It even has protected food status. If you live near Evesham, you’ll have experienced the annual asparagus festival, from the harvesting of the first rounds in April (a round is a bundle of 15 spears) to the end of the harvest in June or July. Ilmington Community Shop is just nine miles from The Fleece Inn at Bretforton, where the traditional asparagus auctions are held. We buy our asparagus from Andrew Drinkwater up the road and he gets his supplies from South Littleton and Pershore in the heart of the Vale. “The asparagus has been expensive this year,” he admits, “because it’s been so cold. The prices drop as it gets warmer and the growing season really takes off.” Steamed and griddled, seasoned and served with butter, asparagus is the perfect green vegetable. It goes brilliantly with fish. It makes a great starter with mayonnaise. To us, it’s a sign that summer isn’t far away.