- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Asparagus harvest off to good start in Washington
Question of the Day
KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) - If you’re driving through Mid-Columbia farmland, look closely at the fields. Chances are good you’ll spot asparagus spears pushing up to the light.
Growers began harvesting the tender spears within the past few weeks.
“The season is off to a good start. I anticipate we’ll all do really well this year,” said Bill Middleton of Middleton Six Sons Farms in Pasco, who sent his pickers to the fields March 31.
He’s chairman of the Washington State Asparagus Commission and, with 320 acres in production, one of the larger asparagus growers in the area.
Asparagus is a perennial plant that sends up multiple edible shoots every spring. It likes warm soil and moderate temperatures.
There are 75 asparagus growers in Washington who harvest about 18 million pounds yearly.
About 5,000 acres in Washington are producing asparagus this spring. Another 500 or so acres are nonbearing, either because they are newly planted or old, so there’s not as much production and growers aren’t harvesting them, Schreiber said.
However, growers have been planting newer varieties of asparagus that produce better yields so the state’s production has remained steady, Schreiber said.
None of Washington’s asparagus is shipped out of the country.
“Growers have trouble meeting domestic demand,” Schreiber said.
Middleton is one of those who has been experimenting with the newer varieties, like Guelph Millennium and New Jersey 1025 and 1113. He has an asparagus nursery where he nurtures the seed into crowns, which then are transplanted into fields by other growers.
He said the seed for the newer varieties is expensive.
“But they’re worth it. I can vouch for that, definitely,” Middleton said.
If you’re an asparagus lover, Bryan Lynch of Columbia Valley Family Farms of Pasco urges you to buy it now “because the quality is excellent. And buy it locally; support your local growers.”
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq