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  • Washington Fresh Asparagus Now Available at Stores & Local Restaurants! 04.23.18

     

    The local Washington asparagus season has begun!

     

    Nearly 100 asparagus farmers in Eastern Washington have begun their harvest, packing the first of fresh Washington State asparagus. Last year, 21 million pounds of Washington asparagus were harvested, making Washington State the largest grower of asparagus in the United States!

     

    During April, May and June asparagus takes over the culinary spotlight throughout the Northwest! Shoppers have access to asparagus all year long due to international imports, but with much fewer road miles and transit time from farm to market, the local product offers fresher flavor and better quality than imported asparagus. Plus you are supporting our local farmers, so make sure your asparagus is labeled Washington and if not, ask your produce department.

     

     

    Did you know? Asparagus is labor intensive, accounting for 60 percent of the cost of asparagus. An asparagus farmer must harvest his or her fields of asparagus every day of the season. Because the fragile spears rise from the earth in different places daily and are relatively fragile, each one must be individually hand-cut from the ground.

     

    Washington State’s asparagus industry also offers the USDA Grade “Washington Extra Fancy” asparagus, which is a superior product that offers the best possible quality of asparagus. Another favorite in the Washington asparagus industry is Jumbo Asparagus. Jumbo asparagus doesn’t differ in flavor but has thicker stalks and a heartier texture, excellent for grilling! Shoppers are encouraged to #stalkup on Extra Fancy and Jumbo asparagus at Metropolitan Markets throughout Western Washington! And if you’re near Spokane pick up your asparagus at My Fresh Basket.

     

     

    In addition to Washington asparagus hitting grocery stores, dozens of Seattle and Eastside restaurants have fresh Washington asparagus on their menus with unique and delicious dishes such as Asparagus Caesar at Cantina Leña, Chicken Piccata with Grilled Washington Asparagus at Agrodolce, Washington Asparagus with Lemon Brown Butter at Lark, Braised Oregon Rabbit with Washington Asparagus and Green Garlic Cavatelli at RN74 and more.

     

    Local Restaurants with Fresh Washington Asparagus dishes include:

    Agrodolce

    Bastille

    Belltown Brewing

    Brave Horse Tavern

    Brimmer & Heeltap

    Café Juanita

    Cantina Lena

    Cuoco

    Dahlia Lounge

    Joule

    Lark

    Local 360 Café & Bar

    Loulay

    Luc

    Poquitos

    Ray’s Boathouse & Café

    Rhein Haus (Seattle & Tacoma)

    RN74

    Stoneburner

    The Carlile Room

    Tilth 

    Wandering Goose

     

    Additionally, check out Washington asparagus featured in Alaska Beyond Magazine, Seattle Kitchen Radio Show and 425 Magazine this past month!

     

     

    Asparagus packs great health benefits. It is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C and is among the best vegetable sources for folate (a prenatal staple to help prevent birth defects) and glutathione (an anti-carcinogen and antioxidant). It contains no fat, no cholesterol and is very high in fiber. For home cooks, asparagus offers versatility: steamed, simmered, roasted, grilled, sautéed or wok-fried. For recipes, cooking tips and nutrition information go to waasparagus.com/recipes.

     

    Lastly, to enjoy all of the delicious and healthful benefits of asparagus head to the Tri-Cities May 12 for the Asparagus Fest & Brews in Pasco! Learn about asparagus while having some fun with live music, brews and sampling a variety of asparagus concoctions (asparagus ice cream, anyone?!). Enjoy music from Knutzen Brothers and Badlandz, sip brews at the Watering Hole, sample a variety of Asparagus delicacies–deep fried, grilled, and pickled. Meet the farmer on a hayride tour of an operational asparagus farm to learn where your food comes from, and walk away with some fresh asparagus! Plus play around on Middleton’s jumping pillow, human foosball and other great games, and asparagus eating contests. Asparagus themed dinner will be available for purchase from local restaurants.

     

    The 2018 Asparagus Fest & Brews will be held May 12th at Middleton Six Sons Farms from 5-10pm for only $10 admission. We’ll see you there!!

     

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  • Washington Fresh Asparagus in Season + Ready for You! 05.16.17

    Nearly 100 asparagus farmers in a 100-mile radius of the Tri-Cities have began harvesting and packing the first fresh Washington State asparagus. A harbinger of spring, asparagus is the first Pacific Northwest vegetable of many that follow to market.
     

     

    Last year, 21 million pounds of Washington asparagus were harvested, which, for growers and packers in the industry, meant roughly a $36 million economic impact. Mother Nature will dictate the season’s final yield, but growers are optimistic about 2017.

     

    This spring, approximately 5,000 acres in Washington are producing asparagus. Alan Schreiber, executive director of the Washington Asparagus Commission, said over the past four years, growers have been planting newer varieties of asparagus and following more intensive management practices. This has resulted in better yields with superior quality.

     

     

    The majority of Washington state’s fresh asparagus remains in the country, with much of it consumed in the Pacific Northwest. Local consumers have access to asparagus all year long due to imports, but by the first half of April, Washington asparagus starts arriving at retailers and showing up on restaurant menus for about two months. An added benefit: Washington State’s asparagus industry has taken a step above the USDA standard for U.S. Grade One asparagus to almost universally offer “Washington Extra Fancy” asparagus, a super premium product packed at a higher grade that offers the best possible quality.

     

    Schreiber said consumers can usually identify Washington-grown asparagus at retail by looking for the rubber band around each bunch that identifies it as Washington, or by hang tags in the produce sections. Consumers can also ask their produce steward. With much fewer road miles and transit time from farm to market, the local product offers fresher flavor and quality than imported asparagus.

     


     

    Asparagus packs great health benefits. It is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C and is among the best vegetable sources for folate (a prenatal staple to help prevent birth defects) and glutathione (an anticarcinogen and antioxidant). It contains no fat, no cholesterol and is very high in fiber. For home cooks, asparagus offers versatility: steamed, simmered, roasted, grilled, sautéed or wok-fried.

     

    About The Washington Asparagus Commission

    Established in 1991, The Washington Asparagus Commission promotes Washington Asparagus both domestically and in the foreign markets, monitors and addresses trade issues, and advances environmentally sound production and practices through research. The Washington Asparagus Commission represents the growers’ interest in areas and issues relating to the asparagus industry. The Commission invites the public, retailers and restaurateurs to share their Washington fresh asparagus enthusiasm via social media with the hashtags #getfreshwithus and #WAfreshasparagus. Learn more at www.waasparagus.com

     

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