Harvesting asparagus in Udon Thani

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The highlight of any trip to Udon Thani, Mr. P’s hometown, is the ability to taste freshly picked asparagus at its source. The family living beside the parents’ home runs an asparagus farm, so there is always an abundance of this vegetable during meal times.

This success of this family’s asparagus operation is founded on hard work and persistence, according to Mr. P. There was a wave of asparagus farming among the villagers a while back, but many had also failed and have since turned to plant other cash crops. Although Thailand’s climate makes it ideal to harvest asparagus year-round, this vegetable requires well-drained soil, which the dry, sandy soil in Isaan (northeastern Thailand) is not entirely suited for.

Mr. P’s mum works part-time as an asparagus picker, so she has to head out to the plantations at 6am. One morning, we popped by the farm to take a look at mum and other workers harvesting the spears. The fern-like plants looked particularly alluring with rainwater and dewdrops trapped among its wispy, feathery leaves. We wandered among the plots, peeked at asparagus tips poking through the soil and said hi to the other neighbours who were recruited to help with this operation.

When I saw mum walking towards us among the trenches, I quickly pointed the camera at her. How I love this shot of her (above) among the asparagus shrubs, with her twinkling eyes and warm smile!

More pictures of the asparagus harvesting process below.

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