What’s in season? Asparagus of course!

shelf-ready-spears-low-resWhat’s in season? It’s May, which in Ontario means asparagus.

These days, asparagus is available pretty much year round in our supermarkets, but to me, nothing beats the freshness and flavour of homegrown Ontario product.

Harvest was in full swing at Birkbank Farms when I was there yesterday. Owned by Jeff and Sharon Wilson, the farm located near Hillsburgh, Ontario – about 45 minutes northwest of Toronto between Orangeville and Guelph – is one of the largest of Ontario’s 120 asparagus farms.


The spindly stalk growing in the field is hand picked, then washed, sorted and bundled before making its way


onto store shelves.

The succulent spears are then sold to area retailers as well as directly to the public through the Wilsons’ on-farm store.

The Wilsons grow Millennium asparagus, a variety developed at the University of Guelph and winner of the 2005 Seed of the Year award. Millennium is a hardy variety that, after its introduction in 1996, now accounts for a large part of Ontario’s asparagus crop.

sign-low-resFor some fabulous recipes and to learn more about asparagus, check out the websites of the Ontario Asparagus Growers or Foodland Ontario.

Click here for a list of growers where you can buy Ontario asparagus direct from the farm.

This  “What’s in season?” feature will appear periodically on this blog as we move through the Ontario growing season.

With our diverse agriculture, there will be no shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables ready to make their way to our tables all spring, summer and fall.

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