Especially Asparagus

I began writing these blogs (this blog?) with the promise of discussing other things than Beowulf and Beyond. Haven’t done it. I keep being re-entranced by alliterative letters. Just this morning, the psalm treated us to the Law of the Lord as contrasted with the Way of the Wicked. Why have I never noticed ths before?

But asparagus is also very much on my mind, especially asparagus spears ( did you notice the “sps”?). Asparagus is a vegetable that isn’t easily started, but once started will last a lifetime. I started a patch fifteen or twenty years ago, but in the wrong place: too much shade. A few feeble spears still come up on the sunny side of the patch, but I gave it up several years ago and found a sunnier location.

Sun is important and so is enriching the soil. And why is it that soil is best enriched by the material a horse or cow can’t digest? Whatever the animal fails to convert to meat for human beings to eat gets piled and composted and cycled into the asparagus patch which digests the indigestible and converts it into a vegetarian treat (“t”s) for human beings.

It helps that I found a somewhat distant neighbor (6 miles or so) who has horses and is willing to let me cart away the produce of her manure pile. The results have been gratifying. Friday I cut twelve large thick spears, some purple and some green (can you get purple asparagus in the store?) and all of it delicious. It enhanced two meals. And the next spears are already coming up.

Better yet, the creatures that attack so many of my other crops don’t eat asparagus. And that makes it just about the perfect crop. I look forward to many years of unspoiled asparagus.

1 Comment

Rick WheelerJune 6th, 2006 at 9:53 am

Dear Chris, I could not have been more pleased to hear that you are growing asparagus!

Being a Cape Cod “farm boy” in my youth one of the great experiences of the year was to enjoy the double treat of strawberries and asparagus in the month of June.

The family farm, whether in Concord or Hatchville, gave precedence to strawberries and asparagus for generations.

Asparagus is a delicious treat. I know that the servings have been fancied up a bit, but I still return to the simple steaming for one of the greatest of tastes and textures.

One question that still remains is just how far down the stalk does one go when one is eating asparagus? The tips, of course are truly succulent! There is that mystical point, however, where the stalk moves from tender to tough. At our family meals we were expected to finish off everything on our plate. The tougher segment of the stalks were exempt from this ukase!

Peace and love to you…


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