When we were children we used to play hide-and-seek in the enormous patch of asparagus on our farm once they had turned to giant ferns. It was fantastic summer fun, especially when our cousins came to visit.
These days the overgrown patch isn`t quite as charming, as it has been neglected over the past few years. However, a new game has emerged out of the scavenger hunt that it has become to find the growing asparagus! It is actually quite exciting to find the stalks hidden here and there. Yes, it would be easier to just mow the old stuff down and re-establish a clean bed, if we had the equipment to do so! I`ve suggested to my brother that if we can`t get a tractor working to plow the area next year that I will be asking my boyfriend to demonstrate his skills with a scythe :) We`ll see what happens!
Anyways, more to the point is, that it is a joy to get out in that garden in spite of the chaos. It makes me happy to search for that asparagus that has been growing for decades, once tended by my grandparents. It`s impossible not to think of them and the countless hours they spent growing almost an acre of all kinds of vegetables every year. As I strive to learn about and practice Permaculture techniques, here is one opportunity just sitting there waiting for me. I even like to eat the stuff now, unlike my younger years. And after living in cities for so long, it is honestly a privilege to have access to such fresh produce. I`ve even decided to try an experiment with pickling a little with kefir (in addition to the fermented beverages I am now successfully creating)! I feel part earth goddess, part mad scientist as I return to my roots... it is going to be years before we have the farm operating the way we want, but I hope it will continue to be a labour of love.
`Pickled` asparagus with Kefir - loosely based on a pickle recipe found here.