ABC of Early Seasonal Vegetables

 A for Asparagus, B for Bean Sprouts, C for Cucumber. OK, bean sprouts are a bit of a cheat but Mary has sprouted beans on the kitchen windowsill this year.

The first Asparagus spear popped its head above ground on the 25th March ...

Photo 1: First Sighting of Asparagus (25th March 2024)

... though it was a couple of weeks later before we were able to enjoy our first taste of the season.

It is now the beginning of June and the asparagus season is very nearly finished (in our garden anyway).

Need evidence for the power of a vegetarian diet? Well, stand back in awe at the strength of these two asparagus spears as they defy gravity by forcing their way through the brick path adjacent to the asparagus bed.

Photo 2: Asparagus Spears in a Test of Strength (28/5/24)

They provided a tasty (and not at all tough) meal accompaniment the following day ...

Photo 3: Ready for the Chop (29/5/24)

Asparagus is an early season vegetable that is low in calories yet a good source of Vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, E & K) and Minerals (Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Manganese, & Zinc).

Our small asparagus bed (less than a metre square) yielded at a minimum of 120 spears this year - approximate value £40.

If we ignore the bean sprouts, which can be 'grown' at any time of the year, then our next seasonal vegetable to appear is the cucumber (closely followed by chard). I grow the Passandra F1 variety, a mini-cucumber (15 cm/6 inches long) and of excellent flavour, in my polytunnel using the Quadgrow system. At £0.45 per seed, this variety may seem expensive until you work out that you will be paying less than £0.05 per cucumber. The first cucumber was picked on 2nd June 2024 and was delicious sliced on sandwiches or cut into sticks with a houmous dip.

Photo 4: First Cuke of 2024 (2/6/24)

Cucumbers provide a useful source of vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C & K) and minerals (Calcium Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium & Zinc) though levels are generally lower than asparagus due to the high water content (95%) of cucumbers. 


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