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North Rhine-Westphalia:

Germany: Minister opens asparagus season - good harvest expected

The asparagus harvest is beginning in North Rhine-Westphalia. Due to the cold winter, experts from the NRW Chamber of Agriculture and the NRW Spargelstraße expect a good harvest for the 2018 season.

In 2017, 127,800 tons of asparagus were harvested in Germany, an increase of six percent compared to the previous year. With a total cultivated area of 23,100 hectares, asparagus remains by far the most important vegetable in German open land cultivation.

In the presence of NRW Minister of Agriculture Christina Schulze Föcking (right), the asparagus season in North Rhine-Westphalia was opened on April 11 at the Biolandhof Schulze Wethmar in Lünen. At the same time, there was the presentation of the new NRW Asparagus Queen, Christine I. from Everswinkel. Under the watchful eyes of Eva Kähler-Theuerkauf (to her right), President of the Horticulture North Rhine-Westphalia, Willy Kreienbaum from Sassenberg-Füchtorf, Chairman of the Association of Asparagus growers Westfalen-Lippe, and Chamber President Karl Werring, the new Queen immediately cut the first asparagus.
Source: lwk nrw

A special feature of asparagus cultivation in Germany is the extremely high degree of self-sufficiency: according to the Federal Statistical Office, 87 percent of the asparagus sold in Germany are from the country itself. Thus, the self-sufficiency of these noble vegetables is twice as high as that of other types of vegetables. 70% of the asparagus is bought via market stalls, specialist shops or in the many North Rhine-Westphalian farm shops. With an 88 percent market share, white asparagus are favoured by the German gourmets, followed by the green asparagus that grows above the earth. For green asparagus, preparation is a bit easier. The higher content of chlorophyll that turns it green gives it a spicier taste and has a positive effect on its ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals. That makes it especially popular with younger buyers.

Opening of the asparagus season 2018 in NRW (left to right): Minister of Agriculture Christina Schulze Föcking, Asparagus Queen Christine I from Everswinkel and chamber president Karl Werring - Source: lwk nrw

The main growing regions in North Rhine-Westphalia are at Niederrhein Walbeck and Brüggen and the Bornheim area in the Rhineland. In Westphalia the areas Füchtorf in the Warendorf district, the Minden-Lübbecke district, Delbrück near Paderborn, the Gütersloh area as well as the regions Recklinghausen with Bottrop and Kirchhellen are among the main growing areas.

Source: Landwirtschaftskammer NRW
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