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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Picnic baskets at the ready because we have gathered 10 of the best places to enjoy a picnic in stunning rural Kent

Read more

Fine Art graduate Arianne Mills on having quite possibly the best job in Kent

Read more
April 2019

A great location on Folkestone’s famous Leas, a dedicated young team and really tasty food awaits at The View Hotel

Read more
April 2019

Artisan spirits are a booming business. You can visit any or all of Kent’s fascinating distilleries in search of your new favourite tipple

Read more
March 2019
Thursday, March 21, 2019

These Kent hotels all have great restaurants, so you can indulge in locally sourced tasty food before a night in a sumptuous room

Read more

Brought to life by a family team with strong local connections, The Powell is back where it belongs in the heart of its community

Read more
March 2019

We are delighted to announce our seventh Food and Drink Awards and this year have 14 categories in which to make your nominations

Read more
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Our food and drink newsletter is brimming with all of your local foodie highlights.

Read more
Thursday, February 28, 2019

There are new faces behind the bar at historic pub The White Horse in Hawkinge, which has reopened after a £200,000 transformation

Read more
February 2019
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Join the micropub revolution! This unique style of small, one-room pubs was born in Kent and has caught on with micropubs appearing all over the country. We have selected 12 of the best in Kent for you to visit

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