We have been eagerly awaiting the beautiful bunches of green stalks with purple tinged tips. The height of the season in California runs from March to June. California asparagus is mainly grown at the confluence of California’s two greatest rivers, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, in the rich peat of the delta lands an hour south of Sacramento and in the Salinas Valley about 2 hours south of San Francisco. California produces over 70 percent of the nation’s fresh market asparagus.
Asparagus is a perennial crop producing year after year. The crowns are planted in long beds deep in the ground. New hybrid varieties can produce for a few weeks after a year in the ground and older varieties may take up to 3 years to produce. Once the plant is established, it can produce for 10 years or longer. The stalks only turn green when they are exposed to the sun and develop chlorophyll. Did you know? As the weather warms, a single asparagus spear can grow anywhere from 6 to 10 inches in a single day!
When you’re ready to eat them, snap or cut off the white portion of the butt end of the asparagus. They’re perfect coated with olive oil and roasted, which leaves them firmer, nuttier and sweeter than steaming. Asparagus is high vitamin C and K and folic acid and contain less than 50 calories per 6 oz serving. Click here for more recipes.
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