Pasco's Asparagus Fest has arrived, which brings up so many questions. I mean, is asparagus so popular that it can warrant it's own festival? Where's avocado fest? Avocados are wildly popular, yet no one's chugging beers in celebration of avocados. Everyone's focused on that attention-whore veggie, asparagus.

So in the spirit of Asparagus Fest, here are the answers to just about any asparagus questions you might have, along with some strange "fun facts."

What is Asparagus Fest?

Asparagus Fest is an annual gathering of asparagus farmers and enthusiasts at Middleton Six Sons Farms in Pasco. They say Asparagus Fest is "a celebration of the spring harvest. It includes field tours, live music, great food, and activities for the whole family." You can find more info and buy tickets here.

What is Asparagus?

Asparagus is a vegetable, famous for causing your pee to have a strong smell. It's related to other smelly favorites, like garlic and onions.

Photo: Seeds Up
Photo: Seeds Up

What Does Asparagus Look Like?

Most people think of asparagus as green, but it also comes in two other colors: purple, and white.

Photo: Hirts Gardens Store
Photo: Hirts Gardens Store

Do People Like Asparagus?

King Louis XIV of France called asparagus the "King of Vegetables," and Queen Nefertiti said it was "the Food of Gods." Who are we to argue with a King and Queen?

Where Does Asparagus Come From?

Asparagus is a plant native to the Mediterranean.

Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash
Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash

Where Does the Name Asparagus Come From?

In Old English, it was referred to as Sparagi, which later morphed somehow into Sparrowgrass, which then became Asparagus. A-sparrow-grass. Get it?

What Does the Name Asparagus Mean?

The name asparagus translates to "young shoot," which refers to the edible shoots of asparagus; the "branches" that sprout from the plant.

Are Asparagus Hard to Grow?

It can take a few years to get started, but they are a perennial, and will arrive every spring, like clockwork, for almost a decade, before you might consider replanting.

What vitamins are in Asparagus?

Vitamin A, B-9, C, and Vitamin K.

What are the Health Benefits of Asparagus?

  • Vitamin A helps with your bones, teeth, mucus membranes, and skin.
  • Vitamin C helps with skin care/repair; healing wounds, tissue growth, and it also helps with your teeth.
  • Vitamin B-9 is important for cell growth.
  • Vitamin K helps with blood clotting.
  • Inulin is a fiber, found in asparagus, that helps with gut health.
  • Asparagus is diuretic, helping your body get rid of excess fluids, salt, and preventing urinary tract infections.
  • Asparagus contains Folate, which can help prevent birth defects, reduce the risk of stroke, and ease depression.
  • It's proven to be an anti-carcinogen. The National Cancer Institute is pro-Asparagus.
  • It's high in antioxidants. Again, it is believed that asparagus helps your body defend itself against the Big C.

How Many Calories are in Asparagus?

A cup of asparagus contains 27 calories.

What are Some Myths About Asparagus?

  • That it only grows green, when in fact it can also be purple or white.
  • "Eating raw asparagus is dangerous." No, it's not.
  • The Kama Sutra says that asparagus "paste" in your milk, gives you a boost in your libido.
  • During the Renaissance, men thought of asparagus the way they now think of Viagra.

Is Asparagus Bad for Me?

You can't please all of the people, all of the time. Asparagus can be dangerous for people prone to blood clots. Blame this on Vitamin K. Talk to your doctor if you're on any type of blood thinner, and ask if it's okay for you to eat asparagus, how often you can eat asparagus, and if it's okay to take supplements that contain asparagus.

Does Eating Asparagus Really Make Your Pee Smell?

Yes. And no. The truth is that only 40% of humans can smell a strong odor in their urine after eating asparagus. If you can sniff it, it's in your genes. Lucky you.

Why Does Asparagus Make My Pee Smell?

Besides your DNA, mentioned above, the acid in asparagus, coincidentally named "asparagusic" acid (what are the odds), produces sulfurous byproducts in the body that give your urine that "not so fresh" scent.

How Long Will My Pee Smell?


Kidding. Your urine can smell for up to 14 hours.

What's the Most Unusual Use for Asparagus?

Witches use asparagus in lust and fertility spells.

And then there's... Ice cream?

That's About All We Know

So now if you find yourself at Asparagus Fest, you'll have all the talking points, and can drop some wicked trivia into the conversation.

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