Nature’s Finest Fund Update – Mazak’s Farm
Asparagus. What a marvellously complicated spring delight! Some days I have to remind myself, that yes, we really do base our whole life around a vegetable…who does that?
Our family identity is asparagus, we now have 3 generations of people who identify as asparagus farmers. And we could not be more proud!
People always have so many wonderful questions about our asparagus crop and we love to answer those questions as best we can, so here we go!
When do you plant asparagus?
As early in the spring as possible. We are currently waiting for the right timing to plant about 1 acre of new asparagus crowns (aka roots) but have been delayed due to the spring snow we saw in April. We are able to plant this new planting with the support of our friends at The Big Carrot as we received a Nature’s Finest Fund grant. The best part of planting asparagus is it only needs to happen every 15 to 20 years!!! We will be sure to send you pictures and an update of our planting, in hopes it will help you with your own.
When can I pick my asparagus?
You ready for this? 3 YEARS after you first plant! True story! If you harvest your asparagus too early (year one and two) you will damage the plant. You need to let it grow nice and strong in order to sustain its 20 year life. In year 3, only harvest for half a season, about 3 weeks.
How do you pick your asparagus on your farm?
By hand. Plain and simple. We have 8.5 acres planted in certified organic asparagus, and each and every one of the spears that end up on your plate are picked by hand. We hire a team of 6 local people, typically students, and they work side by side with Barry and I to bring the asparagus in from the field.
Typically 6 weeks. The season runs from the beginning of May until the middle of June.
If asparagus only grows for 6 weeks, what else do you do?
We may only harvest for 6 weeks, but it takes a large portion of the year to prepare for those six weeks. After harvest there is field work that occurs, equipment to maintain, supplies to order, books to keep, ect. We both also work off farm, and have 3 young girls.
We LOVE what we do. At this time of year the farm is full of anticipation, new life and excited farmers. We truly enjoy bringing a nutrient dense, certified organic product to our customers and know they are enjoying it with their families. There is great satisfaction in feeding your neighbours, and we take that job very seriously, it is our life.
These hands need to get back to the fields, we will be sure to send you updates as the season progresses!