Frequently Asked Questions
You may have questions. We definitely have answers!
Why do you farm organically?
Organic agriculture is a holistic philosophy which uses sustainable farming methods. Organic producers agree not to use GMOs; synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fungicides; irradiation; chemical fertilizers; sewage sludge or antibiotics.
At Mazak Farms, we feel strongly that creating a product without the use of any of the above matters; it matters to our health today, and it matters to our health tomorrow.
What does certified organic mean?
Mazak Farms participates in the organic certification process anually. We are certified by EcoCert Canada. EcoCert sends an inspector to the farm to ensure the Canadian Organic Standards are being complied with. This is a lengthy and costly process, but an important one that ensures the integrity of organic products. When an operation has been provided with their certification, you can be assured the product is legitimately and reliably organic.
How is Mazak Farms organic asparagus picked?
All by hand- yes, for real! All 8.5 acres of our asparagus, both green and white, is hand-picked one spear at a time! Each spring, we hire a team of local people to work in our harvest. Typically our staff has consisted of local students who are excited about the local and organic food movements, and seeking some experience working on a farm.
Who is involved in the farm?
Mazak Farms is a true family effort. Even though the farm is owned and run by Barry and Sarah, Rick and Mary Mazak remain a vital part of the farm operation and its success. It is guaranteed that whenever you come to the farm, you will speak with one of the four of us. We work closely to ensure the needs of the family and farm are always our top priority.
When is asparagus in season and available?
Asparagus season typically begins the first week of May and runs until approximately the middle of June. There have been seasons when we have started earlier and ended later, as it is soley dependant on Mother Nature. We will post regular updates about how the season is progressing through social media and our nifty website.
Once the season starts, we also place our asparagus sign at the end of our road (Longhurst Line). We know our customers look for it!
When do you plant asparagus?
Asparagus is a perninnial crop, meaning it only needs to be planted once and will grow year after year. A typical asparagus crop will produce for 20 years.
When does Mazak Farms hand pick their asparagus?
We begin picking first thing in the morning, and the weather determines how long the day’s harvest will take. In ideal conditions we are able to harvest the same fields twice in one day! Asparagus has been known to group up to 6 inches in one day! You can literally watch it grow.
What else does Mazak Farms grow?
In addition to certified organic asparagus, Mazak Farms also grows certified organic rhubarb and garlic. We are expanding our garlic varities to include music, elephant and scapes.
What is the difference between white and green asparagus?
White asparagus is essentially green asparagus that has not been exposed to light, which prevents the plant from producing chlorophyll. It has a milder taste and is considered a delicacy in many European countries. Mazak Farms is one of only a few growers of certified organic white asparagus in Ontario. Some of our wonderful customers drive 4 hours just to buy our certified organic white asparagus.
How do you store asparagus?
Asparagus likes to be stored in water and in a cool place. You can do this by wrapping the bottom ends (not the spear) in a moist paper towel or ideally standing the asparagus upright in a shallow dish of water in your fridge. Asparagus lasts in your fridge for approximately one week.
Can you freeze asparagus?
Yes, you can freeze asparagus. Some people prefer to blanch their asparagus prior to freezing, while others freeze asparagus in the raw state. Our family loves asparagus soup and in the spring we make and freeze asparagus soup puree. Nothing beats asparagus soup on a cold winter’s day!
When is Mazak Farms open?
Mazak Farms is open year round to sell firewood and free range eggs. During asparagus seasons (beginning of spring), we are open 9AM-6PM, seven days a week to accomodate our customers who travel great distances to buy our asparagus.