The National Trust’s only pub – the Vale of Evesham’s 600-year-old Fleece Inn – hosted a morning of typically-British eccentricity.
The morning’s festivities included appearances by Saint George, Gus the Asparagus Man, Trevor Harrison (Eddie Grundy) of Radio 4’s Archer’s fame, Morris Dancers and the Asparagus fairy.
World-renowned asparamancer, Jemima Packington attended alongside the all-female folk dancers “Asum Gras” and musician Griff Collins singing his asparagus song. The only asparamancer in the world (apparently!) Jemina says she is able to predict the future using nothing more then a handful of asparagus by tossing the spears into the air and interpreting how they land. She has made dozens of accurate predictions in recent years, including the demise of Gordon Brown, the credit crunch, and Oscar glory for British film The King’s Speech.
The first cut round of asparagus was taken by a convoy, including a tractor decorated with giant asparagus spears and vintage Morgan cars, to London and delivered to the Chelsea Pensioners.
For many years, Vale of Evesham asparagus has become more and more popular following the success of the famous asparagus auctions at The Fleece Inn at Bretforton.\\
Vale of Evesham Asparagus is the name given to green asparagus which has been grown within the defined geographical area. Vale of Evesham asparagus is produced only between the months of April and July.
Vale of Evesham asparagus can vary from light green to dark green in colour, with purple tips depending on the speed of growth and night time temperatures.
Typical shapes are long thin spears from 8mm diameter mid spear to 24mm. The maximum length for harvest is 22cm.
The flavour of raw asparagus resembles that of fresh peas and is brittle and crunchy to the taste. Cooked asparagus takes on the full flavour of mellow nutty artichokes, and has the aroma of faint grass and fresh peas which can vary according to the temperature during which it is harvested.
Vale of Evesham Asparagus is sold either in a banded bundle, a flow wrapped pack or a plastic sleeve for supermarkets and naked in bundles for farm shops. The product is to be banded into 4mm diameter groupings.
Vale of Evesham Asparagus was awarded special protected name status by the EU in 2016 – joining the likes of Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Bakewell Tarts.