Barnhill Asparagus / The Asparagus Hut
Founded by a duo from Renfrewshire, farmer Robert Ritchie and businessman (owner of distribution company Fresh Direct) James Mackie have grown the ungrowable: 30,000 asparagus crowns in the west of Scotland, each crown hand-planted in May 2013 and harvested a year later. Their business is now supplying ‘albaragus’ (their pun, not ours) to restaurants and hotels including the Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow, Turnberry Hotel in Ayrshire and L’Escargot Bleu in Edinburgh, where it can be on plates within 24 hours of picking, as well as selling to the general public from the Asparagus Hut, which can be found just opposite Inchinnan Industrial Estate. Here they also sell other seasonal produce including fresh fruit and veg, plants and herbs, and run a potato-basket challenge - see how many you can cram in for £2. The plan, after 2014's successful crop, is to hugely expand the asparagus growing area in the next few years, and add other speciality herbs and vegetables.