The first British asparagus of the season went on sale today with the proceeds going to charity.
Herefordshire growers Wye Valley Produce sparked the charity spree, harvesting ten boxes of asparagus yesterday despite the stubborn ‘beast from the east’ delaying growth.
Director, Chris Chinn, said they decided to give the proceeds of sale to St Michael’s Hospice, in Herefordshire, raising £2000 for the healthcare charity.
“We’re quite often the first to get asparagus out, we’re a bit behind this year, due to the 'beast from the east',” he said.
Chinn sold his crop onto wholesalers like Mash Purveryors, who added to the “charity chain” by selling the asparagus for another good cause.
Hannah Turner, marketing manager for Mash Purveyors said: “We made a donation to St Michael’s Hospice and we’re currently auctioning off three boxes for the Felix Project.
“They take consumable waste and redistribute it around London to anyone in need. Our goal was to raise £200, but we’ve had £350 offer for two boxes, and £150 offer so, we’ll raise at least £500.”
Chinn said the growing season for asparagus has been a “real battle” so far after trying conditions, including numerous icy snaps.
“We've had asparagus out for Valentine’s Day before and in January, but it’s fairly late this season, we were a bit worried about last night’s frost, there’s nothing more now until next week.
“It’s been a real battle, an expensive process fixing tunnels, the outside crop will be late, it wasn’t damaged, but it takes longer for soil temperature to warm up when it’s cold and wet.
“We’re about a week to ten days behind, but if it warms up then we could catch up.”