White Asparagus Production

White Asparagus Production

In the past many people shied away from white asparagus because they weren’t quite sure of how to cook it, but now white asparagus has become a sought after delicacy by many foodies and chefs. At the Washington Asparagus Industry Field Day August 15 growers heard reports on the latest field trial to determine if white asparagus can be successfully grown here in the state. Researcher Alan Schreiber talks about the process.

SCHREIBER: We took an existing Jersey Giant asparagus field and we put every other row, and we put steel hoops down, we put black plastic and then weighted it down. And we just did every other row - white, green, white, green, white, green, and harvested it, and we got white asparagus.

Schreiber discusses one of the issues with raising white asparagus which needs to be kept free from exposure to sunlight to maintain its white coloring.

SCHREIBER: There was more labor involved because we buried one side with dirt. The other side we put metal fence posts - put the plastic up, and you cut it and you put it down. We had one person go through and open it up, the other person go through and cut, and the other person came back and closed it up.

The project, which Schreiber says should be considered preliminary, suggests that white asparagus could indeed be produced in eastern Washington.

SCHREIBER: I think that there is a small market for local white asparagus that they would pay a premium for.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network. 

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