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Vegetables
Asparagus

Featured Recipes: Gardening Tips:
Asparagus Forever
In spring, asparagus is the star of the show, its spears popping up like daffodils. But after the spectacular feast, it’s easy to forget that the plants are still growing, with needs just as pressing as those of annual crops. The care you give asparagus after it bears will insure a good harvest next year.
Removing weeds is paramount, especially rhizomatous grasses that can become entwined with the roots. A thick mulch of spoiled hay will inhibit most weeds, and also help keep the soil moist between waterings. Irrigate the bed in dry weather, and nutrients from the hay will trickle down into the soil to add fertility as well.



Long considered a delicacy, Asparagus initially takes a bit more work and patience than other vegetables in the garden, but it is well worth the effort! One of nature's most perfect foods, asparagus is the quintessential celebration of spring in many international cuisines and an elegant course in the finest dinner menu. Yet, it is one of the easiest to prepare: raw, blanched, roasted, grilled or steamed. The asparagus harvested from your own garden will taste so much better than any you could ever buy in a market. As soon as they are cut, the slender spears start to loose their innate, sweet, succulent flavor. Quite simply, there is nothing better than having your own, mature asparagus bed. (Asparagus seed should be sown in a temporary nursery bed prior to transplanting it to its permanent patch after one season. Once in its permanent patch, it is easy to grow in Horticultural Zones 4-8 but can take up to four years to produce spears for harvest without damaging the root stock for future crops. You can probably sneak a couple spears for a special dinner after three years.)

Average seed life: 3 years

     
#1070 Luscious Green Asparagus AKA UC 157 (F2)
New! The fresh market leader since its 1978 introduction by the University of California, our Luscious Green Asparagus, technically known as UC 157, produces loads of early, tasty, dark all-green spears without any purple pigmentation. Unlike most green varieties, its straight, tight, tapering heads are dependable even in temperate climates and high heat. Savor it in Still River Cafe’s velvet Asparagus Bisque with a Parsnip Flan, or simply, in our Asparagus Rafts. (OP.)

Packet of 100 Seeds / $3.95

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#1050 Purple Passion Asparagus
Without question, Purple Passion Asparagus is a connoisseur’s delight. Its tender spears are beautiful, deep burgundy with a creamy green interior, tight buds and a rounded tip. More tender, mild and sweet than standard varieties, Purple Passion is very vigorous and productive and will yield spears ready for harvest a year earlier than most varieties.

Tender Purple Passion is best appreciated raw in salads or steamed with just a bit of butter and lemon (and chopped, hard boiled eggs-the Dutch way). When cooked, it develops a rich yet mild nutty flavor and a paler purple color. For a special treat, lightly toast a slice of French bread or garlic bread. Butter it and place steamed asparagus on top of the warm toast raft. Pour equal parts fresh lemon juice and melted butter over the asparagus. It is simple, and simply delicious. Asparagus ambrosia! (OP.)

Available for shipping in late January!

Packet of 100 Seeds / $5.95

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