The Vale of Evesham is the perfect home for growing asparagus as a result of its luscious ground conditions. There is a lot of pride when it comes to ‘gras’ (the local name for asparagus) – so much so that there is a two-month long festival to celebrate it
Between 23 April (St George’s Day) and 21 June (midsummers day) you will find a variety of activities taking place all to do with the local delicacy. As this period is also the typical season for asparagus, you will struggle to visit the area and not see some evidence of its importance whether it be farm shops proudly advertising they are selling it, buildings decorated in green or even a 7ft tall asparagus man called Gus…
To find out more about the festival and to see what quirky activities are taking place, visit the festival website – www.britishasparagusfestival.org
Having mentioned pride earlier, it’s not just us locals who feel the vegetable is something special. In fact, Europe does too, to the extent that Vale of Evesham Asparagus has been awarded European (EU) protected food name status which specifically links it to a particular geographical area and indicates a certain level of quality.
The flavour and texture of asparagus is primarily driven by the growing conditions and soil environment of the Vale of Evesham, as well as knowledge and experience of how best to grow the product.
The Vale of Evesham has a long history of asparagus growing, with much tradition surrounding the product and enjoys a reputation for producing asparagus of the highest quality.
The sandy soils of the Vale of Evesham asparagus fields provide ample depth of soil for crowns to establish deep root systems with which to store the sugars produced during summer. This promotes the health of the crown and gives an additional sweetness to the crop.
The unique combination of soil and microclimate produce the fast growing spears that are characteristic of the flavour and texture produced in the region. It is this combination of soil and climate that produces the high quality asparagus production that the region is known for.
All products using the name “Vale of Evesham Asparagus” and using the PGI logo will have to conform with the specification.
The geographical production area must be observed and the quality must represent the status as written in the specification.
For more information, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/protected-food-name-vale-of-evesham-asparagus-pgi