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Asparagus

For nearly a hundred years, one of the main crops grown in Badsey and the surrounding area was asparagus; from the late 19th century until the Second World War, the Vale of Evesham was the premier asparagus growing area of England. Long beloved by the Greeks and Romans, asparagus was brought to England in the 16th century. By the 17th century it was being grown commercially in London; by the 19th century, when the capital city was becoming too built up, asparagus fields were set up in the Vale of Evesham. The decline set in after the Second World War and the growing of asparagus has virtually disappeared in Badsey.

But, within the Vale, there are attempts to keep the asparagus tradition alive. Each year, an annual asparagus auction is held at The Fleece Inn in the neighbouring parish of Bretforton. The Evesham Asparagus Festival has been held since 2005. Pubs such as The Round of Gras (formerly The Royal Oak but renamed in 1967) in Badsey offer asparagus suppers in season.

The Badsey Society’s DVD, Asparagus: Traditional Asparagus Growing in the Vale of Evesham, explains the fast vanishing methods of cultivation, as well as describing the local approach to cooking, exhibiting and the manufacture of asparagus knives. It is available at The Spar Shop, Badsey, or by mail order from www.badseysociety.uk/badsey-society-publications).

Asparafest Leaflet 2013
Asparafest Programme 2013
Asparafest Programme 2014
Asparagus Festival Community Interest Company invitation
Asparagus Lapel badge promoting the Vale of Evesham Asparagus Festival
British Asparagus Festival in the Vale of Evesham Programme 2012
Business card - The Round of Gras
DVD - Asparagus: Traditional Asparagus Growing in the Vale of Evesham
"Gus at the Fleece Inn & Worcester Cathedral" DVD
News article 1903 Mar 21 - From the Archives 100 years ago, asparagus looking set to be a good crop
News article 1930 May 31 - From the Archives 75 years ago, prize bundle of asparagus
News article 1931 Feb 7 - From the Archives 75 years ago, retirement of Mr Binyon as president of Asparagus Growers
News article 1957 Jan 11 - From the Archives 50 years ago, AGM of Evesham Asparagus Growers' Association
News article 1957 - Archive Journal 2007, Vegetable growers are told your asparagus is the best!
News article 1960 - Archive Journal 2010, Wise decision to move asparagus show from Evesham to Badsey
News article 1974 Apr - The "Gras" men of the Vale
News article 1978 Feb 23 - From the Archives 25 years ago, asparagus show abandoned because of lack of interest
News article 1978 May 11 - From the Archives 25 years ago, arrival of season's first asparagus delayed by cold spring
News article 2000 Apr - Where the "Grass" is Greener
News article 2000 May 4 - Cooking up an A-list vegetable
News article 2000 May 20 - Spears of Destiny
News article 2000 May - The 'gras is greener
News article 2000 Jun 15 - Nursing home treat
News article 2000 - Improving on its gras roots charm
News article 2002 Mar 28 - A coup for Vale's gras
News article 2002 - Celebrating the mighty gras
News article 2004 - The gras is greener on this side
News article 2005 Apr - The Round of Gras cuisine
News article 2005 Jun 23 - Oliver Royal! Jamie helps boost sales of the queen of vegetables in the Vale
News article 2006 - Evesham gras is always greener
News article 2006 - Glorious gras is celebrated in a week long festival
News article 2008 Apr 24 - Natural Gras
News article 2008 Apr - Commons reception for Vale asparagus
News article 2008 Nov 6 - Asparagus tours bigger and better
News article 2011 Apr 8 - Round of Gras, Badsey, warm asparagus awaits you!
News article 2011 Nov 11 - Do not adjust your sets …
News article 2012 May 24 - Asparagus price is set to double
News Article 2013 Apr - Advertising "The British Asparagus Festival"
News Article 2013 Apr - "It's cry God for England, Asparagus & St George!"
News Article 2013 May - "Cleaning up with gras-shaped soap"
News Article 2013 Jun - Advert for Evesham Asparafest season
News Article 2013 Jun - "First-ever festival proves a huge hit"
News Article 2014 Jan - "Shoppers browse the asparagus market"
News Article 2014 Mar - "Asparagus festival is hot tip this spring"
News Article 2014 Apr - Advert for The British Asparagus Festival
News Article 2014 April - "Annual asparagus event launch paints town green"
News Article 2014 Apr - "The green, green "gras" of home"
News Article 2014 May - "The Asparagus Man cometh on Saturday"
News Article 2014 Nov - "Aspara Writing festival returns"
News Article 2015 Jan - "What Vale asparagus tells Jemima about 2015 events"
News article 2016 December - "At last! Vale's asparagus gets European protection"
News Article 2017 April - "Asparagus treat delivered to European Parliament"
News article 2017 April - "Cathedral in bizarre 'panto' to bless its local asparagus crop"
News Article 2017 April - "Its nearly gras-giving time"
News Article 2017 June - "Asparafest is big draw again for thousands"
News Article 2017 June - "Gus gets growing fan club"
News Article 2017 June - "Ten spears in double quick time for queen"
News artilcle 2017 April - "A King's Blessing"
Promotional Bookmark - Amazing Asparagus, British Asparagus Festival, Vale of Evesham