Skip to content



Get ready to indulge in one of nature’s finest delicacies as the asparagus season kicks off this October. As soon as the blossoms start to appear, food enthusiasts start to get excited about the arrival of one of life’s simple pleasures, asparagus. 

LeaderBrand has been growing asparagus for more than 10 years in the South Island. Grown at the base of the Southern Alps on the fertile plains of Canterbury, the cooler nights and warmer days create the perfect climate to grow the delicious spears.  

Mike Arnold, our LeaderBrand South Island Manager says they might be biased, but he thinks that LeaderBrand’s alphine asparagus are the pick of the bunch. 

“The overnight temperatures help to lock-in the sugars and flavour, making our asparagus sweeter and juicer, it also creates that lovely green colour in our spears. 

“Growing asparagus is a long-term commitment. We have asparagus plots in Lincoln which have been harvested for more than 15 years and Chertsey for about five years.  It takes about three years of growth from first planting the crown to when the first harvest can be handpicked,” he says.  

“Asparagus are an incredibly unique and amazing vegetable. In the height of the season, asparagus can literally grow right before your eyes, up to 17 centimeters in a day. It means you need a dedicated harvest team throughout the spring to pick every day. If it’s too hot, the spears can go seedy quickly,” he says.  

This seasonal gem is a Kiwi favourite and there’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than with a plate of fresh, tender asparagus.    

“Asparagus is extremely versatile, goes with any meal, and is simple and easy to prepare. Personally, I think a bunch is best when it is blanched in a pan and served with butter and a squeeze of lemon,” says Mike Arnold. 

The season is short so make sure you grab a bunch as soon as they hit the shelves. 

“There’s nothing better than savoring the simple pleasures of life, whether you’re a home cook or a seasoned chef, everyone can enjoy asparagus. We know that with the cost of living, vegetables are a stretch, but asparagus are worth the investment,” he says.   

Carmel Ireland from 5+ A Day Charitable Trust agrees that asparagus are a good vegetable to include as part of your daily 5+ a day.

“Asparagus are a great source of dietary fibre and folate, including vitamins such as niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins B6, C and K, and potassium.  

“A key to a healthy diet is one that includes a variety of coloured vegetables. We think that asparagus are a great way to boost your vegetable intake in the most delicious and easy way,” she says. 

To keep your asparagus fresh at home, store them refrigerated with the ends wrapped in wet paper towels or standing up in a glass of water like flowers in a vase.   

LeaderBrand asparagus bunches are about to hit the supermarket and are available from early October until the end of December.