Asparagus has a long history going back as far as the first century.
We have records of it growing in ancient Greece and Rome.
Egyptians over 2,000 years ago cultivated asparagus
for medicinal reasons and legend has it that it was so revered
they offered it up to gods in their rituals.
As with all vegetables the first asparagus was discovered in the wild. A wild asparagus has thin shoots thinner than a pencil and is much different than the asparagus that you find In your grocery counter.
Through selective breeding and growing techniques
they developed a thicker stem with more edible flesh.
It was cultivated in gardens in ancient Rome some as far back as the first century AD.
of the varieties produced, one was so big each spear weighed 1/3 of a pound.
An Asparagus Farm
The Name: The Ancient Greeks and Romans used a Persian word "asparag" which meant
shoot. the term sperage became popular for many years and in the 16th century
we find the term "sparagus" used in English speaking countries. the peasants
would call it " sparrow grass". During the 19th century Asparagus took over about
the same time that cultivation of asparagus started in the United States.
Asparagus is planted in the ground three years before it can be harvested for the full season. First comes the seed then comes the plant. Farmers only harvest for short period of time the first few years to allow for further growth. The mature plant is harvested all season which typically stretches up to 90 days. Asparagus will grow sometimes 6 to 7 inches in one day!
An Asparagus plant will generally produce from 8 to 12 years depending on different factors.
Asparagus farm pics
Is it true white asparagus comes from the same plant as green asparagus?
Yes, that is true. When the spears emerge from the ground, the sunlight turns the stalks green. To get white asparagus, about 6 inches of dirt is piled on top of the plants so that the stalks can grow underground. They will grow at the same rate as an uncovered stalk.
When the tip breaks the soil surface, the worker probes under ground with his special knife to cut the stalk. This stalk is all white.
A white Asparagus Farm in Eastern Germany. The mounded rows are covered with plastic.
Purple asparagus originated from a region around Albenga, Italy. This "cultivar" is known as Violetto d/Albenga. Although the spears are of deep purple color, the ferns are actually green. The farmers in Albenga region propagate the plants using seeds from open pollination. Seeds are usually collected from vigorous female plants producing large spears.
Purple hybrids produce larger spears but fewer in number per plant than the green hybrids.
Purple asparagus is much sweeter and more tender than green asparagus. Thus, it is very suitable for use in salad.
Purple asparagus retains its color after brief cooking such as quick sauteing. But it loses its purple and changes to green if subjected to prolonged cooking. Courtesy of this site
Pretty much all over the world!
You can look for used farm equipment and grow it yourself.
I have and it is an exciting. The stalks can grow to full length so quick,
in a day, you can almost watch it grow.
California produces most of the crop for the United States,
also Washington and Michigan grow a great deal.
Other countries that are major growers of asparagus are
China which is the largest and Peru which is the second largest.
Why is Asparagus considered an Aphrodisiac?
The shape is certainly a factor!
an Arabian love manual written in the 16th century provided an asparagus recipe
to stimulate erotic desires. Part of the lily family, asparagus contains plenty of vitamin A and C.
Consume over three consecutive days for the most powerful effect, say some experts.
Stockton Asparagus Festival
Ranked by some of the finest culinary critics in the country as one of the best food festivals in the West. That's because Asparagus Alley offers delicious and unique dishes for all tastes. Come enjoy this truly special celebration of Central Valley's own...asparagus!