Asparagus Spring Fest is happening this weekend

FRUITLAND

In the mood for asparagus? If the answer is yes, then Asparagus Spring Fest on Saturday is the place to go.

The food fest, presented by Owyhee Produce, will be on Saturday at the Owyhee Asparagus packing shed and starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 7 p.m.

The event is for eating local asparagus, meeting local vendors and picking up some plants. A flyer for the event encourages attendees to “grab asparagus to take home before the season is over.”

The newspaper reached out to Robin Froerer with Owyhee Produce to learn more about this upcoming event and find out what attendees can expect to see.

Owyhee Produce is grower of produce in Nyssa that primarily grows onions and asparagus and has space at the Henggeler Packing Company site in Fruitland, where the festival will be taking place.

Froerer said that her daughter was the one who has wanted to put this festival on for a while now and said an event in Nyssa a couple of years ago attracted people from all over the Treasure Valley to see how asparagus is harvested.

“People from Boise and the Treasure Valley were interested in how it’s picked, now we show how it gets packed,” she said.

Froerer noted that attendees who are interested can take a tour, but must sign a waiver and remove their jewelry.

She said the asparagus festival will be “a fun environment” and people are wanting some community activities.

“It’s kinda fun because everyone has been locked down,” said Froerer.

Froerer’s daughter Bailey Myers took the time to explain how an event like this came to fruition.

Myers said that her college major was hospitality and tourism, however she has a passion for agriculture and embarked on combining those two subjects into one interdisciplinary degree. When Myers’ advisors told her weren’t sure it could be done, she said she told them, “I think I can.”

Since then, she has been utilizing her agricultural tourism degree to educate the public on where their food comes from in a myriad ways, including the festival, and this is the inaugural year.

Myers said that in addition to educating the public about the farm-to-fork protocols, the event will have several food vendors offering everything from soup to crepes to salsa to ice cream, all made from asparagus.

“I’m super excited, I don’t know how many people will come,” said Myers, adding, “I have lots of food coming.”

She also said how there will be “places for photos” and “outdoor games” saying that there is something for everyone.

In April of 2020, due to labor shortages around harvest time, in lieu of throwing away product that couldn’t be harvested, the company decided to give away asparagus, according to a news story from KTVB.com. To spread the word, the company created a TikTok video, which went viral, and nearly 5,000 people showed up to pick asparagus to take home, according to the story.

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