Second Harvest

The cool temperatures are slowing my garden progress.  There are other things to harvest around the farm.  In an earlier post, I described the method for making horseradish.  That can be done very early in the spring.  The next thing to show up is a little harder to find.  Once the grass gets growing, this food is growing too.  Asparagus!  The little purple-green shoots hide in tall grass very well.  The best way I know to find it is by looking for the dead plants from the previous year.  Some of the shoots inevitably get to large and grow into a showy fern-like bush with red berries.  The dried up asparagus plants give away the location for new shoots to pop up.

When looking for asparagus, remember trespassing rules.  If you find some, you can bet someone else has been harvesting there, or may even have planted it.  I would suggest planting some yourself.  Un-mowed fence rows are excellent places to plant.  You can find the roots at most stores offering garden seeds and supplies.  You won't get any asparagus from the newly planted roots this year.  The 3rd year seems best to begin harvesting.  3 years?!?  Well, like fruit trees, if you don't plant this year, it will be 4 years, then 5!  My favorite things to harvest are the ones I don't have to fuss with all year.  Asparagus, horseradish, rhubarb, fruits, and nuts all fall into this category.  Once they are planted, you can come back year after year for more goodies.  Don't put it off any longer.  Go plant some asparagus roots.  You will thank me in a few years.