The recent rain and flooding has forced organisers of the annual British Asparagus Festival in Worcestershire to cancel the event – because of a lack of asparagus.
Organisers said that, after an unusually warm March, the flooding that followed heavy rain and cool temperatures in April had left the seasonal vegetable “almost completely dormant”.
And flood waters have left the venue for the festival, which was due to take place this weekend in the Vale of Evesham, under several inches of water after the River Avon burst its banks.
The British Asparagus Growers’ Association has reported the earliest recorded, but small, crop of the vegetable due to the hot March, but said that with cooler temperatures and rain, production had largely stopped.
British Asparagus Festival organiser Angela Tidmarsh said: “We were expecting asparagus to be scarce due to the unseasonably good weather at the start of the year followed by the recent deluge.
“However, this week’s flooding means that the asparagus crop is almost completely dormant.”
She said there were plans to continue celebrating asparagus, which is usually in season from late April to mid-June, throughout May and it was hoped the crop would be available for the asparagus auction at the Fleece, at Bretforton on May 27.
The “king of asparagus”, due to be crowned at this weekend’s festival, would instead receive their crown of asparagus spears at the auction, she added.
The British Asparagus Growers’ Association said that after the small, early crop prompted by the warm temperatures in March, the cold, rainy weather had slowed production almost to a standstill.
And with more cool weather forecast it could be another 10 days to two weeks before full quantities of asparagus reach the shops.