Like the produce of its neighbour Australia, New Zealand Asparagus is available when Northern Hemisphere crops are becoming dormant. The season is short from September to December with the season starting mid September building up to full production then dwindling away during December.
The amount of asparagus grown in New Zealand does not make it a major player in the world market. However around half of its produce is exported or processed with the rest going to its home market.
Very little white asparagus is grown but some purple is grown as well as the more common green varieties. The purple varieties are sweeter and good eaten raw with salads. A common purple variety grown here is Pacific Purple.
Asparagus is grown in the south of the North Island and in the Canterbury area of the South Island.
The South Island has its own growers assoication SIAGA the South Isalnd Asparagus Growers Association. This assoication is encouraging the planting of more asparagus in the Canterbury area where there is pleanty of suitable land. The council state that the cooler climate on the South Island leads to a slower growth of spears which leads to a great taste.
The SIAGA web site suggests that asparagus can be bought from the farm gate with payment often via an honesty box system. Now there's a good old fashioned idea! Long may it last.....
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The easiest way to cook Asparagus!
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Basics of how to cook fresh asparagusstart by looking at How to Cook Asparagus first for some background information on a range of cooking methods.
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