Asparagus Season 2022

 

We are well in to this years asparagus season, and it is proving to be as popular as ever.

We began this season a week early due to the warm spring sunshine, that we all enjoyed, so from the 23rd April we were able to taste the first of our delicious 'Green Gold'. Asparagus is our main crop at New Park Farm and we have 12 acres and is brought directly to our farm shop on the day that it is cut. This means we have a constant supply that travels less than a mile to get here. 

Asparagus has some great health benefits, it is packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. It is a great source of Vitamin K and antioxidants. Asparagus is thought to help lower blood pressure, is full of nutrients and can help the digestive system. The ancient Egyptians brought it over with them and we are very happy about that!

We all love our asparagus at Groombridge Farm Shop and we are always looking for new recipe ideas. Some of our customers have given us some suggestions: Asparagus with Orzo and Wild Garlic Pesto, Asparagus wrapped in Parma Ham served with Manchego Cheese or Asparagus Quiche. Other ideas include Asparagus frittata, soup and pie.

If you want inspiration, we sell individual Field Fare Asparagus & Gruyere Cheese Crown and Creamy Chicken & Asparagus Puff Pastry Pie. These can be cooked from frozen and are absolutely delicious. So too is the Speedy Kitchen home made Asparagus Soup!

We all like a Risotto; here are the ingredients for a Lemon Asparagus Risotto, all of which are available to buy in our farm shop. 

  • bundle of choice asparagus
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 350g arborio rice
  • 250ml dry white wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 75g Twineham Grange cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 pack Weald Smokery Chorizo (optional)

 

We also quite like  Asparagus simply pan fried in some butter or steamed with a dollop of fresh hollandaise from Ouse Valley. 
Asparagus is an very fascinating vegetable which grows from a crown, after planting it takes a couple of years before it can be eaten, the beds then need to be rotated and last approximately 8 years. There are different types of Asparagus. Sprue (Skinny), Choice (Medium), Best (Thick) and Kitchen (bits that don't make the grade but are still delicious for soup and cooking with).
We are always amazed when we see our asparagus shoot up, in fact it can grow up to an inch in an hour. Therefore we must make the most of it. The season traditionally ends on the 'Longest Day' 21st June but we believe we will need to stop cutting before then in order to preserve our precious crop for next year. Asparagus needs time to rejuvenate within its roots. When we leave it, the asparagus goes to fern which is fundamental for next years growth as it needs to photosynthesize it then dies back and stays dormant until next season.
The modern system of asparagus growing is to plant a double row on a raised bed with an irrigation tape down the middle. This allows us to irrigate our sandy soils in a dry year. 
So do eat as much of it as you can and lets celebrate this seasonal vegetable!