Asparagus spears emerge through the soil continuously throughout the season and must be harvested before the tips begin to “fern out”. At the height of its growing season, in warm humid conditions, single spears of asparagus can grow 1-2 cm per hour!
Emerging spears are harvested by hand when they have reached the desired length of at least 25 cm of green colouring. Each spear is cut with a long-handled asparagus knife at or below the soil surface. The cutter threads the cut spears between his fingers (see pictured) so the heads are not damaged and places them to the side of the soil bed.
The spears are then packed into crates and transported to the packing shed. To maximise freshness harvesting is mostly done in the cool of the night or early morning.