Joann Krueger is the co-owner of Krueger’s Orchard with her husband, Paul. Although the orchard does not open until mid-July, customers can pre-order asparagus.
GODFREY — It’s beginning to look a lot like summertime, when area residents venture out to farmer’s markets, plant gardens and eat fresh vegetables — like asparagus.
Krueger’s Orchard, 2914 Airport Road, will be selling asparagus for the first time this year. Joann Krueger, co-owner of Krueger’s Orchard, said the idea of selling asparagus began last fall while she and her husband and co-owner, Paul, were at the farmers’ market.
“We were letting people know then we were going to sell asparagus. That way we would be able to call them in spring, and even ask how much asparagus they wanted,” she said.
Krueger’s Orchard is open during the year from mid-July until Oct. 31. Although they are not open for the season, Krueger said you can still call and pre-order the asparagus.
Krueger said she and her husband found a need to have an asparagus farm for their community.
“There are no asparagus farms around here anymore, and we saw the need for it,” she said.
Joann said Krueger’s Orchard has a half acre and 3,000 planted asparagus plants, which they began planting in the spring of 2012.
“Last spring we were able to cut and sell asparagus for two weeks,” she said.
This year is much different, but Krueger said they have enough for five to six weeks.
Krueger said asparagus roots need heat to grow.
“You plant it and wood chip it. You try and keep the weeds out if it, and then let it go. Once it’s done, you let it take off, then it ferns out. Usually in the winter time, Paul will mow off the top of them because the stuff on top will die. But you keep some of it on there for a ground cover, and just let it go from there,” she said.
Once it gets hot, they cut nightly, Krueger added.
“Once it gets going, we average around 50 to 60 pounds,” she said.
Krueger said they are selling the asparagus at $2.50 per pound.
“We already have people coming back wanting more,” she said.
Once Krueger’s Orchard opens in mid-July, they will begin to have other summer (into fall) fruits and vegetables, such as peaches, sweet corn and a variety of peppers, cantaloupes and pumpkins, to name a few.
“The zucchinis, cucumbers and tomatoes we grow at different times. Paul tries to plan them so we have almost to the end of when we close,” she said. “We try to, depending on the weather.“
For information on Krueger’s Orchard, call (618) 466-3576.