1252 Indian RD, Creston BC • 1-250-428-2734
Asparagus or Asparagus officinalis originated in Greese. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season, and dried the vegetable for use in winter. Romans even froze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. A recipe for cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.
Asparagus became widely available in the new world around 1850. There is a rumor that when the railroads were built laborers brought asparagus seed with them. That is why to this day you can still find wild asparagus growing next to many railroad tracks.
Asparagus Nutritional Information
Water makes up 93% of Asparagus's composition. Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.
Our Production & Harvest
Sutcliffe Farms grows 100 acres of Kootenay Green Asparagus in a rotation. Our soil type is classified as silt clay loam and our land is situated on a rich fertile alluvial flood plain. Our asparagus is sub irrigated by the Kootenay River located adjacent to our farm. Most asparagus is grown on sand with all water and nutrients added. Our unique conditions produce a perfect asparagus spear using native minerals to create a taste like no other. We use conventional farming methods and deal with our pests in the off-season as to not jeopardize the integrity of our crops.
To start we plant asparagus seeds 7 inches apart in ditches that are 4 feet apart and 8 inches deep. Over the next two years we slowly bury the stalk until earth is level. We then tend to the crop for an average on the 4 years which allows the asparagus plant to grow large enough to market and also create enough subterranean food reserves to harvest the plant for a full season. On that 4th year Sutcliffe farms can harvest the crop for the majority of the picking season.
Our picking season is weather dependent and starts in the beginning of May and ends roughly half way through June. Once harvest is finished we then let the plants grow to their full height of six to seven feet fern. This is done so the plant can replenish their subterranean food reserves for the next growing year.
There is little need for scare crows on our farm as asparagus is not liked by most wild animals. Asparagus seed is eaten mainly by birds and is indigestible to them. Once the seed is eaten, the birds then deposit them in there stool miles away. This is how asparagus is distributed in the wild.
In the fall frost kills the fern above the ground and the plant goes into dormancy for the winter time. We then mow the fern down and incorporate the fern back into the soil for nutrients. In the spring any remaining organic matter is then again worked back into the soil. Shortly after the soil warms up enough and spears shoot to the surface again. We are then again ready to harvest.
Asparagus is a perennial with many different verities. Over the years we have tried numerous types from Washington to California. We now mainly grow varieties from Canada and Michagan.
Our Asparagus brand is called Kootenay Green and is distributed in Super markets and the roadside stands west of Creston. We have built up a larger clientele over the past 40 years and sell over half our yield at the farm gates. We welcome you to visit us and take our Free Friday farm tour.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Vitamin A equiv.
Pantothenic acid (B5)
85 kJ (20 kcal)
(5%) 38 μg
(4%) 449 μg
(12%) 0.143 mg
(7%) 0.978 mg
(5%) 0.274 mg
(7%) 0.091 mg
(13%) 52 μg
(3%) 16 mg
(7%) 5.6 mg
(7%) 1.1 mg
(40%) 41.6 μg
(2%) 24 mg
(16%) 2.14 mg
(4%) 14 mg
(8%) 0.158 mg
(7%) 52 mg
(4%) 202 mg
(0%) 2 mg
(6%) 0.54 mg