I'm delighted that today, St George's Day, is also the official start of the short-lived asparagus season. This year, to say thank you to the NHS for everything they have done, the first-cut round of asparagus will be delivered to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Chief Nurse Paula Gardner will be on hand to receive nearly 1000 asparagus spears from Gus the Asparagus Man, which will be distributed amongst staff. Pubs, cafes and restaurants have also been reopened and in Worcestershire, many have promised asparagus as a key feature as they welcome back customers.
The start of asparagus season is always a key event in the constituency with the Vale of Evesham known as the home of British asparagus. Before the pandemic, I would look forward to the Asparagus Festival every year and be amazed by the different asparagus products (asparagus gin anyone?) available here. Of course, the past two years we’ve had to find other ways to celebrate, but I know that locals will find ways to celebrate our amazing local produce.
Throughout the Vale of Evesham local eateries will be serving asparagus in a myriad of ways – for example, sausages, jam and even ice cream. The first cut asparagus will be blessed and then the asparamancer will make predictions for the year ahead. The asparagus will then be taken to the hospital for the handover.
Visit www.britishasparagusfestival.co.uk for more information, as well as asparagus recipes and the history of asparagus.
(Photos taken this year, and from the Asparagus Festival 2016)