at a highway intersection, which looked as though it was selling strawberries. I realized the region was ahead of us in the growing season but I didn’t realize it was already strawberry time. I learned that the berries came from a friend’s farm, 45 minutes away in South Carolina. They were only selling them in a four quart bucket so of course I had to suffer and buy one. The most enjoyable meal was at a funky spot called the Early Girl Eatery in Asheville. It had a retro diner kind of feel and was most definitely popular. Saturday morning the line stretched down the block before it even opened. I was supposed to visit Maverick Farms where the famed Tom Philpott of Grist is based but due to rainy weather it was cancelled. Though I did get to the farmers’ market, which had a nice selection of produce, meat, dairy, and baked goods, especially considering the time of year. Some of my favorite finds were a ramp chevre and a prosciutto style natural cured country ham.