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No one is quite sure where asparagus originated, although some believe it derives from a wild plant that grew thousands of years ago in sandy soils of northern Europe and Britain. In any case, asparagus has been highly regarded since antiquity, and was a big favorite of Julius Caesar, Louis XIV, and Thomas Jefferson. Imperial Rome maintained swift Asparagus Fleets, whose role was to hunt down and bring to Rome the best asparagus spears from around the Empire.

Asparagus is a long-lived perennial that is grown all over the U.S. but does best in places with sandy soils and where the ground freezes in the winter to a depth of one or two inches.

The first vegetable to pop out of the ground in the spring, asparagus will grow as much as one inch an hour when conditions are right. Famed British food writer Jane Grigson advises that asparagus should be eaten the day it's picked. By using our search engine, you'll be able to find organic asparagus close to your home, and you'll be buying the freshest spears.

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