Rain tips asparagus to a later harvest

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By this time of year Yorkshire’s asparagus growers would normally be looking back on a job well done.

However, the unseasonably cold and wet weather in April has put the whole harvesting process back by nearly a month – meaning consumers will need to wait a few more weeks for home-grown asparagus to hit their dinner plates.

The vegetable is normally harvested in late April.

Peter Richardson, who runs an organic holding called Riverford’s Home Farm, near Northallerton, said: “We were ahead of the game in March with the warmer temperatures, but then everything slowed down as it got colder into April and May.

“But we’ve now started to harvest our first asparagus which is looking really good and tastes wonderful because it is grown slowly and organically. Our production will increase in the coming weeks as hopefully the temperatures get warmer.”

Research carried out by Yorkshire’s regional food group in 2010 showed that crops of asparagus in the region were tastier and contained more antioxidants than elsewhere in the country.

The research was carried out by scientists at the Stockbridge technology centre near York.