Our First Asparagus!

Reading the book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver made me want to run out and plant my very own perennial asparagus garden.  So that is what we did last spring!  We created a raised bed, filled it with compost, added some lime (asparagus like a higher PH soil), and put in crowns that we bought from Johnny’s selected seeds (www.johnnyseeds.com).   We let them grow last year without harvesting them (the plants needed to grow fronds that would conduct photosynthesis and give it energy to survive the winter).  I have been peeking out my window in anticipation all spring this year, and the first spears have been poking up during the last week!  (They grow overnight–I have heard that on some asparagus farms they harvest twice a day!).   We bought a green variety as well as a purple variety.  I figure that if we are going to have our own asparagus, we might as well be unique!  The kids can go out and harvest it by snapping it with their fingers just above the ground—a great task for little fingers!   This year we are going to harvest about half the spears (leaving the others to supply energy to the plant).  Next year we can harvest more, and by the following we can harvest it all, knowing that it will continue to come back year after year.  So if you like asparagus, and you like plants that keep giving, try growing asparagus!  Make sure to give it its own bed, as the fronds get tall and might overwhelm anything else that is near.

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