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Have you established an Asparagus bed in your garden and you can't wait to taste your first spear?

Awesome, but let me ask you, do you have a plan for your harvest?


What about after the harvest, do you know how you are going to preserve your harvest?


Then you are in the right spot!

Today in this blog post I am going to be sharing with you how you can make a plan for asparagus harvest and beyond! I follow 5 basic steps that are very easy and simple. The only caution that I might share with you before you read on is that part of planning for beyond the harvest is to find recipes so be prepared to see a few delicious asparagus recipes that just might make you a little hungry.

One of our greatest mistakes as gardeners is not to plan for the harvest. You know how many asparagus plants you are going to plant and you might know your estimated date to when you will need to harvest. But do you know exactly what you are going to do with all of those asparagus spears? Eat them? Freeze them? Cook them? Or do you know exactly when to pick your asparagus at its peak? Well, the following steps are going to help you answer all of these questions and more!

The Five Steps to Planning Beyond the Harvest

  1. Learn to pick your harvest at its peak

  2. How to harvest your produce

  3. Research ways to Preserve your harvest

  4. Find Recipes to get your harvest from your garden to your table

  5. Add Recipes to Your Meal Planner

You and I are going to walk through these steps with Asparagus in mind. But if you want to learn about making a plan for beyond the harvest with other produce or better yet what you are growing in your garden. Then I do suggest that you check out two of my other resources. The first is a blog post I wrote called “How to Avoid this Garden Planning Mistake”. I wrote this blog post in hope of helping other growers avoid the most common mistake we all make in the garden or even homesteading planning, not make a plan for the harvest.

I have since expanded my original 4 step plan into the 5 step plan that I will share with you today for asparagus. To find the reason behind these steps or instructions on how you can follow these steps for yourself for other products you need to grab the Planning Beyond the Harvest Handbook. A free download that I developed to help you take the guesswork out of making a plan for beyond the harvest for any produce or product you grow! I reread this download to help me write every installment of the Planning Beyond the Harvest blog post series and fill out my Planning Beyond the Harvest Planner. Yes, I have also developed a planner to not only help you make a plan for your harvest but to also give you a place to keep all of your harvesting notes and recipe in one place. I may mention this planner below so I want to be sure that I share with you the details of this planner so that if it piques your interest you will know exactly where to find it or what it is.

Enough said, Let’s get to It!

The Benefits of Growing Asparagus

Growing your own asparagus can give you loads of benefits. For one thing, asparagus is a plant that keeps on giving. Asparagus is a perennial so you will only need to plant it once and you will be harvesting asparagus for years to come. It is one of the easiest perennials to grow plus it is loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Here is a list just for you!

  • Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. That's good news if you're watching your blood sugar.

  • Asparagus is a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx, and lung cancers.

  • Asparagus is full of antioxidants which may help slow the aging process and reduce inflammation.

  • Asparagus also delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12 found in fish, poultry, meat, and dairy to help promote brain health.

When to Harvest Your Asparagus At Peak

The first step in making a plan for beyond the harvest is to learn how to peak your produce at peak. Peak is when your vegetable is at the point when it contains the maximum amount of nutrients that I mentioned above. I explain this further in the Planning Beyond the Harvest eBook that I wrote. The handbook is just the tip of the iceberg to these steps but if you want to learn more about the benefits of and science behind picking at peak grab a copy of my eBook. I even share with my readers 6 tips that will help pick their produce at just the right time.

Picking your asparagus at its peak is your goal and that comes with knowing the perfect time to pick. Here is how:

  • I do want to mention that growing asparagus takes patience and if this is your first harvest be sure to harvest very lightly or not all depending on how many asparagus shoots you get. The first year of growing asparagus is all about building up the root system and vigor of your plants.

  • In the Spring, look for spears that are 6 to 10 inches tall and about the thickness of your pinky or larger

  • Watch the flower head. Pick before the flower bed begins to open

How to Harvest Your Asparagus Spears

Step 2 is to learn how to harvest what you are growing. Everything you grow is going to have unique methods and techniques for harvesting. In my "Planning Beyond the Harvest" eBook, I walk my reader through the techniques for both hand picking and mechanical picking. And even share some unique tools that can make harvesting easier. But here are the instructions for picking Asparagus.

Once you notice the signs above in the picking at peak section you are ready to harvest. Here is how:

  • Cut or snap the spear off at the ground.

  • Be sure to not cut all of the spears off at once. Leave a few spears to continue to feed the plant

  • As I mentioned above, growing asparagus takes patience. And there is a slight science behind harvesting the first three years so that you do not deplete the plants too much and you develop a patch that will continue to grow for you for years.

  • Year 1 harvest none or only a few spears

  • Year 2 harvest continually but for only two weeks then let the plants rest and build up energy

  • Year 3 harvest continually for a maximum of 4 weeks and again let the plants rest

  • Year 4 and after you should be able to get your first full harvest of 8 weeks. But do not harvest past July 1, so that your plants will have the summer to build of energy for next year's crop

The next step is to research how to store or preserve your harvest and step 4 is to find recipes for each of these methods. This will make it easier for you to get your harvest on your family’s plate where it belongs. In each of the following sections, I will share tips on storing or preserving and then share a few of our favorite recipes I use here on the farm to be sure that none of my asparagus goes to waste. If you want to learn more about the difference between storage and preservation then join me in my Planning Beyond the Harvest eBook where I share tips on preserving your harvest and the 8 top methods as well. Speaking of preserving methods I also have a whole podcast series all about ways that you can preserve your whole harvest from eggs, dairy, to your proteins. Here is the link to the first episode.

How to Store Your Asparagus for Fresh Eating

Asparagus is best eaten fresh the day you pick it but what if you can’t eat all you picked in one day here are a few tips for storing fresh asparagus.

  • If you don’t grow your own asparagus the best time to purchase asparagus is February to June because this is when asparagus is in season

  • Asparagus can be stored loosely in a fridge for 3 to 5 days

  • But extend this time you can store them like you would flowers. Place the tips of the cut ends of the asparagus in a jar of water. The jar does not need to be full; an inch of water will be enough just in case it spills in your fridge; you won't have to clean up too much water. Using this method you can store fresh asparagus for 5 to 10 days in the fridge.

How to Prepare Fresh Asparagus to Eat

One of the benefits of growing asparagus is eating it of course. Here are a few simple recipes we enjoy here on the farm for fresh asparagus!

Shaved Asparagus Salad

1 lb of Asparagus

½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

1 ½ Tablespoons Lemon Juice or 1 squeezed Lemon

1 Tablespoons water

Wash and Prepare the Asparagus. Using a potato peeler, shave the Asparagus into long strips. Mix the Cheese, Lemon Juice, and Water in a bowl. Pour mixture over the asparagus and serve. Makes enough for 3 or as a side dish for 6

Roasted Garlic Asparagus

2 lbs of Asparagus Spears

3 garlic cloves, minced

Olive or Avocado Oil

Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place your washed asparagus on a large baking sheet and spread out evenly. Drizzle with your oil of choice over the asparagus and toss the spear so that all are covered in oil. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the spears and toss again. Spread the spears out again evenly so they will all cook nicely. Sprinkle spears with Salt and Pepper. Place the baking sheet of asparagus in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the asparagus is tender but still crisp. Enjoy.

How to Preserve Your Asparagus for Later Use

There are three ways that you can store your Asparagus Spears. They are freezing, pickling, and pressure canning. We prefer to freeze our asparagus here on the farm. Canning can result in mushy asparagus. I will be sharing the instructions for freezing below but feel free to can or pickle your asparagus. Just be sure to follow your canning book and proven recipes.

How to Freeze Asparagus Spears

  • Choose Young Asparagus spears with tightly closed tips

  • Wash and sort by sizes

  • Trim any scales

  • Cut even lengths if you want spears or into bite-size pieces if you want chunks

  • Pack spears into freezer bags, label with date

  • Seal and Freeze

Frozen asparagus can be used in many recipes but here are a few we use here at the farm.

Alfredo Asparagus Pasta

This is a one-pot meal that is great for a quick weeknight meal.

2 cups frozen asparagus chunks

1 ½ lb of chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces

2 Tablespoons Butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ Teaspoon Oregano

½ Teaspoon Basil

2 cups chicken broth

16 oz Penne Pasta

½ cup milk

2 Tablespoons flour

½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

In a large skillet pan on medium heat, melt the butter. Add the chicken and asparagus and cook for 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and basil. Stir and cook for another 4 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Pour in the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. In the meantime, whisk the flour into the milk and set it aside. When the pasta is done and the milk sauce. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes or until the pasta is almost done. Then whisk in the milk sauce and reduce the heat of the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Sprinkle it with parmesan cheese just before you serve. Enjoy!

I also love to use Asparagus as a spring substitute for my Honey Beef Teriyaki Stir Fry.

Planning for your harvest and beyond does not need to be hard. You just need a plan. The next two steps to making a plan for beyond the harvest is to find more recipes and place those recipes in your menu plan. I know making a meal plan sounds daunting but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you want help with these steps and learn my simple meal planning methods that will show how to get your harvest on your family’s plates where it belongs check out the Planning Beyond the Harvest Planner in my book store.

I hope that you found useful tips for growing, harvesting, and of course eating your asparagus today. I hope you learned something new and exciting about making a plan for beyond the harvest. And if you have any questions comment below or contact me! I am here to help you grow!

I appreciate that you include me in your growing journey.

Have a blessed day,


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