Friday, May 16, 2014

What's Growing? Asparagus!

Two harvests so far, and oh, how deeply and deliciously wonderful! FRESH and green vibrate words of spring!
Would you like to know my asparagus 'story'. It begins on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia about 29 years ago. We were caretaking a farm, a little baby boy made three. Making ends meet was a challenge but we did okay. Captain was working on the B.C. Ferries..I was at home mom. That farm...we didn't know what we were doing to be truthful. One day, Cap brings in this stick thing..'what's this'. I kinda thought I saw it in the grocery store maybeeee....and remember, there was no 'home' computer back then..no google. But they were sticking up in a row in a small field covered with grass, and somehow, we thought they might be 'something' to eat. The farm owner came by on the weekend and when we showed him the spears he said..."you mean that old asparagus field my dad planted twenty years ago is still producing".  AHem..asparagus..twenty years ago??? What do I do with this? Good old "Joy of Cooking". First taste was not snapped off in the garden bed like I would do now, but steamed, then cooled, then rolled in processed ham slices, placed in a dish and topped with sour cream, sprinkled with blue cheese and baked till melty. WE honestly thought there was no other food on this earth to compare. Asparagus..we love you.

When we moved here to our Nova Scotia quick draining (sandy) garden thirteen years ago, first thing we did was put in an asparagus bed with twenty something son's help. Dug the trench, filled base with a load of manure, built up a sand hill under each root stem, roots spreading out nicely, and covered it over. Every year, we enriched it with more manure. Well the bed is going on fourteen years old now, still producing. I wonder if someday, when we are gone from here, will a young naive couple say..."what's this?. Looks like something good to eat". What are those sticks?

Update:  Captain says he did remember his British born dad eating canned asparagus but couldn't think those spears were the same thing ;-)

26 comments:

  1. And we've come full circle!!! I hope they find your recipe in an old cookbook!!

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    1. I love asparagus just steamed or grilled now...very simple. They also look beautiful the rest of the summer when their fronds mature. Thanks Erin.

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  2. The king of veg, I reckon! We love it. Great story, by the way. I can't remember when I first ate Asparagus, but here in the UK it was definitely a luxury item until relatively recently, so I probably didn't eat it when I was young. We try to avoid buying the stuff that is flown in from Peru and Mexico, although you can buy it all year round. Local is best - especially the stuff from your own garden.

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    1. I am with you..the King of veg. Glad you liked the story. I know, we never saw it when we were young but our area was not a farming area so much.
      Agree totally, local is best. We don't eat it any other time. Yours are doing very well Mark!

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  3. Oh yes, I love it too. I worked on an asparagus farm the spring that I graduated - I think I blogged about it. It wasn't one of my top ten jobs, but the fringe benefits of bringing home bags of asparagus were great!

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    1. Oh I will have to search your blog for that!! I expect the farm was on the west coast? Imagine...bags of asparagus...wonderful.

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    1. Thank you Sue. Working on that farm taught us both so much but mostly, to respect the food we put on our table and where it came from.

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  5. Thank you for your visit, Brenda.
    Hm, asparagus. I love it. No I don’t think tinned asparagus compares to the fresh variety.

    The white kind is eaten in Germany round about now, well it may already be a bit late for it. It is completely covered up in the beds and is allowed to thicken a bit. Tasty.

    I am a gardener too but only of the wasteful kind. English cottage gardening is my thing, few veg but some fruit, soft and stone mostly. I am gardening on rocks and the remains of a castle as well as under trees, so vegetables are not very successful.

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    1. I am actually trying to keep one of mine in the dark now to see if I like the flavor. Thank you for visiting my blog Friko. Your garden sounds perfect, except for the rocks. We have them too. One hole..two rocks!

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  6. There is nothing like fresh asparagus from the garden. We had some in our previous home and I still miss it. Sarah x

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    1. I would miss it too Sarah, if we left this garden. Thanks for your kind comment.

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  7. Very cute story! We just had our first feed here the other day. I went a little crazy and planted over 100 plants here. We love our asparagus!

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    1. Oh my Jessica! one hundred plants! Well friends will visit more often during asparagus season ;-)

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  8. Your ham and asparagus dish description had my mouth watering. I don't remember the first time I ate asparagus. Certainly not as a kid. My Mom though vegetables were things that came cheapest and therefore best in cans.
    As an adult it is one of my favourite veggies.There was asparagus in the garden when I arrived, but it only ever shoots up a spear or two. One of these days I would love to find a place for more.

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    1. My mom used a lot of canned vegetables as well. They are close to the same vintage ;-) I see an asparagus bed in your future Jennifer.

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  9. Love this story. had no idea they could produce for so many years. Makes me crave fresh asparagus. I put a few plants in my garden several years ago but they've been overrun with weeds and barely produce anything. We'll be lucky to get a spear or two for ourselves.

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    1. Maybe an asparagus bed in your future Marguerite. You have the land for it!

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  10. not sure what I love more about this post ~ the asparagus (love this grilled with a little olive oil, salt & pepper), your lovely story, or the fantastic 'the kitchen garden' dish!

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    1. Deb, what a lovely kind and generous comment. Thank you so sincerely.

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  11. Mmmmm . . . I love fresh asparagus, and your story.

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  12. One of my all time favourite vegetables Bren. We eat it all the time. Sadly we do not grow our own but I am wondering if we should add some for ornamental purposes o the garden as I love those clods of hazy foliage.
    Have a super weekend. Paul x

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    1. Yes Paul, I do think it would be wonderful for ornamental purposes especially with your skill at arrangement. In autumn, it turns golden you know...and in autumn, drops of dew gather like a mist on the hazy foliage in the mornings. Thank you for your kind comment.

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  13. Wonderful story, Bren :) I am having an open house in Maine, and will be making asparagus with prosciutto. Do you have plans on July 10th - wanna come down? Happy summer. xo Loi

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    1. Oh, such a temptation. I hope you post photos of the open house on July 10th. Thank you for your invite, very much. Happy Summer..it's really here!!

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