Cold winter weather and snow has delayed the arrival of Peter and Marita Collier’s eagerly awaited Irish asparagus crop by almost a month.
“There’s not a sign of it popping up this year,” Marita said at the end of March. “I checked back, and on March21st last year, I had my first crop.”
This time around, she expects to be cutting her first spears at Drummond House farm in Baltray, Co Louth, around the middle of April.
But there is good news to go with the delay. “The colder it gets, and the longer it stays cold, the sweeter it will be,” she says. With three acres under cultivation for this crop, a sideline to the farm’s massive garlic production, she hopes to harvest three times the 500- 700kg she took out of the ground last year, now that the crowns have had a further 12 months to settle. The majority will be distributed to restaurants by La Rousse Foods, and some will be on sale in selected branches of Dunnes Stores.
Later in the year ( end of May into early June), Dunnes will also be selling Drummond House garlic scapes, the flower bud of the plant which is most often used to make pesto. The scapes will be sold in cellophane wrapped bunches, with three recipes attached, and will be available in more than 100 branches of Dunnes Stores.