Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Our First Spring Produce

Today, we picked our very first asparagus for dinner! I cannot tell you how exciting this was for me. I planted it three years ago and have honestly been to afraid to eat it until now. Some of the canes were large this year and we decided to pick them and grill them up for dinner...delicious! The sweetness of the spears, all three :-), was incredible! I think it is incomparable to anything you can buy from the grocery store.

Most of the asparagus I planted the year we moved in. So for three years I have watered them, fertilized them, and let them go to flower. It was painful for me not to pick and eat them, but I knew it took several years to establish themselves before they could be eaten.  I bought the roots from a catalogue nursery, planted them, and watched them come to life. My husband kept telling me to "pick them, already!" But I had read one must wait three years (when started from seed) before you harvest.

Every year, I made sure and mulched and fertilized the bed well. I kept them watered and in plenty of sunlight. I watched the spears progress from "asparagus" to a long stalk with flowery fronds; yes it was painful to see this transition and not eat them! However, I knew that if I wanted to increase the longevity of these plants, I'd let them grow, flower, and die. It wasn't until spring the next year that I actually cut down the dead spears and waited for them to start anew.

I was least thus far! I feel like in a way, asparagus is very similar to bulbs. You need to let them flower and die back before you try to trim anything. When you let this happen, the roots have a chance to completely regenerate themselves to be able to survive the harsh winter and thrive in the spring.

This was a VERY small harvest, I know...but one I am very, VERY proud of! My patience and love finally paid off!

Take pride in what you have and completely embrace the dreams you have for the future! You never know what's in-store for you and your garden!

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