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Fenland asparagus is on its way

Will Aveling in his asparagus field ANL-160105-170904009
Will Aveling in his asparagus field ANL-160105-170904009

A farmer has high hopes for this year’s Fenland asparagus crop – despite harvesting being delayed by the recent cold snap.

Will Aveling is hoping to start harvesting some of the 100 acres of asparagus, which are planted around the Wisbech area, later this week.

The recent wintery weather has meant that Fenland asparagus will be arriving on our plates a little later than in previous years.

Mr Aveling’s family have been growing asparagus for 40 years in the Fenland area.

Over the years, cutting has begun in the fields between April 9 and May 9.

Mr Aveling said: “The asparagus is on its way.

“The arrival of asparagus signals the start of the summer.

“It is a bit later than normal but we can’t do anything about the seasons.

“It is one of those things – it is all down to the weather.

“The weather has been pretty grim over the last few weeks but it has been that way across the whole of Europe.

“We have done all the preparation we can.

“We just have to wait for the right conditions to come.”

Mr Aveling’s father, Victor, started growing asparagus in 1976.

Over the years the demand for British-grown asparagus has rocketed in this country.

Initially it was just served in high-end restaurants, but now it is available in supermarkets up and down the land.

The family has responded to that demand and now grows around 100 acres – but will be harvesting around 70 acres.

Mr Aveling enjoyed a decent harvest last year, which was down to the warm weather of 2014, as cutting could stop in June, allowing the crowns to build up energy.

He added: “The cool nights this season have held the asparagus back.

“Slow growing improves the flavour of the asparagus .

“But we are looking forward to getting it out there for people to enjoy.”

British grown asparagus, thought to be the best, is generally available between May and July.

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