The long awaited British Asparagus is finally here and in full swing.
Why not try something new with it such as dry BBQ with peppered butter for a smokey flavour, serve it as a canape with a runny boiled egg and some Parmesan panko breadcrumbs for dipping, or simply chop it up and cook in butter with fresh sage and fresh peas and serve with Farfalle pasta, and some Parmesan Shavings, garnished with pea shoots.
Fresh New Season British Asparagus, it really is worth celebrating.
The asparagus comeback: forgotten seedlings found on Formby golf course
Despite the decline in Britain’s food self-sufficiency, asparagus farming is reviving along the sand dunes of the Merseyside coast
Served to aristocrats in Covent Garden and first-class passengers on the Titanic, “Formby asparagus was all the rage at one time,” says Gordon Loughlin. Grown in the 200 acres of sand dunes along Merseyside’s coast in Formby the asparagus was sought after centuries ago for it’s distinct flavour.
Formby’s asparagus history was recently celebrated by The Formby Asparagus Project. Run by the National Trust and part of the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership Scheme, the project is formed of volunteers living in the area keen to revive the Formby asparagus. Loughlin is one of the project’s most active volunteers.
While over a hundred Connover’s Colossal seeds were planted last May, there are thousands more seedlings waiting to be planted but finding the space has been difficult as most of the Formby dune land is safeguarded for conservation and unavailable for agriculture. Loughlin, hopes to forge links with local farmer David Brooks, a fourth generation asparagus farmer and last remaining descendant from the handful of families who pioneered Formby asparagus in the mid 19th century.
The Formby Asparagus Trail supported by the Heritage Lottery is currently being developed to tell the story of how asparagus came to be grown in the dunes and the pioneering families behind the vegetable. Brockbank hopes that the legacy of the project will be to involve more local residents and volunteers and work with more organisations, particularly schools, in growing asparagus.