|2012 First Asparagus Shoots Coming up in the Garden|
When I was young, we would regularly explore the abandoned railroad that used to run through our town. We'd pick blackberries, dodge badgers, roll in the poison ivy (I never said it was all good!) and pick asparagus.
For some reason asparagus grew like wild in the ditches around the railroad tracks. But we didn't look at it as a weed, we ate it. Lots of it. It was awesome!
Eventually, my parents started growing it and we always had enough. I love asparagus. Let me say that over. I LOVE asparagus.
My parents had a hard time getting their asparagus started and always told stories of how tough it was to grow. So I never tried to grow it. But I looked for it everywhere. Finally, I found wild asparagus growing in a field behind our house. Wahoo!
One day later, we moved. But since I had seen it again, there was no stopping me. I had to grow it. My husband said NO. One year later, I saw asparagus crowns on clearance at the garden store. I couldn't help it.
I sneaked it home and popped it in the ground. I couldn't wait to slowly cover it inch-by-inch, and I buried it in the ground. I didn't want him to find it and make me take it out. This is childish, I know. I'm a grown woman and I can grow asparagus if I want to, right?
Well, I did grow asparagus. It came up and got huge. I diligently let it be so it could feed the roots below. Then I anxiously waited for the next spring so I could pick and eat it!
That year, we decided to improve the garden. This was an overall good thing, but I lost a lot in the remodel. A few of my blueberry bushes were severely damaged. The raspberries had to be started anew. And the asparagus.... It was dug into, trampled over, and ultimately buried under mountains of clay.
Oh the sadness.
Another season goes by, and I check the stores for asparagus as soon as the sun shows it's face in March. I check every week. Bingo! I find asparagus and I plant it while it's still cold outside. I dig three "graves" in my garden areas. I carefully cover the plants inch-by-inch as the start to grow.
One grave never grows. But the other two start growing steadily. Then surprise! Right in the walkway of my garden, I spot 4 big fat asparagus spears. I drop to the ground and get my face as close as possible. Yes, these are asparagus! From my original patch!
But growing in the walkway will not do. They'll be trampled for sure. Like a protective mother bear, I start digging in the ground with my bare hands. I did deeper and deeper and deeper. And I can not find the roots. Eventually, the spears break away and there are no roots or crowns to be found. Wow, they really got buried under that clay. But they made it!
I have no idea if they will make it again, but I am hopeful. Next time, I will just let them grow in the path, and walk around them. Then I'll eat them. And all my other spears that will hopefully return next year.
Next year just might be an asparagus bonanza! It's been a long 5 years and I will be so happy to have more asparagus than I can eat. If that's even possible....