6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

Top tips for buying English asparagus

PUBLISHED: 14:06 03 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:17 20 February 2013

Top tips for buying English asparagus

Top tips for buying English asparagus

Top tips for buying English asparagus...


There are some seasons I look forward to with absolute relish and the asparagus season is one of them. It really showcases the benefits of Farmers Markets because asparagus deteriorates rapidly after harvesting, losing flavour as well as vitamins very quickly so minimising the time from field to plate is critical.

Asparagus growing expert over several decades, Michael Bourne of New Park Farm in Groombridge says: Asparagus is the first fresh British crop in spring and after the long winters, everyone is waiting for spring. For the season to open with a crop of great tasting Kent-grown asparagus really gives this remarkable vegetable the edge.

And the English climate favours a home-grown crop: Asparagus flown

in for the supermarkets from hotter climes really is a pale shadow of its English counterpart. England really does have the best climate for us to grow really tasty asparagus! adds Michael.

Stephen Barnes of Birchden Asparagus, also in Groombridge, has been growing asparagus for 17 years and he agrees that we have the best climate for asparagus.

English asparagus is so tasty because of our temperate climate. It means the crops can grow slowly and develop their intense flavours.

Birchden Farm has been growing asparagus since 1997and Stephens wife Alison is a regular at the Farmers Markets during its season. Stephen says: The most important criteria

for outstanding asparagus is freshness. Our asparagus is on sale within a couple of hours and never more

than 24 hours after its been cut.

There are some seasons I look forward to with absolute relish and the asparagus season is one of them. It really showcases the benefits of Farmers Markets because asparagus deteriorates rapidly after harvesting, losing flavour as well as vitamins very quickly so minimising the time from field to plate is critical.

Asparagus growing expert over several decades, Michael Bourne of New Park Farm in Groombridge says: Asparagus is the first fresh British crop in spring and after the long winters, everyone is waiting for spring. For the season to open with a crop of great tasting Kent-grown asparagus really gives this remarkable vegetable the edge.

And the English climate favours a home-grown crop: Asparagus flownin for the supermarkets from hotter climes really is a pale shadow of its English counterpart. England really does have the best climate for us to grow really tasty asparagus! adds Michael.

Stephen Barnes of Birchden Asparagus, also in Groombridge, has been growing asparagus for 17 years and he agrees that we have the best climate for asparagus.

English asparagus is so tasty because of our temperate climate. It means the crops can grow slowly and develop their intense flavours.

Birchden Farm has been growing asparagus since 1997and Stephens wife Alison is a regular at the Farmers Markets during its season. Stephen says: The most important criteriafor outstanding asparagus is freshness. Our asparagus is on sale within a couple of hours and never morethan 24 hours after its been cut.




Buying tips

Freshness is the absolute key farm shops and Farmers Markets really are the best guarantee of freshly cut, locally grown asparagus.

Beware of asparagus that has dried out/woody looking bases and makesure the tips arent limp or shrivelled.

Many growers say asparagus is at itsmost tasty in mid-May, half waythrough the season.

Michael Bourne says your asparagus bundle should squeak when you rub them together! Old rubbery asparagusdoesnt squeak, so make sure yours is fresh and do the squeak test!

If you are storing it, remove the bottom inch, wrap the freshly cutstems in a wet paper towel, and placein a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer.




Where to buy?

Birchden Asparagus appears at Tunbridge Wells (Town Hall) and Horsmonden Farmers Markets during the asparagus season.

New Park Farm sells its asparagusat Hildenborough, Penshurst and Tunbridge Wells (Town Hall) Farmers Markets; and Whitegates Farm sells at many markets in North East Kent.



More from Food & Drink

Thursday, August 8, 2019

If sipping a tipple in the sun is your idea of a great summer's afternoon, these pretty pub gardens will be heaven

Read more
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Christmas Day is about celebrating with loved ones over good food and conversation, so head to one of these fantastic restaurants or cosy pubs and have a festive feast

Read more
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

No Sunday is complete without a roast dinner, and in the glorious county of Kent you'll be spoilt for choice with fantastic places to go. We have picked 12 great places where you can indulge in a roast with all the trimmings

Read more

New kid in town Verdigris is making a real impact on Tonbridge's burgeoning foodie scene

Read more
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Drink in the sight and smell of our native blooms on one of these wonderful wildflower walks

Read more

Kent Life enjoys a fishy feast by the sea in Whitstable at foodie pub Pearson's Arms

Read more
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

With the same growing conditions as those in the Champagne region of France, Kent is at the heart of the UK's wine-growing industry

Read more
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

From the classic battered cod and chips to vegan 'fish' and deep fried gherkins, everybody loves a good fish and chip shop. We have picked 10 of the best places for fish and chips in Kent

Read more

Working with Kent Farmers' Market Assoication, we put a different market in the spotlight. This time, Wye Farmers' Market

Read more
Monday, July 1, 2019

Recipe shared by Graham Garett, chef/patron of The West House Restaurant with Rooms in Biddenden

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life