ASPARAGUS | How Does it Grow?

Today, we call this the “king of vegetables”. But once upon a time, it was just swamp grass… So what is asparagus? Basically, we’re eating the young shoots of a plant that’s probably native to the Mediterranean, though that’s hard to pin down. Five thousand-year-old asparagus was discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. The ancient Greeks foraged for it in wet marshy areas; and it was so popular with the Romans, that Emperor Augustus coined the phrase “faster than asparagus is cooked”, which meant, well, really fast! Now, while it doesn’t take long to cook asparagus, it does take a little longer to grow… Only about five years. That’s how long it takes to go from seed to a fully yielding plant. Farmers can get spears at year two, but if they want healthy long living plants, they don’t pick those. At years three and four, farmers will start to harvest, but the plant won’t deliver a full season’s worth of asparagus. See, farming asparagus is playing the long game Asparagus is a perennial – that means they’re not pulled out at the end of the harvest season, like cucumbers or tomatoes, most of our common vegetables. Here at Sheppard farms, they’ll keep a field for up to 20 years. To get a jump on everything, farmers don’t plant seeds, they plant crowns. That’s the name for root clusters that have been grown from seed by breeders, like Scott Walker. Breeders get seeds from the fruits of the asparagus plant. That’s right – asparagus grows fruits, and they’re actually poisonous to humans! The fruits grow once the female flowers are pollinated. (Scott): Once you plant it, it will get about two feet in diameter. (Nicole): right… (Scott): The roots will go down about five or six feet. (Nicole): They go deep. (Scott): They go deep. I’ve seen fields that the fern will get between 10 and 15 feet tall. (Nicole): Oh… (Scott): You’re looking at about two spears per plant per week. If you run the numbers the math, you’d think “where’s all my asparagus”? (Nicole): You are right, exactly! Scott: Should’ve been a lot more than this! This meager yield is one reason that asparagus is such a delicacy. It also has an extremely short harvest window, just eight weeks in the spring. A mature plant will grow no more than 16 spears each season. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but consider this: Shepherd farms harvests over 10,000 plants per acre – with 400 acres, that’s a lot to pick in a short period of time. And to top it off, asparagus grows really fast – 6 inches in a day, or more! if it grows too tall, it starts to get tough and woody. So picking asparagus is truly a race against time. (Nicole): When you’re cutting, you’re cutting below the ground. (Ramon): Below the ground (Nicole): So there’s a little bit of white at the bottom, okay. (Nicole): Uh…so satisfying. So this side is sharp, but this side is not sharp. And they use this like a knife, to basically machete the ends off. All right, you show me how to do that first. I’m a little bit scared. Whoa! One swipe. That’s terrible I don’t think I’m good at this part… All right, I’m gonna do it again, I’m not a quitter Oh…not that clean…but at least I got it! I hit the target (Ramon): That’s good (Nicole): Ramon, you’ve been a good teacher. I think I’m going to try my hand with the crew. You think I’m ready? (Ramon): Yeah, You’ve been ready. (Nicole): Alright. Alright. Let’s try this. Let’s do this. Come on! (Ramon): Extra! (Nicole): Extra. Yeah, that’s right! I work for free. I work for free. Oh, okay Don’t cut my fingers…okay… Where did everybody go? We’ve got to catch up. Jose, come on. Okay, let’s do it. Let’s do it, quick! How did I do? Okay? Okay…Gracias… At the end of the harvest season, the plants are allowed to fern out. Branching out at the spear tips and growing wispy fronds. All of this growth will be mowed down before next year’s harvest begins From the field, the asparagus heads straight to the packing plant where it’s cleaned, cooled and sorted into one-pound bundles of about twenty spears. In the U.S, green asparagus is the most popular, but there are purple varieties too, which are actually sweeter than green. The purple ones do turn green though, when they’re cooked. In much of Europe, the most prized asparagus is white, which is really just green asparagus that’s grown in the dark… The technique is called blanching. Dirt is mounded over the roots, so high that spears never see the sun, which means they never photosynthesize, and never build up the green pigment called chlorophyll. I’ve never eaten fresh white asparagus, but I’m told it has a more delicate, less earthy taste than green. I tried in the field today, you know, a spear of just freshly… (Scott): Sweet? (Nicole): So sweet! (Scott): Yeah, you can’t beat it! (Nicole): And juicy! There was literally juice oozing out. (Ramon): Yeah. (Nicole): And this vibrant green color I’ve never seen before. (Scott): I would say 95% of the world does not know what fresh asparagus tastes like. (Nicole): Yeah…Yeah, unless you’re a farmer. (Scott): Yeah, that’s it. It’s one of our benefits. (Nicole): Yes! Asparagus is one of the most nutrition packed vegetables. It’s got vitamin A, B6, C, E, Folate, Calcium. The list goes on. It also leaves behind another gift: Asparagus pee… See, asparagus contains the unique chemical: Our bodies break that down into various sulfur compounds and it’s the sulfur that gives urine its unmistakable Asparagus stink There is a weird twist to this whole phenomenon, and you can discover that by watching this… Whatever minor consequences we may endure, that’s never stopped us from enjoying this springtime star. It’s been on the menu for over 5,000 years Oh, you’re still here! I like that! Getting the full value for your video! 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  1. Man imagine bending up and down for hours doing this! My back would be killing me 10 minutes in! Big respect for these people😩

  2. Finally seeing good latinos as a legal migrant working on the fields. Instead of smuggling drugs, or entering the US illegaly and pretend lile they did nothing wrong about it.

  3. A friend of mine told me. That when she was seventeen she had a urinary track infection, Her aunt told her to eat asparagus, It cleared up. And that since then she eats it once a week and has never had another urinary infection.

  4. latino working so hard at field and farm..
    i dont know why the gurl so much lauhgfing t asparagus farm..🤔🤔

  5. My patch is over 7 years old. I harvest enough every day to feed my family asparagus every night during the season.

  6. It's easy to grow, even in the desert, once it gets established. I have to cut mine twice a day most of the time, sometimes three times a day.

    If you want to grow asparagus I suggest you buy root crowns from an online nursery. They have better plants. If you get them from a big box store they are usually dried out and mostly dead by the time you buy them.

    Over the years seeds will blow away and start new plants under trees, and along fence lines. If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain they will come up almost anywhere.

    It's easy to germinate seeds indoors, in a window, and grow your own crowns to transplant later.

  7. she said at first asparagus it grows up to 5 years and 3:23 she said it grows super fast 6inches in 2 days.

  8. All that and the header question remains un answered.
    Time of growth described. Rate of growth, explained.
    Different types, shown.
    Harvest and post harvest activity presented.
    "ASPARAGUS | How Does it Grow?" Not explained.
    Re title too. . . "Here is some information about asparagus that will now explain how it grows".

  9. That was very informative!! Thanks.. I agree with another comment, it makes sense why it's expensive. Your video also shows the importance of farm labor, no matter who's doing it.

  10. Great video! A big thumbs up from me we got a video on our channel with all the health benefits of Asparagus for anyone interested.

  11. Asparagus grows like it’s trying to prank some idiot into thinking that’s how asparagus grows

  12. It looks so wrong growing out of the ground like that. It should be like….. on a vine. And wrapped in a husk or something. This is as unsettling as how pineapples grow.

  13. Amazing information. After all that…wouldn't be able to mess over that bundle like she's doing. 😳

  14. if u eat 1 pound once a week it cleans your blood and body it even help with suger if u r high why the pee can smell

  15. I'm just getting my bachelor in Agriculture Engineering, and after watching Your videos, I wish I could go back to the USA to work in a farm. Of course, I would love to take my husband with me

  16. Watch the polo shirt 7:14 onwards. Did it change because the host said, "…vibrant green color…" 😉

    Anyway, great video! There goes my plan to plant Asparagus in my small plot. 😄 Needs more space.

  17. Garden-fresh asparagus is at least as sweet as sugar peas. My mom grew some spears that were insanely thick, one inch or better. I guess it was all that good compost she used. During the summer, it got taller than any corn (except for some variety of giant corn she grew one year, that stuff was truly giant, except for the yield lol).

  18. Delicatecy…what a scam..who and why plant a crop that takes years to see two stocks..must be subsidized c.i.a. crop..

  19. If you grow your own they are well worth the effort. The berries attract birds too. Raw they taste like fresh shelled peas. If you want to know if the are fresh at the store snap a head off. It should come off cleanly with a good snap. And they should be in water. Snap the bottom off when at home to ensure you get no woody section and use said woody section in soup purées. Mmmm. 😍

  20. Better they have to buy machine harvester from Germany. Germany the king of technology have a very good machine harvester and the people will only have to pick up or sort the Asparagus from the the truck. And the workers don't need to do that unhealthy bending all the time

  21. White and purple asparagus never tried looks way tasty thou I jhave some shouting up out my garden going to do some more research and how to harvest and water them

  22. I sell asparagus in Germany you should really try the white one with seauce hollandaise and potatoes 👌🥰 *the mountain of dirt is to keep the asparagus warm because it's too cold here 😂

  23. Green asparagus is much tastier than the white one. And much more flexible during cooking. I.e. for more recipes.

  24. Illegal alien slave labor is not wanted in the United States anymore. AKA The Democrat Parties New Slaves. BUY AMERICAN, HIRE AMERICAN.

  25. 5 years? 1year and you can harvest that.. And 2 months harvest 1 month rest and so on.. You have money. Year is enough not 5 years. Thats a loss of time and investment for a business

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