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Blog Post

Asparagus!

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 11:23am

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[http://www.michiganasparagus.org/|Asparagus] season is in full swing in Michigan this time of year! Michigan asparagus season begins in late April-early May in the southwest corner of the state; it wraps up in late June in the north. A recent frost has slowed the initial harvest this season but since the majority of the asparagus crop is still protected underground, it will continue to pop up through the month of June. Asparagus is a member of the lily family, so it has very extensive root systems. It grows mostly along waterways and the roots can go as deep as twelve to twenty feet.

20 Michigan family farms harvest approximately 20 million pounds of asparagus on 9,500 acres of land. It takes four years for an asparagus field to fully mature; fields last for approximately 20 years.
A single asparagus plant can produce 25 or more spears over the 7-week harvest season. During the growing season, asparagus is harvested every day as the spears can grow two to three inches a day. Harvesting stimulates production, when a spear is cut, the plant sends up another shoot. Once the harvest is complete, the remaining spears are allowed to grow up and leaf out. These plants will grow up to six feet tall and, once leafed, will look like giant ferns. This fern is nurtured all summer and feeds the root system for the following year's harvest.

Learn more about this vegetable through many items found in our collection!

Oceana County, Michigan is known as the "Asparagus Capital of the World" for its high production of asparagus.The rich history is shared in the documentary [t:Asparagus! : stalking the American life].

Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence. The leading supplier among vegetables of folic acid and it offers a wide array of nutrients in significant amounts for a healthy diet. Find recipes in [t:Vegetable literacy : cooking and gardening with twelve families from the edible plant kingdom, with over 300 deliciously simple recipes] or [t:Vegan brunch : homestyle recipes worth waking up for-- from asparagus omelets to pumpkin pancakes].

Asparagus can be crafty, [t:The gourmet paper maker : handmade paper from fruits and vegetables].

A little bit wacky and fun to read picture book story for kids is [t:The mighty asparagus].

Learn to hunt this rich vegetable with [a:Gibbons, Euell|Euell Gibbons] classic [t:Stalking the wild asparagus].

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