At Cook Farm, in Hadley, Massachusetts there's a well-known New England treat on hand during the asparagus season: Hadley Grass Ice Cream. For the last 7 years Cook Farm has been selling their Hadley Grass Ice Cream, made with asparagus and whole almonds, out of their Flayvors Restaurant (named for their prize cow, Fayvor) while the crop is available.
In case you prefer your asparagus ice cream-free, Flayvors also sells fresh-picked asparagus, also known locally as "Hadley grass". Hadley once claimed to be the asparagus capitol of the world, a title lost once a fungus called fusarium claimed all of the asparagus in the valley in the 1970s. Most farmers plowed their asparagus under. A few replanted fusarium-resistant hybrids (references here).
Inside the shop is a riot of hand-written signs, including the one for Hadley Grass Ice Cream:
You can't avoid the Hadley Grass once you're inside the shop:
The ice cream is made from the milk of corn-fed (too bad!) cows who live on the farm. Once you get your ice cream, you can take a stroll over to the barnyard and visit the Jersey and (registered) Holstein cows:
A young Holstein:
And a younger Jersey:
The ice cream is smooth, velvety and luscious. Of my companions-in-ice-cream, the Brothers Ritchey Steve and Wade, only one of us (the cowboy hat-sportin' Wade) ordered the Hadley Grass. He loved it. And he let me have a taste. It was a little surprising though not unpleasant. It had the same creaminess of the other flavors I had tasted plus the crunch of almonds and the pleasant perfume of asparagus. You can see the flecks of asparagus (and Wade's teeth marks) in the picture below:
And if you don't like asparagus, the other flavors are great too.
Flayvors of Cook Farm
1 E Hadley Road
Hadley, MA 01035