English asparagus makes early start

A West Midlands grower succeeded in getting English asparagus on the shelves in time for Valentine's Day.

S&A Produce of Herefordshire harvested and packed its first crop from its glasshouse site at Great Witley, Worcestershire, last weekend. This was a full 10 weeks before the official start of the English asparagus season in April.

According S&A crop production manager Nigel Layton: "The early crop is all down to heating the soil, which obviously adds to our costs."

He added: "We only produce 1ha under glass, compared to 80ha open grown."

Layton said he believed that there was still potential to grow the asparagus market. "Most of the population still have not even tasted it," he pointed out.

The asparagus is now on sale in selected Tesco stores priced at £2 for a 125g pack.

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