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2017 Asparagus Season Happening Now

Asparagus

Asparagus

Farm Fresh is Best

What: Asparagus
When: May 1 through mid June
How: Sold on farm by the pound, pre-weighed and bagged self service Honor System. Self service everyday 8A – 8P.
Exact amount cash or write a check and put in the black box

At Heartland Farms we offer Jersey GIANT asparagus priced by the pound in common “plastic” bags. We have found it best not to seal bag airtight, but do fold the top to prevent moisture loss, then place in the refrigerator crisper. Will often keep 10 days or more, but usually gets eaten in less than 3 or 4. Truly fresh asparagus will snap apart when the stalk is held firmly and forced to bend.

What are the nutritional attributes of Asparagus?

You can enjoy asparagus to the max and not have to worry about excessive calorie intake. For example, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of raw asparagus has only 15 calories, while the same quantity cooked contains 22 calories.

That same 1/2 cup (120 ml) of raw asparagus provides 2.1 grams of protein, cooked offers 2.9 grams, slightly higher. Fiber is not asparagus's high point, offering only 1.41 grams of dietary fiber for that 1/2 cup (120 ml) of raw spears and tips; however, vitamin A, folacin, and potassium are its main attributes, along with trace amounts of B vitamins, copper, and zinc.

Did You Know? For Your Information

All through history asparagus has been trumpeted as an aphrodisiac. A 16th century Arabian love manual gave an asparagus recipe to create a stimulant for amorous desires. In 18th Century France Madame Pompadour had her asparagus concoction for sexual vigor.

History

“Asparagus” is from the ancient Greek, who used the word to refer to all tender shoots picked and savored while very young. Asparagus, Onions and Chives are members of the Lily family. Asparagus is widely cultivated for its tender, succulent, edible shoots. Asparagus cultivation began more than 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region. For centuries European cultures prized asparagus for its unique flavor texture and alleged medicinal qualities. They ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter. As early as 200 BC the Romans had how-to-grow directions for asparagus. They enjoyed it in season and were the first to preserve it by freezing. In the 1st Century fast chariots and runners took asparagus from the Tiber River area to the snowline of the Alps where it was kept for six months until the Feast of Epicurus. The characteristics of asparagus were well known to the ancient Roman emperors. King Louis XIV of France ordered special greenhouses built so he could enjoy asparagus all year-round. Asparagus gained popularity in France and England during the 1500’s and came to the America’s with the colonists. Early American Indians dried asparagus for use later or to make medicine. In the dry, arid lands it is especially useful as a natural diuretic or for bladder and kidney problems. It contains a factor in preventing small capillary blood vessels from rupturing and was used for heart problems. Asparagus is very high in vitamin K. Asparagus is highly versatile. In China, asparagus spears are candied and served as special treats.

It is widely popular today around the world as a scrumptious, fresh, and healthy vegetable. People throughout Europe, Asia, and North America use fresh asparagus in their favorite cuisine.