The annual British Asparagus Festival has been cancelled due to a lack of the principal vegetable. Poor weather in the UK has led to an insufficient quantity of asparagus being available.
Since 2006 the British Asparagus Festival has taken place in the Vale of Evesham, in England. The event is organized by The British Asparagus Growers Association and is designed to promote the vegetable and to boost local tourism.
The festival, based around a local pub, not only presents the asparagus as plucked from the ground, it also features a variety of asparagus related products: from sausages to soap and toothpaste.
Asparagus is a spring vegetable, related to onions and garlic. Asparagus is a tall plant (around 40-60 inches), with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The shoots from the young plant can be eaten. However, as the plant ages, the shoots become inedible. To add to this complication, the fruit of the plant is poisonous.
Farmed at the right time the shoots can be used in a number of tasty recipes, as well as being used as a fragrance. This versatility was one of the reasons for the plant being given its own festival.
Following a bizarrely warm end to the British winter and an especially wet April, the organizers have, as reported in the Daily Telegraph, cancelled the event due to insufficient stocks of the centerpiece vegetable.
Asparagus lovers will need to wait until 2013 to celebrate their favorite vegetable.