For the Love of Asparagus

Every year our first major crop that we bring to market is asparagus. It’s the first green that we see that’s from our fields and that’s edible and really is a beacon of spring and the warm weather to come.

We love asparagus. So many of our friends and customers do too and tell us when they get to the market and see it’s available! But what is asparagus?

Origin of Asparagus

Asparagus is actually a cousin of the onion and a member of the liliaceae family. So asparagus and Lilies are related! Just like lilies asparagus comes back up every year. It’s been consumed for over 2000 years and has its origins in Eastern Mediterranean countries but has also been traced back to Africa. It has been shown that ancient Egyptians actually cultivated it by archaeologists.

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates used asparagus to treat certain gastric issues in his patients. Asparagines in the plant are a diuretic and has been shown to be quite medicinal. It wasn’t until the 16th and 17th century until asparagus made its way to Europe and was served to royalty. By the 18th century asparagus made it to the local markets and was used commonly in culinary efforts in every day households.

It doesn’t last nearly long enough. Only a few weeks usually. But, it’s the start of the season and the beginning of so many great things to come in the next few weeks and even months. But if you like it as much as we do you can easily freeze it!

Freezing Asparagus

The easiest way to do it is to blanch the spears and then quickly cool them. Get some boiling water ready and get a bowl of ice water ready. Put your asparagus spears in the boiling water for three minutes (one pound of asparagus at a time and allow the water to reboil before the next batch) and then take out and cool off the in the water. Dry them off and put them in freezer bags! That’s it. Fresh tasting asparagus long into the summer!

 

Crop Report: Onions are in the Ground

Fisher Hill Farm Onions

We got our onions in the ground last week. It’s and brutally slow process and if you follow us on social media you probably saw a post about driving .1 miles per hour in the tractor! Painfully slow but so necessary and actually kind of beautiful in a way. It also gives you time to think which with three kids and a business to run there isn’t much time for that.

Onions are one of the first things to hit the soil every year and it marks the beginning of the growing season. It’s a time for reflection on last years crops and a time to look into the future of where the business is heading, what changes need to be made, and what milestones to celebrate.

Onions might be the beginning of our soil crops but they are so much more than that. They are a staple of cooking for chefs and culinary hobbyists around the world. They last through the year in cold storage. Did you know they are famous for being untraceable in the archaeological world? It’s true! Their tissues leave almost no trace at all and so their origin has been debated by botanists and food historians alike. Some research suggests that they originated in Central Asia while other research suggests they came from West Pakistan.

No matter where they originated from, onions were one of the very first cultivated crops  in the world because they grew in different soils and climates, were easily transported, and lasted a long time after coming out of the ground. Ancient Chinese, Roman, and Egyptian texts have shown that onions played an important role in diets and even cultural practices. It’s amazing how far back they date and just how amazingly important they are!

We’re excited for the growing season and excited about these onions. We can’t wait to share them with you.