19 Apr 2011

British Asparagus.. growing it

The smell of cut grass, the sound of birdsong, the sight of daffodils, the taste of asparagus – Spring is here!
As I mentioned in my asparagus article this time last year, asparagus represents British food at its best but it has a woefully unpredictable and short season. The good news this year is that the first crop has come very early indeed. You may have noticed it already in the shops or at your local farmers market. At Ripley Farmers Market on Sunday, bundles of asparagus on Secretts stall were snapped up very quickly.
I have tried to grow asparagus from two year old crowns – but my soil if definitely not right! One of my girlfriends has a whole bed of it (envy). Once the tips have stopped growing (apparently you must always leave a third unpicked towards the end of the season) the leaf fronds that are produced all summer are fabulous for flower arranging.
In my opinion the very best way to enjoy it is communally. Gather a group of close friends in the garden, wander through the beds with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand picking fresh spears and popping them onto the BBQ for a minute. Dip in melted butter or lemon mayonnaise, fresh, tasty, heavenly.
Happy eating and gardening!

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