The total area in the Netherlands devoted to asparagus cultivation has increased substantially since 2008 by 450 hectares (18 percent) to more than 2,900 ha in 2011. The province of Limburg accounted for 84 percent of the increase. The area where asparagus are grown was enlarged by 374 hectares since 2008 (28 percent). The expansion in the province of North Brabant was 116 hectares (13 percent). The north of Limburg has reinforced its position as the centre of asparagus cultivation in the Netherlands.
Asparagus cultivation by municipality, 2011
North of Limburg centre of asparagus cultivation
Professional asparagus cultivation was started in the nineteenth century on the sandy areas behind the dunes of North and South Holland and around the municipality of Bergen op Zoom, the so-called Brabantse Wal. The Brabantse Wal is the only one of the original cultivation areas where asparagus are still grown today. Asparagus growing became important in the northern part of the province of Limburg in the 1950s, with Grubbenvorst as its centre. The northern part of Limburg was very suitable for asparagus cultivation due to the sandy soils and the vicinity of the Ruhr Area as a large consumer market and the availability of cheap labour, because families were usually large.
Wim de Rooij