By Kelly Ryan

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Homegrown asparagus will be the highlight of a big festival this weekend, and it may be the only place you can find it right now.

Thousands of people are expected to enjoy the dishes made with asparagus at the San Joaquin County Asparagus Festival that kicks off on Friday, but shoppers have had a hard time finding the fresh local treat in stores.

Festival organizer Tony Noceti expects 100,000 visitors to consume 30,000 pounds of deep-fried asparagus and 250 pounds of asparagus ice cream during the weekend event.

But California-grown asparagus is getting more difficult to find in the marketplace. That’s because cheaper asparagus from Mexico and Central America is flooding grocery bins, making it hard for local growers to compete. The San Joaquin County Farm Bureau says more regulations, higher land, and labor costs are burdens.

[graphiq id=”akxdydtyJOR” title=”Asparagus” width=”600″ height=”748″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/akxdydtyJOR” ]

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