First in field with Norfolk asparagus

West Norfolk asparagus grower Caroline Sanderson is one of the first into the field with a home-grown delicacy - just in time for the Easter holiday.She was able to supply the first of the new season asparagus to the Dabbling Duck at Great Massingham, formerly the Rose & Crown, this weekend.

West Norfolk asparagus grower Caroline Sanderson is one of the first into the field with a home-grown delicacy - just in time for the Easter holiday.

She was able to supply the first of the new season asparagus to the Dabbling Duck at Great Massingham, formerly the Rose & Crown, this weekend.

Mrs Sanderson and her husband Tom, of St John's Farm, Beechamwell, decided to capitalise on the early asparagus market to meet the demand for fresh, locally-grown produce.

With 25 acres of asparagus, they have a first class group of Portuguese pickers to pick the crop through the season.


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They also sell asparagus at the farmgate, which retails for about £3 for a 454g or about 1lb bundle. "We're just off the main Swaffham to Downham Market Road but we also sell into the local market as well as wholesalers," she added.

Although supplies are limited at present, there will be much more available in about a fortnight.

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She is keen to promote local production and also sells to other local pubs including the Spread Eagle at nearby Barton Bendish.

Customers at the Dabbling Duck, which re-opened last December after almost six years' closure, are enjoying the fresh, local taste, said Jess Lapping, who runs the pub with her husband, Mark.

"We specialise in really good local food and we try and get as much supplied by local farmers and growers as we can.

We're keen to minimise the food miles but also serve tasty good food," said Mrs Lapping.

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