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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Whats in Season : Asparagus

Asparagus is in season from February to June. April is the peak season. When you choose asparagus some signs to look for are: 

  • bright green color with no signs of shriveling
  • tender tips may have a purple cast but they should still be firm and tight, never mushy
  • the cut end will be thick and fibrous this is from the injury of cutting
Storing your asparagus in a produce bag in your veggie bin is acceptable but is more likely to get bruised, broken or left too long. A better way is to trim the cut ends of asparagus and stand them in a glass of water, covered with plastic in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Facts about Asparagus: 

  • There are 3 varieties of asparagus. American / British is green in color, French asparagus is purple in color and the Spanish / Dutch asparagus is white in color
  • Asparagus means stalk or shoot in Greek and was first raised and cultivated around 2,500 years ago in Greece
  • In Greece asparagus was also used to cure toothaches, prevent bee stings and used in herbal medicine as well. 
  • Romans were great lovers of asparagus. They would grow asparagus in high walled courtyards. It was Romans who would spread asparagus through out the world. 
  • California, Washington, and Michigan are top asparagus producing states in the United States. 
  • Asparagus will grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils. It grows in stalks that can reach as tall as 10 inches in 24 hours These stalks will grow for the next 6 to 7 weeks in spring and early summer.
  • The days temps will determine how often asparagus is picked. Early season picking may take place only once or twice a week. As the days and nights grow warmer the pickings may happen every day. 
  • After the asparagus season is done the spears will grow into ferns. The ferns will produce red berries and the food and nutrients for a healthy and productive crop next season are held in the berries. 
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