Purple Asparagus

9 Apr
Two Purple Asparagus from our Garden

Purple Asparagus in our Garden

As we wrote on twitter this morning: the purple asparagus in our garden never makes it to the kitchen. We eat the spears immediately after harvesting.

Through out early April, we anticipate savoring these treats from our garden. Sweet, fresh, mild – this asparagus is our kind of candy.

Purple asparagus tastes sweeter than it’s green cousin because it’s higher in sugar content than green asparagus. What makes them purple? Cancer fighting phytochemicals called Anthocyanins are responsible for their beautiful purple hue.

Asparagus is well known for its medicinal properties. Asparagus is a diuretic and laxative with a beneficial effect on the kidneys, liver and bowels. Nutritionally, asparagus is rich in vitamins C & E, folate, potassium, and fiber.
Nutrition Data for Raw Asparagus
Growing Asparagus

About five years ago, we planted one-year-old purple asparagus crowns (rhizomes) in March, when the freezing weather had past. Asparagus is a deep-rooted crop that prefers a soil pH of 6.5-7.5. We planted them in a slightly raised bed filled with nice loamy soil incorporated with plenty of organic compost and a mix of chicken and goat manure.

Asparagus is long-lived crop that can be productive for 15 years or more if well tended. We are sure to mulch and water the asparagus well through out the year (water logging isn’t a problem here in the desert). Every early February, after we clip away the fern debris, we lightly scratch in a 2-inch thick layer of organic steer manure over the entire asparagus bed.

A year later we were able to harvest our first purple asparagus. The best moment to harvest asparagus is when they are the width of one’s thumb, and a height of about six to eight inches. We prefer to cut the spear with a knife at the soil surface.

At the end of the harvest season, we leave a few mature spears to grow out. These asparagus spears will grow into a beautiful, tall fern, re-charging its crown for the next harvest season. During the late season, our female plants bear red seed-bearing fruits.

Treat yourself to this wonderful vegetable. Now is the time to put your asparagus crowns into the soil.

With consistent care and patience, asparagus will reward you every spring with spears bursting with flavor and nourishment for many years to come.

Purple Asparagus

Purple Asparagus in our Garden


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11 Responses to “Purple Asparagus”

  1. undermyhat April 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    Yummmmmmm! I have some asparagus in my garden too, it is wonderful! Of course I am on the other side of the world, so my asparagus will be ready when your is long gone.

    Bon appetit!

  2. Kristen's Raw April 20, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    I love asparagus. :)

  3. Crystal (Cafe Cyan) May 25, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    Fantastic info – we just received purple asparagus in one of the bunches we picked up from our local farm.

  4. BeckyRi June 13, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    Asparagus is something that I do not grow in my garden, as I’m the only one in the family that likes it, but I did enjoy the article on it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Organic Gardening News and Info June 26, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    Wow! Great information!
    I would love to exchange links with you (post on my new blog): http:// www. organicgardeningnewsandinfo.wordpress.com

  6. Nova @ Organic Home Garden March 2, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    wow, i think i’m gonna this purple asparagus. it looks very lovely.

  7. Julie April 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    I just planted my purple asparagus today in my raised bed garden! I look forward to eating it three years from now :-) When I was a kid, we’d pick the asparagus that grew wild in the ditches next to our fields. It was so delicious and so tender! I remember people cruising by (asparagus watchers) who would stop and grab some for themselves.

  8. VonMalcolm May 16, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Okay, I might have to go purple.

  9. organic gardening August 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    It’s hard to find well-informed people for this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  10. Thanassis Spiggos November 30, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    Please inform about the way I can gather purple asparagus seeds from the plant…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Eating PURPLE: Asparagus and Potatoes from Peru | FOODalogue - June 14, 2011

    [...] you’re interested in learning more about purple asparagus, I found this blog post interesting. I was a little bummed to learn it had a high sugar and low fiber [...]

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