Asparagus spears are hardy and are actually the shoots of a perennial plant that is a member of the lily family. Asparagus comes in hues of green, purple and white, although green is the most commonly seen in the stores in the U.S. A well planted and cared for asparagus plant can produce for 10+ years.
- Vitamin K important for blood clotting
- Folate important for preventing neural tube defects and may help prevent cancer
- Vitamin A important for vision, bone development, and immune function
- Potassium helps lower blood pressure and helps muscles contract
How to Shop
Select bright green asparagus with closed, compact, and firm tips that do not have dry ends. Asparagus comes in different sizes, thickness does not influence quality but choosing stalks with the same thickness can help with cooking times. If the tips are slightly wilted, freshen them up by soaking them in cold water.
How to Grow
Planting one or two-year-old crowns or plants are preferred. Place the plants in a trench 12 to 18 inches wide and a full six inches deep. The crowns should be spaced 9 to 12 inches apart with the roots spread out uniformly, and the crown bud side up, in an upright, centered position. Cover the crown with soil and gradually fill the remaining portion of the trench during the first summer as the plants grow taller
How to Store
Fresh asparagus will keep 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. Refrigerate upright with cut ends in water or with cut ends wrapped in wet paper towels in a plastic bag.