Asparagus is a vegetable that grows from a stalk. It is usually eaten raw but can be cooked. Asparagus is a spring vegetable that comes from the plant Asparagus Officinalis.
It is a member of the lily family (Liliaceae). Asparagus is native to Europe and Asia and was introduced into North America in the early 19th century. Asparagus is grown commercially in many countries 17th century. The first asparagus crop was planted by Sir Walter Raleigh on his estate at Highgate, England in 1596. In 1606, it was brought back to France where it became popular with royalty. King Louis XIV had an annual banquet for all of Paris’ nobility during which he would eat asparagus served up in gold dishes.
Today, asparagus is one of the most widely cultivated vegetables worldwide. Asparagus is one of the most popular veggies in the world, and for good reason. Aside from the numerous health advantages, the taste is delicious on its own and pairs well with almost any meat. But it’s astronomically costly, and we’re all scratching our heads as to why. So, after doing some research, we were able to come up with some fairly strong answers. That’s what we’re going to speak about today, four of them to be specific.
It’s broken down into five major factors, which we’ll go over in detail, but in summary:
- Asparagus is difficult to grow.
- It takes a long time.
- You’ll need a large number of individuals.
- And, when compared to other crops like apples, coffee, or raspberries, the ultimate output isn’t as high as you’d want.
The main problem with growing asparagus is that it requires a lot of space. You have to give your plants room to spread out their roots. This means they take longer than normal to mature.
They also require more water than regular food crops because they are not self-sufficient. If you don’t provide enough nutrients, then the stalks will wither away before reaching maturity.
This makes production slow and inefficient. Asparagus is a perennial plant, which means that once its roots are established and it has an opportunity to establish itself, it will stay there for a long time. At the very least, consider a few decades.
This implies that you may select it year after year as long as the land is healthy, the sun is plenty, and the water is plentiful but well-drained. The only problem is that it takes 2-3 years from planting to the first harvest, which means that farmers will be unable to do anything with the asparagus-growing field. It’ll be vacant land for the next 2-3 years, and it won’t pay for itself for years.
If you’ve ever tried to grow asparagus yourself, you know how much work goes into producing just 1 pound of fresh asparagus. And if you haven’t done this yet, you should try! There’s nothing better than eating something that took hours upon hours of labor to create.
But even though it might seem easy, growing asparagus is actually quite complicated. First off, you must choose the right soil type.
Asparagus is extremely sensitive to light and water, and its development varies greatly as a result of these variables. As a result, they must be maintained under careful control. There are times when growth accelerates significantly (much like bamboo) and the plant grows several inches each day. Because of the sensitivity of asparagus, a badly timed frost can wipe off the whole crop for the entire year.
Apart from the time it takes for the crop to take root, grow, and finally be harvested, asparagus requires extremely rich ground. This entails fertilizing as well as the use of high-quality compost while the plants are developing. Farmers will have to labor much harder this year.
When harvesting asparagus, you’re going to have to pick every stalk individually. That’s why most people hire workers who specialize in picking asparagus. They get paid by weight, so they make sure to keep track of exactly what they picked.
In addition to being tedious, picking asparagus is dangerous. When you cut through the stem, you risk cutting off all the leaves on either side of the stalk. These leaves help protect the tender shoots at the bottom of the stalk. The manner asparagus is gathered is also one of the reasons it is so costly. Asparagus is hand-picked, unlike other crops that may be gathered by machines, such as wheat, apples, or olives.
This means that employees spend their days in the fields bending over and cutting asparagus spears. By full day, we mean that a 12-hour workday is not uncommon. Work hours may be extended on days when the asparagus grows exceptionally quickly, and employees must be compensated accordingly. The major reason asparagus isn’t picked by machine is because each plant must be examined and deemed to be suitable for harvest on that specific day.
Because the status of each plant changes from day to day because to the spears’ rapid development, each plant is examined every day. After being harvested, the spears are sorted by size, packaged, and weighed before being sold.
The United States imports more asparagus than any country except China. In fact, about 90% of our supply comes from Canada and Chile. But there’s no need to worry: U.S. farmers produce enough asparagus to meet domestic demand.
Canada has been supplying us with asparagus since 1867. It was then that Canadian growers began exporting asparagus to Europe and North America. Today, Canadians export $1 billion worth of asparagus annually. The fact that asparagus is imported is another factor that contributes to its high cost. What was once a homegrown product in the United States is now a global import.
Only a few nations have the right temperature and enough land to produce asparagus correctly. Everyone, with the exception of a few (those who cultivate asparagus), imports it from elsewhere. This boosts the price, not only because of the transportation charges but also because asparagus is a fussy vegetable. Because this vegetable does not retain as well as apples during transportation, it must be packed carefully to avoid bruising or breaking.
If your local supermarket doesn’t sell asparagus, chances are good that it will come from far away. And if it did arrive locally, it would probably be shipped frozen rather than refrigerated. Frozen vegetables last longer than those kept cold, but they don’t taste nearly as good.
Asparagus is an exotic food that can be enjoyed year-round. If you live near a farm where asparagus is grown, buy some! You’ll enjoy eating fresh asparagus just like everyone else.
However, if you want to save money, look into buying canned asparagus instead. Canned asparagus tastes great and costs less than fresh. They have many health benefits. There are many types of asparagus like white asparagus, green asparagus. I hope this article helped you with all your food curiosities.