North Fork asparagus is here: Sunday Scene

Lyle Wells asparagus

Farmer Lyle Wells at an asparagus field on Sound Avenue. The field is being harvested this week. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photos)

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.

Wells aspaagus

Louisa Oliva in one of the special harvesters that Wells purchased last year — an investment which makes harvesting easier on the workers.

Wells aspaagus

Wells aspaagus

Farm worker Juana Llamas trims asparagus before they get put in cases.

Wells aspaagus

Louisa Oliva in one of the special harvesters that Wells purchased last year — an investment which makes harvesting easier on the workers.

Wells aspaagus

Your North Fork Sunday Scene features weekly snap shot of life on Long Island’s top fork.

Previously:

A NoFo Field Trip

Aquebogue peacocks with spring fever

The vines begin to weep

Baby doll sheep at Jason’s Vineyard

Crocuses emerge at Peconic River Herb Farm