April is the start of one our favourite times of year here at the Vernon Visitor Centre – the time for farm fresh asparagus! There are few things tastier than fresh, hand-picked spring asparagus grilled, steamed, or added to any culinary creation – and not to mention the many health benefits of Asparagus.
Our friends over at the Okanagan Asparagus Farm in Armstrong know all about asparagus – their website tells us that “Asparagus is one of the healthiest vegetables available to us. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, it is very high in antioxidants. The best news of all – only 20 calories for each 5 spears.” http://www.okasparagus.com. And did you know that Asparagus is a member of the Lily family? Other members of this family include garlic, onions and tulips.
One of our favourite ways to enjoy fresh asparagus from the garden, local farm producer or farmers market is roasted asparagus. Simply drizzle your asparagus spears with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped garlic, salt and your choice of herbs, bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes – Yumm! Visit http://www.okasparagus.com/roasted-asparagus.html for their full recipe. In addition to Okanagan Asparagus, two more local asparagus producing farms are the Armstrong Asparagus Farm (250-546-9301 – 4694 Knob Hill Rd, Armstrong BC) and the Curly Willow Farm (250-838-6751 – 132 Tomkinson Rd, Grindrod BC).
Fun Fact: Armstrong also is also home to the Asparagus Community Theatre where home grown talent can shine on the stage http://actokbc.wix.com/asparagus#.