Local asparagus season springs into action

May 14, 2024

Guelph ON,  – Locally grown Ontario asparagus is now hitting store shelves and farmers markets across Ontario. This first fruit and vegetable crop of the season marks the unofficial start of spring and the abundance of local fruit and vegetable options that will soon be available from Ontario growers.

“It’s always an exciting and busy time for us,” says Mike Chromczak, an asparagus grower and Vice-Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA). “There’s a sense of pride when you see the first green spears begin to emerge. It’s a relatively quick growing season, lasting six to eight weeks, but we’re working full tilt during that time, harvesting almost every day to provide fresh top-quality asparagus for Ontarians to enjoy.”

Sustainability is at the core of Ontario’s asparagus farming, with growers employing techniques like planting cover crops to naturally control weeds and prevent soil erosion. Growers are also reducing the carbon footprint of harvesting, such as transitioning to electric versions of the specialized carts workers sit in as they harvest asparagus by hand, for example.

Local asparagus season offers a great opportunity for consumers to support sustainable agriculture around Ontario. By choosing locally grown, residents can reduce their carbon footprint, support local growers and enjoy the unmatched freshness and taste that comes from produce grown close to home.

Looking to incorporate asparagus into your springtime meal plans? Here are some suggestions on the best ways to use the tasty vegetable:

  • Grill on the barbecue: The perfect side dish for the first outdoor gathering with friends and family.
  • Use as an appetizer: Cook your preferred way, steamed or grilled, and serve with a dip of your choice.
  • Include in soup: Put a unique spin on your favourite vegetable soup recipe and add some chopped asparagus.

“It’s incredibly versatile and great value. Asparagus is so dense in nutrients and price competitive with most items in the produce department,” Chromczak continues. “Each season, we’re reminded of the hard work and dedication that goes into harvest, but it’s always great to see people so excited about local asparagus.”

From early-May to early-June, Ontario asparagus will be available at farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants around the province.

Source : Inside halton
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