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(NECN: Leslie Gaydos, Hadley, Mass.) - They are churning out a lot of homemade ice cream at The Flayvors of Cook Farm in Hadley Massachusetts. All the usual flavors. But this is the only place on the planet that you'll find Hadley Grass ice cream, made fresh from the local asparagus crop. Beth Cook made the first batch about 7 years ago. Beth Cook: It was asparagus season. Just came into my head maybe I should make asparagus ice cream. Hadley is famous for asparagus...so I tried it. This is the famed asparagus that locals call Hadley grass. Rick Wysk's grandfather harvested asparagus in Hadley 5 decades ago. He carries on the tradition, running a small family operation. Rick: Do you look forward to asparagus season? With mixed feelings because once you start you kind of have to pick it everyday. If you don't pick it every day, especially when its warm they go to blossom. Asparagus season runs from late April through late June. The hearty perennial crop has strong roots...after a 3-year time investment getting it to the picking stage, farmers can harvest a bed for 10-15 years. In addition to its historic significance here, the vegetable brings in money for farmers early in the season when other crops are still being planted. Rick's 75-year-old Aunt Betty has been cutting it since she was a little girl. She does not like to eat it. She seems to be in the minority in these parts, where farm stands featuring Hadley grass pop up everywhere this time of year. The local demand is so high...that many farmers only sell it in the area. That's the case at Hadley's Hibbard Farm. Ernest Hibbard planted 40 acres of asparagus here in the 1920's....and today his son Wally is the resident expert on the subject. Farm workers here sort and bundle the equipment on the same old custom- made tables that Wally's father used. And still pack it up with the red Hadley Queen label they've used here for decades. Asparagus became the popular crop here in the 20's.. And for much of the century the town billed itself as the asparagus capital of the world. During its heyday, 50 tons of asparagus were picked, sorted trimmed and bunched every day. Culinary legend has it that the vegetable was a European delight served at restaurants in Paris and Germany and at Queen Elizabeth II's annual spring feast in England. The Hibbard asparagus was distributed through Boston. The secret to the success of Hadley asparagus is the cold winters and the rich gritty soil here. Asparagus doesn't like its feet wet, in other words it doesn't want to grow in land that isn't well drained and the fine sandy loam seems to be real ideal for it. Despite a fungus that wiped out much of the crop in the 1970's, asparagus remains a hallmark of the community today, and a diet staple. They say that Hadley grass is special because it is more tender and sweeter than asparagus grown in other regions, which brings us back to the asparagus ice cream. Most are pleasantly surprised. Even kids like the Hadley grass. Reason enough for a trip off the beaten path to Hadley Massachusetts.