Professor Dave Wolyn in the Oct. 29 Toronto Star


Hundreds of petri dishes and test tubes containing little asparagus clones sit on shelves in a tiny climate-controlled room at the University of Guelph campus. One of these could breed the next asparagus strain that chefs and home cooks will adorn with hollandaise for brunch.

Aside from how to best cook them (roasted with a bit of lemon juice and salt) or that yes, they can make one’s urine smell especially, um, funky, you might not know much about the vegetable that signals springtime in Canada. But the crop, which was first cultivated in Rome more than two thousand years ago and originally grew in the eastern Mediterranean and areas surrounding Turkey, was a favourite of King Louis XIV who was said to have grown it in Versailles’s greenhouses.

Read more in the Toronto Star.

Prof. Dave Wolyn in an asparagus field.