Last Sunday (June 9, 2019), the Annual Asparagus Festival was held at Edgar Farms near Innisfail, Alberta.
Who knew such an event existed?
Edgar Farms is a sixth generation family farm established in 1907. From a diversification experiment in 1986, the farm now cultivates 50 acres of asparagus. As well as asparagus, the farm grows green and yellow beans, rhubarb and peas. They also raise grass-fed Angus beef which is hormone and antibiotic free.
The asparagus has a short growing season, usually only May and June. After that, the asparagus is allowed to grow into a fern so the plant can store nutrients for the winter.
Over the growing season, the asparagus is picked every day. If there’s rain, the field might need to be picked more than once. The little spears grow that fast.
Thanks to the cool Alberta climate, this asparagus is sweet and tender. It’s available fresh onsite at the Edgar Farms General Store and also at Farmers Markets from Edmonton to Calgary. Soups and pies from Edgar Farms can also be found in the frozen section of some grocery stores.
You might like to know that asparagus is a good source of Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, zinc and many other trace nutrients. It is also an excellent source of dietary fibre.
The festival offered wagon ride tours of the farm and viewing windows for a glimpse of the kitchen. Children visited farm animals, pumped water, and played in the activity centres.
And, Aspara-Gussy was on site providing treats and photo-ops.
The festival also hosted an Artisan Market with everything from chocolate, nuts and honey to pottery, woodworking and mini donuts.
We purchased meat pies, fruit pies, pickled beets and a huge bag of asparagus. I’ve already tasted the Saskatoon rhubarb pie and it’s the best on the planet.
I will definitely be at the Festival next year and will most likely stop by the General Store the next time I’m in the area.
Have you ever been to an Asparagus Festival?