Sunday, March 25, 2012

Asparagus Days Ahead

Day 67
The Daily DuBrule

I remember quite a few years ago I hosted my family for Easter dinner. It was probably around the middle of April. It was one of those magnificent, warm, sunny days in the spring (kind of like every day we've experienced this March for the past two weeks) and all of us kept wandering outside to breath in the spring air and observe what was going on. My nephew was especially interested in the snakes that I discovered living in the rocks that formed the waterfall of my pond. My brother-in-law was fascinated by the tiny tips of asparagus poking through the soil in my raised beds. We proceeded to have a wonderful feast and after dinner, we went back outside to enjoy more of the day. That was when we all stopped dead in our tracks. The asparagus had grown a full 3" in just a few hours! No one could believe it!

Thursday of this week, that being March 22nd, I saw the first spears of asparagus in that very same raised bed. I had been checking for days, but all of the sudden, there they were, 4" tall! Those little devil dogs, they did it again! Man do they grow fast once they decide to appear above the soil line. I was tempted to pick them and eat them raw, but my new plan is to cook them on Monday for my husband as it is my night to cook and I haven't breathed a word of it yet.

My asparagus patch has been in the ground for 7 years. You have to wait three years to begin harvesting the spears (which is the new growth) and then, you can only cut them for 3 weeks as it will weaken the plant. After year 4, you can harvest for 6 weeks. We harvest asparagus just about every single day during that precious period of the spring and eat it in every way, shape, and form with most meals. My favorite way to prepare it is to cook it in a little olive oil with a pat of butter and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. 
My asparagus ferns are such a pretty sight!

I used to hate asparagus. My mother would buy it in the can for Easter and boil it until it was mushy. Yuck. Sorry Mom, but that did not do justice this delicious, nutritious perennial vegetable that not only feeds us in the spring but also provides me with a lovely hedge of asparagus fern foliage all summer and fall. 

1 comment:

  1. Yum. I need to put some in. I love it roasted with garlic. (salt, pepper, couple cloves of garlic minced, and some olive oil, about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Lovely.)