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This wonderful spring vegetable is low in calories high in dietary fibre, iron, protein and Vitamins B C E K.
It is over 2000 years since people started cultivating Asparagus and it is thought it was the Romans although it was also very popular in Greece. The name actually comes from the Greek word for “sprout” of “shoot”. It was known as “food of Kings” and was enjoyed by Julius Ceasar, the Emperor Augustus and Louis XIV of France.
The main crops in Australia are the green and white varieties grown from early autumn to late spring. These are the same plant but the white asparagus is grown underground to keep it away from the sunlight. We also grow a smaller amount purple asparagus but only for a two month period. About 80% of Australia’s Asparagus is grown in Victoria around the Koo Wee Rup area.
Asparagus is a spear which grows from a crown under the soil. During the growing season they continuously emerge and amazingly can grow 25cm in 24 hours in ideal conditions.
Harvesting is a very delicate operation as the spears are very perishable and will continue to develop after harvesting. Keep asparagus moist when storing.
Now head to your local green grocer, buy some fresh asparagus and eat the “food of kings”.