Eleventh generation North Fork farmer Lyle Wells of Aquebogue began harvesting the asparagus in his fields earlier this week, a sure sign that the worst of this brutal winter and chilly early spring is behind us.
“Spring is finally here, that’s what it means to a lot of people,” Wells said. “Nice fresh local produce. Good today and winter is finally over.”
Lyle farms a half dozen plots on over 150 acres in Riverhead. Besides asparagus, his earliest crop, he also grows zucchini, which he harvests with the blossoms, and winter squashes. The asparagus harvest lasts about two months. Asparagus takes about four years to establish a viable crop and will produce for about 20 years before it must be replanted, Wells said.
“I’m 59 years old and what I planted last year should last until I’m 79,” he said. “The old fields will fall off production that’s why we continue to plant.”
Local asparagus is selling for $3.99 per pound and up at a farm stand near you.
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