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Asparagus

Facts:

Asparagus is a sure sign of spring! Did you know that it takes three years for an asparagus field to mature for harvest? Once they get going, asparagus plants can be harvested each spring for 15 years or more. The spears in their first year will be extremely thin. These mini-spears will eventually grow into a ferny, waist-high canopy which feeds the underground rhizomes with energy produced by the sun. In year two, the plants gain strength and by the third year, some of the spears will be ready to harvest.

Asparagus is high in vitamin K and folate, and in anti-inflammatory nutrients as well as provides a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E.

Prep Tips:

Rinse the spears with cold water. Cut off the woody base of each spear. If desired, scrape off the scales on the spears with a vegetable peeler. This gives the spears a smooth, clean look and is especially beneficial for tough or fat spears.

Storage Tips:

Store in plactic bag, use within 5 days. The fresher, the better.

Harvest Season:

April, May & June

Farm Recipe:

Roasted Asparagus:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss lightly to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, about 15 minutes or until crisp-tender, lightly tossing twice during roasting. Season with herbs and lemon.

Asparagus on the Grill:
Generously brush asparagus with olive oil or melted butter. Place asparagus on a piece of heavy foil or directly on grill rack. Grill 7 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning occasionally.

Steamed Asparagus:
Place a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to just below the bottom of the basket. Bring water to boiling. Add asparagus to steamer basket. Cover and reduce heat. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.

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