Mr Bataung Kuenene of the Agricultural Research Center and Mr Khotso Mapepesa from Kingdom Asparagus examine asparagus plants grown from seeds during the prior season.
Warm weather awakens the asparagus plants from their winter slumber.
On November 20th Kingdom Asparagus received funding from the Pollination Project. Funding will support the expansion of asparagus fields through the production of many thousands of asparagus crowns. Please click on the link for the Pollination Project web announcement.
A few of the first bundles of asparagus this season on their way to hungry customers.
As winter arrives in the Southern Hemisphere, the asparagus plants turn brown. The energy that they produced during the summer is now stored in the root system. The asparagus will lie dormant, under ground, until warmer temperatures arrive in the spring. Then it will be time to harvest the spears!
Kingdom Asparagus has partnered with the Lesotho Agricultural Research Center to develop growing methods that are tailored to the particular conditions faced by farmers in Lesotho.
Here, some small asparagus seedlings have just been transplanted from the greenhouse.
The first significant rainfall arrived on January 12, helping to ease the effects of the El Nino dought. Our asparagus plants enjoyed the drink. The late arrival of rain has put serious pressure on farmers who rely on a maize crop to feed their families. If they plant now there may not be enough time for the maize to mature before the first frosts arrive. Asparagus plants, with their deep roots, are somewhat drought tolerant, so our farmers will still earn income from their plants.
Follow the rain with this Lesotho radar link: http://www.accuweather.com/en/ls/maseru/229182/satellite/229182