Today we visited some asparagus fields owned by Vicente Flores. He grows 150 acres of asparagus with about 4-6 tons of asparagus per 2 acres. The asparagus is irrigated by ditch and goes by a double system by watering and fertilizing at the same time. The harvesting season for asparagus is from may to august. This is also the open window for the market because Peru and Baja California don’t produce then. He determines what kind of fertilizer to use by doing a soil test which will tell you what nutrients is in the soil. The soil in the bajio region is much darker than other regions like Dolores Hidalgo and the US. This has to do with the organic matter in the soil. He also makes he own compost by using manure from the sheep he owns. While using their manure for compost is their primary reason, he also sells them to people who prepare barbecue.
He grows asparagus instead of other crops like corn and barley because it requires a lot less water. This is beneficial when there is a shorter rain season or drought. It can also go months without irrigation. Plus, it is more resistant to frost. It also requires less machinery and therefore less money. The disadvantage is that asparagus takes 2 1/2 years to grow. It also has to be harvested by hand which is an intensive process.
Previous to visiting the asparagus fields, we visited General Mills and Frugo to learn about and observe the process their products go through before being packaged and shipped out.