Here at Deep Root, Asparagus is one of our favorite springtime vegetables. Not only is it a delicious addition to our lunch and dinner menus; it is the first green item that comes out of the fields – a sure sign that summer is on the way!
Asparagus is a unique vegetable in many respects. First off, it is a perennial, which is rather unique in the vegetable kingdom. Typically it takes 3 years to establish a productive patch of Asparagus. Most growers plant “crowns” which are year-old Asparagus plants that have been dug up and then transplanted. You can also grow Asparagus from seed, however it will typically add an entire year to the process of establishing a productive patch. Once an Asparagus patch has been established it can be productive for up to 15-20 years.
The origins of Asparagus can be traced to the Mediterranean. It appears in Egyptian art and architecture as far back as 3,000 B.C., and was used throughout the Mediterranean as both a food and a medicine. Today, China is the world’s largest producer of Asparagus, followed by Peru and Mexico. Deep Root’s Asparagus comes from member-farm Vallons Maraichers located in Compton Quebec, right over the Vermont/Canada border.
Asparagus is a healthy addition to spring time dishes. A one-cup serving provides a full 100% daily recommended intake of Vitamin K as well as high levels of vitamins A, C, Thiamin and Folate. Powerful stuff!
Although our global food system brings Asparagus to US markets all times of the year, there’s nothing as good as when it is fresh and in season. Time to get it while you can!
Here are a few photos from Vallons Maraichers – enjoy!