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East Anglian trial for edible ‘raw’ purple asparagus

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 May 2015

Cobrey Farms are growing a new variety of asparagus called Burgundine. With the asparagus is farmer Henry Chinn. Picture: Ian Burt

Cobrey Farms are growing a new variety of asparagus called Burgundine. With the asparagus is farmer Henry Chinn. Picture: Ian Burt

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A new purple variety of asparagus that can be eaten raw is being grown in north Norfolk, and more may be grown in Suffolk.

Cobrey Farms are growing a new variety of asparagus called Burgundine. With the asparagus is farmer Henry Chinn. Picture: Ian BurtCobrey Farms are growing a new variety of asparagus called Burgundine. With the asparagus is farmer Henry Chinn. Picture: Ian Burt

Asparagus specialists Cobrey Farms, run by the Chinn family partnership, is carrying out the first UK trial of the Burgundine variety on about 10 acres of its rented landed at Hunstanton.

The farm’s 70 Norfolk staff began harvesting the crop at the end of last month and early feedback from Tesco, which is selling the new variety exclusively in more than 100 of its stores, is positive.

Henry Chinn, who runs the business with his brother Christopher and parents John and Gay, said: “People are a lot more adventurous these days.

“Sales of green asparagus are increasing year on year and this gives the customer something a bit different.”

Cobrey Farms are growing a new variety of asparagus called Burgundine. With the asparagus is farmer Henry Chinn. Picture: Ian BurtCobrey Farms are growing a new variety of asparagus called Burgundine. With the asparagus is farmer Henry Chinn. Picture: Ian Burt

The family firm, one of the UK’s biggest asparagus growers, has a 3,000-acre farm in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, but also rents 500 acres of sandy, free-draining land at Thornham, Hunstanton, as well as further asparagus-growing sites in Suffolk, around Wrentham and Snape.

If sales take off it was likely they would grow more of it, possibly in Suffolk, said Mr Chinn.

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