Asparagus Harvest Underway

<p>Avelino Santos</p>

Avelino Santos

Avelino Santos tends to his asparagus crop, picking out the cracked, the crooked, and the limp roots.

He's been doing this for nearly a quarter of a century, waking up at the crack of dawn and working through the morning.

"We wake up at 5:30, we cut it until we're all done," said Santos.

However, Santos' mornings are being cut a little shorter this year.

Santos says his crop is slightly below the average size, he says it's due to the late start in warm weather.

"The hotter it gets, the more it grows," said Santos, "This year, it was mostly cold. Not too cold that it froze, but really close to the 60's, it didn't really grow as fast as it did last year."

Santos says asparagus requires consistently hot weather to reach it's maximum growing conditions -- last year, the asparagus crop was crippled due to constant drops and spikes in temperatures throughout the spring -- introducing a host of weeds.

A good year can average up to 40 crates a day, however, Santos is packing about 30.

Despite this year's forecast being ideal, Santos says it's all part of the risk growers take on their products.

"I love to do it, it's the thing I love to do," said Santos, "Whoever consumes it knows that it's a job well done."

There are 75 asparagus growers within the state who harvest about 18 million pounds from about 5,000 acres.