Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence. It leads nearly all produce items in the wide array of nutrients it supplies in significant amounts for a healthy diet.
• Asparagus is a member of the Lily family. 
• Asparagus spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils. 
• Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10" in a 24-hour period. 
• Each crown will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer. 
•  The outdoor temperature determines how much time will be between each picking...early in the season, there may be 4-5 days between pickings and as the days and nights get warmer, a particular field may have to be picked every 24 hours. 
• After harvesting is done the spears grow into ferns, which produce red berries and the food and nutrients necessary for a healthy and productive crop the next season.  
• An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first 3 years after the crowns are planted allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system. 
• A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted. 
• The larger the diameter, the better the quality! 
• Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin. 
• Asparagus has No Fat, contains No Cholesterol and is low in Sodium.
Asparagus Selection: Select firm, straight, smooth, rich green stalks with tightly-closed tips. Ridges in the stems and a dull green color are an indication of old age. The stalks should not be limp or dry at the cut. Choose stalks of uniform thickness for more control throughout cooking process.
Asparagus Availability: Although fresh asparagus is available year-round in most markets, prime season is in spring, from February to June with April being the most active harvest month in the northern hemisphere.

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