Since the beginning of Pendleton’s Country Market, asparagus has been the cornerstone and beginning of the harvest season. As the growers and caretakers of the largest single patch of asparagus in the state of Kansas, we enjoy sharing information about the care, feeding, and culinary preparation of this remarkable little vegetable. We promote gardeners to plant asparagus in their gardens, and hope to give you the tools that will make your asparagus patch a success!
We have two varieties of asparagus this year, Millennium and Purple Passion.
Millennium is the main green variety that is recommended for growers at this point in time. We have grown this variety for a number of years now, with success, and are converting our fields of UC157 to this variety. Its yields surpass the Jersey varieties by almost twofold, and can still take our warm summers. Growers are reporting higher yields and better stand longevity with Millennium. It goes dormant earlier in the fall and wakes up more slowly in the spring, reducing the risk of early spring frost damage. This should also reduce the risk of asparagus beetle overwintering.
The “Purple Passion” cultivar of asparagus produces a beautiful burgundy colored, low fibered spear with tightly opressed bud scales and a rounded head shaped tip. The interior of Purple Passion is a creamy-green color. Spear diameter is larger than green asparagus due to the vigorous growth they undergo. The flavor of this spear is mild and sweet, often referred to as being like fresh green peas. Sugar content of Purple Passion is also 20% higher than green asparagus.