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Occurring around mid-April is one of my most eagerly awaited events of the gardening season... the arrival of the first tender spears of asparagus delicately poking their heads up through the soil. Every year I anxiously wait for the first signs of asparagus rebirth. It is the true herald of the Spring season. And it kicks my gardening drive into high gear.
Now, if you have never tasted fresh picked asparagus, then you are missing out on one of life’s truly great pleasures. Forget about the hard, woody stems, the almost rotting spear heads of stored asparagus. Really fresh asparagus is tender all the way down the stalk and has a light, “green” flavor that needs almost no cooking... just lightly steam for a minute or two and.... there you are... Asparagus Heaven. Not to mention that it is neutral for all blood types... certainly a “beneficial” for multiple blood type families such as mine.
It is worth finding a small space in your yard to plant a few asparagus crowns. Once established, they need almost no tending. I stopped weeding the asparagus years ago and only water through the harshest of droughts... It grows fine while ignored. As asparagus is a spring crop and highly susceptible to frosts, I planted a variety that comes later, rather than earlier in the Spring. Also, the crowns tend to work their way toward the surface of the soil... mounding with dirt every few years helps to keep them at a nice depth. It’s best to let asparagus grow for 2 seasons before harvesting, and harvest for only 2 weeks that first season. Each successive year you can harvest your asparagus a week or two longer before letting it fern.
So all this week I have been checking my asparagus for new growth and today... today I saw the very tips of the first spears emerging from the ground.
At last... Spring is finally here.
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