Michigan Asparagus Season Draws to a Close
- by Lilian Diep
DEWITT, MI - I’ve been eating asparagus on and off for the past couple of weeks now, both organic and conventional. One of my favorite dishes that my dad makes is Salt & Pepper Shrimp with Asparagus, and I look forward to that every, single, year (I’ve already requested it four times this summer). Sadly up in Michigan, asparagus has come to an end, but growers are enjoying a well-deserved break after a busy season. Michigan growers had a booming 6-7 week growing season thanks to ideal weather conditions. April showers bring asparagus sprouts.
“When the weather gets hot, the asparagus just shoots up,” explains John Bakker, Executive Director of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. “Under the right conditions, we’ll see up to 10 inches of growth in a single day. Those are the days that require us to go through a field two or three times to harvest. If a grower gets behind, they’ll have to mow the field and lose that part of the harvest—that’s why the mild temperatures we had this season are so important.”
The steady and predictable growth this year produced superb sprouts, displaying excellent tip quality, delicious fresh flavor, and desirable thickness. According to the press release, the USDA reported that this year’s fresh market production reached an all-time high of 14 million pounds and 7 million pounds were sold. This season, the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board plowed through the summer with nationwide consumer-facing campaigns that emphasized freshness, food miles, sustainability, and supporting local farmers. Along with the campaigns, weekly swag giveaways featuring themed hoodies, kitchen towels, and shopping bags brought customer engagement. The response was positive—consumers overwhelmingly expressed they preferred to purchase locally and many became advocates for Michigan Asparagus.
Congratulations to the Michigan asparagus farmers! We at AndNowUKnow hope you enjoy your well-deserved break and we can’t wait to see you again during your next harvest.