Shropshire Star

Flashback to 2003: Unique asparagus, a buzz at the castle and a police award

A farmer was celebrating an early crop of asparagus after coming up with a unique growing technique.

Farmer Trevor Lee from Quatt near Bridgnorth who came up with a unique early growing technique for asparagus

Trevor Lee, of Lodge Farm, in Quatt, near Bridgnorth, was credited with changing the face of asparagus growing in the UK

With his 30 years experience of growing asparagus, Mr Lee in partnership with Marks & Spencer, devised a new growing method which resulted in an early crop.

The success was also said to be thanks to the retailer giant's work with growers to extend the UK asparagus season.

Traditionally, the British asparagus season lasts eight weeks but Marks & Spencer has added up to three weeks on to the season.

Mr Lee said that he was keeping his farming techniques a closely guarded secret but was thrilled that Marks & Spencer was selling his produce.

“About 12 months ago I was just a small farmer. I have a number of colleagues and we got together and set up a company called Western Asparagus Growers and now we sell to multiples,” he said.

He added that the protected crop of asparagus was being sold exclusively by Marks and Spencer.

Mr Lee said: “We have managed to produce asparagus early, I promised them they could have it for Easter and I have achieved that. I started cutting about 10 days ago when normally cutting doesn’t start until the first week of May.”

Mr Lee and his workforce cut the entire crop by hand, with the last cut being made on June 21 – the longest day of the year.

In 2003, Lodge Farm expected to harvest a massive 22,222 bundles of early asparagus for Marks & Spencer.