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British Asparagus at
Wykham Park Farm

British Asparagus heralds the start of spring; there is no other vegetable like it.

We have been growing asparagus since 1991, initially starting with 1 acre and building up to over 80 acres today. By cutting, washing and packing our asparagus on a daily basis we guarantee that it is absolutely fresh for all our customers, every day. Asparagus is a truly seasonal crop and should be enjoyed for the short 8 weeks or so from the end of April until mid-June. Planted as a crown asparagus takes two years to properly establish and can then be productive for 10 years or more. A perennial plant, it is the young spears that are cooked and eaten. Once the harvesting season is over the spears are left to grow into ferns. When these ferns die down in the autumn the energy is returned back into the crown and stored ready for the following year.

Interview with Lizzie Colegrave

What do you think is the secret that makes your asparagus special?

I think the fact our asparagus is so fresh, it can be picked, washed, bundled and on the shelf in less than two hours. Also our soils are predominately a light clay loam and I believe it’s the extra minerals found in the clay that give Wykham asparagus more flavour!

What kind of technology do you use for farming asparagus?

It is planted by hand using an old onion set planter, its picked by hand and then washed, graded and bundled by hand for sale through the farm shop, so zero technology!

What are the perfect conditions for picking asparagus?

Ideally day time temperatures of between 16-18C and nice warm nights provide the optimum growing conditions for asparagus, any hotter and you can nearly see it growing in front of your eyes.

How much asparagus do you pick a year and where do you sell it?

We would hope to pick approx. 1ton to the acre so 80t/yr. We sell 60% to the supermarkets, 10% through the farm shop and 30% wholesale to local shops and restaurants.

What is your favourite way to cook asparagus?

Simply steamed and served with melted butter, delicious.