Asparagus is picked as it emerges from the soil. When rain is eminent, the little side leaves open to catch moisture. If the rain is driving, sand will splash up the spears and get caught behind these leaves. We cold water wash all of the asparagus after picking but please check your asparagus for sand by peeling off a few leaves. If you find any sand, soak in very warm water for 10 – 15 minutes. This allows the leaves and heads to relax. Flush the sand out with clean warm water. If you are storing the asparagus after cleaning, chill in cold water before refrigerating.
Asparagus must be blanched before freezing. To blanch asparagus bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat, place the fresh spears in boiling water, cover and bring back to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, then drain off the boiling water and thoroughly cool immediately in ice water. Drain well, lie in a single layer on cookie sheets and freeze. Put frozen spears in freezer bags as soon as possible, label and date for winter use.
A 5 spear serving has only 25 calories and is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, thiamin & folate. It also contains glutathione, a powerful anticarcinogen and antitoxin.
Stand the spears upright in boiling water with only the bottom third submersed to prevent overcooking the tender tips. Cover, bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes for tender crisp spears or 10 minutes for a softer texture. Use an asparagus pot (available at specialty kitchen stores), an old coffee pot or tie the bundle together with string and stand upright in a saucepan tall enough to cover. Serve plain, buttered with salt and pepper, a dash of lemon juice, dill weed, marjoram, savory, mace, buttered crumbs, cheese sauce or hollandaise sauce (see recipe).
Arrange spears in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper or seasonings of your choice. Bake uncovered at 500F for 6 to 9 min. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Try eating it raw; the taste resembles delicious sweet fresh baby peas. It makes a great addition to any salad. Asparagus is great added to stir-fries too.
March is calving season at Edgar Farms. I thought I would do a pictorial story of a calf’s first few hours of life.
This was taken on March 15,2012. That day we had 7 calves so this was just one of the seven.
This is a first calf heifer meaning this is all new to her. Everything that happen is all instinct on both the cow’s and the calf’s part.
This picture was taken at 7:10 PM. If you look closely you can see two white feet of her calf poking out for the first time.
This picture was taken at 7:25 PM. You can now see the nose of the calf.
This picture was taken at 7:30 PM. Once the head comes out the rest of the calf slides out with only one or two pushes.
This is what a newborn baby calf looks like. He doesn’t look very pretty being soaking wet, having opened his eyes to see the world around him, just being separated from his mother’s umbilical tube, and having to breath all on his own. What a big change in his life, in only one minute!!
This video was taken at 7:35 PM. The calf is now lifting his head and getting his bearings. The background noise is the engine of our quad as we are about to give him a sled ride to the barn.
This video was taken at 7:45 PM. In this video the calf is learning to stand and walk
In this video the calf is learning to walk and look for lunch
This Video was taken at 8:10 PM. The calf is now 40 minutes old and nursing very strongly. If you listen you can hear the calf smacking his lips as he drinks.
This picture was taken the next day at about 3:00 PM. Notice his hair is all dried off and he is actually basking in the sunshine.
Not all calving go this smooth and trouble free. As with anything there is a multitude of things that can and do go wrong, everything from inclement weather, unco-operative mothers, malpresentations. All thing things are just another hurdle we face every day and night during this busy season.
My lifelong friend Cheryl Oâ€™Brien has lived at Armstrong BC for much of her adult life. Cheryl and her husband Kelly had an asparagus field and many of their neighbors were also growing asparagus before ginseng became the wonder crop in the early 90â€™s. This is where we were first introduced to asparagus production on a field scale. We purchased some of our first picking lugs and gathered some of our information on asparagus production on a field scale from Cherylâ€™s husband Kelly and his neighbors.
This recipe of Cherylâ€™s is absolutely delicious!!
1 can coconut milk
1 â€“ 3 Tbsp. Thai green curry paste (depends on heat preference)
2 chicken breasts â€“ cut into small cubes
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
Â½ cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Â½ cup fresh basil
Â½ cup green peas
1 red, green or yellow pepper â€“ cut into strips
Â½ lb. Edgar Farms fresh asparagus â€“ cut in half
Â¼ cup bamboo shoots
In a large saucepan, simmer coconut milk with curry paste over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add chicken, fish sauce, brown sugar, basil, bamboo shoots, peas, peppers, asparagus and chicken stock. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
Hi, I just received your newsletter – thanks! I purchased a bundle of asparagus at the Strathcona Market last Saturday and it was just fantastic. I checked out your website to make sure I was preparing it correctly. Your website is just great – so much good and interesting information and very easy to navigate. As I read the website, I munched on raw asparagus and it tasted like peas, just as you suggested it would!
I appreciate the work that you and your employees do toÂ provide healthy food to Albertans. Your intensive labour and fine qualityÂ crops are a tribute to people like you who want others to have safe,Â nutritious food which is locally grown.
Edgar Farms Asparagus is a strong argument for shopping locally. It is so remarkably better than anything imported. Asparagus is almost like a festival. It’s like the gateway vegetable to the new season.
– Chef Scott Pohorelic
You get spoiled by the flavor & texture of Edgar Farms beef, it is like beef should be. My stomach doesn’t bother me when I use Edgar Farms beef. I won’t buy anything else but their beef.
Hello – after many years of buying your delicious asparagus at several farmers markets, we decided to make the trip out to see for ourselves how it is grown. Thank you for opening your farm to us – we enjoyed the day immensely! And we brought home bunches of asparagus for the next weeks meals -yum!
We are so grateful to have such delicious produce grown in our own backyard and now we know how it grows! It was a great day – thanks again – we hope your year is a successful one!
Although our open air Farm Store is now closed until next May, our delicious homemade preserves, homemade pies and grass fed, hormone & antibiotic free beef are still available. Please just phone ahead if you wish to come to the farm. Also all of our products are at the Innnisfail Growers booth at The Calgary Farmers Market.