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New Jersey secretary of agriculture celebrates New Jersey asparagus season

by | May 16, 2009
GREENWICH, NJ -- New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher sampled New Jersey asparagus from Sheppard Farms in Cedarville, eggs from Fralinger's Egg Farm in Hopewell and baked goods from the residents of Greenwich Township during the 19th annual Greenwich Fire Department Egg & Asparagus Breakfast, held May 17.

"Jersey Fresh asparagus is at the height of its season, packed with flavor and full of nutritional value," Secretary Fisher said in a May 17 press release. "Asparagus can be eaten in quiches, salads and omelets or steamed, roasted or saut?ed. The annual tradition in Greenwich is to serve them with eggs as a hearty breakfast."

More than 700 people usually attend the Greenwich Fire Department Egg & Asparagus Breakfast, the main fundraiser for the fire company. The entire community gets involved, from school children and police officers to Mayor Theodore Kiefer, who often can be found wearing an apron and helping in the kitchen. Almost every family in the town contributes a baked good for the breakfast.

"We serve more people at the breakfast than we have residents in Greenwich," Greenwich Fire Chief Wade MacFarland said in the release. "The event is so popular that we get people from Delaware, Pennsylvania and even Ohio."

Mr. MacFarland said asparagus has became the unofficial vegetable of the town due to the town's history of asparagus farming. New Jersey farmers grew 3.4 million pounds of asparagus on 1,000 acres last year with a value of $4.4 million, according to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Jersey asparagus is available from late April to late June, but the month of May is the most active time for the crop.