What About the Asparagus?

As we wait for the rest of our crops to grow and produce, we harvested the remaining garlic scapes and strawberries from the beds. Our next harvest would be the garlic bulbs themselves, which will still be a few weeks away. So I decided, why not give an update about our asparagus beds?

Mary Kate, the intern last summer, helped to plant the asparagus bed in the Sullivan Memorial Garden. This year marks the first year of its growth but we didn’t harvest this year and won’t be for the next two years. It takes three years for new asparagus crop to establish, fully develop its roots system, and be productive. By waiting three years, we could see the asparagus plants produce for the next 30 years!

Our asparagus plants have “ferned out” and grown in their fronds. Some of which are 5 feet tall! The fronds are essential for feeding the asparagus through photosynthesis and keeping it healthy. We are also seeing new asparagus spears come in, which will later grow and “fern out” to provide more food for the plant. This is a good sign of a maturing crop. The fronds are now producing “berries”, which are not berries but are actually seed pods that can be used to grow new asparagus.

Asparagus season usually begins in late spring to early summer, around May to June in these parts! However, I have still been seeing asparagus in the stores and you would likely still see them at the Dexter Farmer’s Market!

Did you know?

Asparagus is a “nutritionally balanced” vegetable? It contains Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and it is a good source of folate, which is a B-vitamin that is essential during pregnancy and for children going through rapid growth (infants and adolescents).

Folate is needed when creating DNA and RNA, all of which are necessary for creating new cells in our body!

Green Monster Pasta

It’s a popular misconception that any and all carbs are bad for you. In fact, the recommended daily intake of grain foods is around 6 oz for adults. However, half of those grains should come from whole-grain sources like brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat bread.

Here’s a delicious, simple recipe packed with whole grains, veggies and fruits (avocado IS a fruit!). I’m not a big fan of eating vegetables myself but trust me, getting the greens crisp in the pan makes it taste 100 times better. The avocado adds a creaminess and richness to the dish that leaves your whole family satisfied!

Ingredients
(serves 6, 646 calories per serving)
30 minutes

1 lbs brown rice pasta (or choice of pasta)
8 oz jar of pesto
1 lbs brussel sprouts
1 lbs asparagus
1-2 avocados
2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, boil lightly salted water over medium-high heat.
  2. When the water is boiling, add the dried brown rice pasta. Follow instructions on package. When done, drain pasta and place in large bowl.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Cut off the ends of the brussel sprouts and quarter the brussel sprouts (split each into 4).
  4. Cut off any really hard, fibrous ends of the asparagus. Half if the asparagus is too long.
  5. In a large frying pan, heat up the 3 tbsp of olive oil (use less if desired) over medium heat.
  6. Add in the brussel sprouts and asparagus. Cover the pan until the insides are soft enough to your liking.
  7. Remove cover and continue cooking until vegetables are browned.
  8. Add vegetables to the large bowl with pasta.
  9. Add the whole jar of pesto into the bowl, mix all together until coated.
  10. Half the avocados and make slices in the avocado half. Scoop the insides of the avocados out and add to your pasta. Enjoy!

Sources

https://www.aveggieventure.com/2018/10/beauty-of-asparagus-berries.html
https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-health-benefits-of-asparagus
https://www.choosemyplate.gov/node/5517

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