Monday, May 9, 2011

Asparagus...the dream of owning land!

Once my husband and I started gardening, there was no going back.  We tilled and worked each and every place we rented.  We grew everything we could with the exception of the odd veggie that was known as a perennial.  For those who don't know, perennials are plants that come back every year.  Asparagus is one of those plants.  You have to plant it and then demonstrate extreme patience as you wait until its third year before you can really harvest them.  As we never knew when we would have to move from our rentals...we never bothered to start them.  Instead we coveted those who had glorious big bushes of asparagus growing on their property.

Then the day came when we signed our names on the dotted line....a MORTGAGE!  Now there's an experience that is truly sobering.  Nothing makes you feel so adult than saying you are in debt to the bank for the next 40 years. 

On a positive note, we had ourselves a property that we could call our own.  Our darling neighbours June and Ron Goodberry traded with us some seedling asparagus in exchange for some purple tulips left by our predecessors.  We felt like we got the better end of the deal, since we feel if it doesn't feed us, we aren't excited about growing it. 

Our asparagus has grown so much in the last few years....I believe this season will be its 4th year in our soil.  We really dropped the ball last year, letting too many of the stalks go to seed.  This year we are determined!  Pick and be eaten we say!!!  Not only are they delicious, asparagus is incredibly healthy for you.  High in vitamins A, C, K, and B complex.  They contain trytophan and minerals such as manganese, cooper, phosphorous, potassum, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium!  Its also a be warned!    

I have to say I do chuckle when I see asparagus in the grocery store and the price tag attached to them most of the year....seriously?  I will admit I do get a hankering for them at some points during the winter....but I refuse to buy them....because they are FREE in my backyard...if I'm only patient.

If you do decide to grow asparagus, make sure to do some looking around first.  They will be there for a long time and they do grow big!  I was amazed when I saw how bushy they can become if left to go to seed.  Make sure they won't be in a location where they will block out the sunlight for your other veggies. 

On a side note, we seriously need to weed out our asparagus patch...they do not like competing plants in their space.  And we also did some spring pre-treating of the area.  We added some of that composted manure we bought last fall (when they were on sale) right on top of where we knew they would poke up their little crowns.  They love the nitrogen boost!

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