CAMBRIDGE -- The produce that’s often called “spring’s first vegetable” is facing some harvesting troubles due to unseasonable chilly weather.

Local farmers are trying to salvage the growing season for their asparagus crop in the wake of frost damage.

Tim Barrie of Barrie’s Asparagus Farm says that once the frost hits, the crop is completely lost.

For this Cambridge farm, that means 20 acres of asparagus and thousands of pounds of the vegetable being destroyed by four consecutive nights of temperatures below zero.

Barrie adds that he was looking forward to harvesting, but now has to start all over again.

“This is probably the worst frost and freezing that we’ve ever add,” he said. “Once the stuff that’s above ground is gone, it’s gone.”

Barrie’s frustration is echoed for all 97 asparagus growers in the province.

“As much as it’s been deflating for our employees and us, it’s the same for our community and even across Ontario,” he said. “We produce somewhere between 25 and 30 million pounds a year and probably by the end of this season we’ll produce half of that.”

Bernie Solymar, the executive director of Asparagus Farmers Ontario, says the drop in supply will likely impact the price and availability of the vegetable.

“The anticipation is that asparagus will be more expensive this year,” he said. “It’s going to take a while to get enough supply that we can get it into all the retail stores in Ontario.”

Soylmar expects supply to increase next week when temperatures begin to rise and farmers can harvest again.