Germany’s asparagus season is officially under way, beginning with a celebration in the Brandenburg town of Beelitz on Thursday.
The asparagus season, known as ‘Spargelzeit’, began later this year than in 2017 due to cold weather, according to the German Farmers' Association (DBV). However, warmer temperatures in recent days have helped the crop come through.
Production has now begun in several German states including Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, and by the end of the week growers expect the vegetable to be available from regions across the country. Traditionally, the asparagus season, which is dominated by the white variety, lasts until 24 June.
Beelitz, where the start of the season was ushered in by ‘Spargelino’, the vegetable’s German mascot, is renowned for its asparagus production thanks to its fertile, sandy soils. And Brandenburg, the state where it is situated, boasts almost 5,000 hectares of asparagus production.
Germany’s biggest asparagus-producing region is Lower Saxony, accounting for over a fifth of the country’s total 23,000ha production area.
Since 2006 Germany has been Europe’s biggest consumer of asparagus, getting through 82,000t of the vegetable every year at a rate of 1.25kg per person per season. There is a preference for domestic product, with Germany 80 per cent self-sufficent in its asparagus supply.