The Dayton Kitchen

Eating well. So get ready and get butter.

200 pounds of asparagus, or why it’s smart to know your farmer June 1, 2008

I regularly purchase vegetables from a local farmer.  Well, to clarify, I try to buy all of my veggies locally, but there is one farmer in particular who I shop with in addition to my CSA.  I ran into him unexpectedly at the East Aurora Farmers’ Market last week, and was disappointed that I had already purchased asparagus from another vendor.  We got to talking, first about the seedlings he is offering this spring, and then about his gorgeous asparagus.

I asked him how he recommends preserving asparagus, and I loved his answer:

  1. Wash the asparagus.
  2. Quick-freeze the asparagus.

Can it be any easier, people?  I think not.  He said that if you blanch the asparagus, it ends up being mushy and not at all like the vegetable that is in season now.  Because his method is so stinking easy, I asked if he had a certain amount I could purchase for a better price than if I were buying one pound at a time.  He said that he’d knock some off the price if I got 25 pounds, and even more if I got 50 pounds.  Well, I know that 50 pounds is a bit much for us.  That would be about one meal with asparagus every week for the next year.  We are growing enough other veggies that we would end up wasting something, and that’s not cool with me.

So I put out the call to a few people I thought might be interested in a great deal on asparagus.  Because really, who doesn’t like the stuff?  It’s amazing.

Two hundred pounds.  Fifteen families want 200 pounds of asparagus.  That figure translates into a lot of stinky pee happy tummies.

And the price:  $1.75 a pound.  The cheapest asparagus, shipped in from who-knows-where is around $4 when it’s on sale.  Less than two bucks a pound from a farmer I’ve met, and whose farm I’ve visited many times; a local, family-operated business where the CEO will stop what he is doing to talk with me about how he cultivates my food.

Go to your local farmers’ markets.  Get to know the people who grow the food you eat.  Ask about buying in bulk.  And save money while eating the glorious food that is in season.