Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I felt like shrieking "Houston we have liftoff!" when I saw these little shoots on the weekend. I've never grown asparagus before, and I feel slightly silly confessing that I spent a good part of the early spring carefully digging in this bed with my fingers, searching for the roots that would tell me if they'd lived through my neglect last summer. I had barely enough soaker hoses to go around, and since they weren't tangibly reminding me of their presence (sheila coughs uneasily) I sort of let the hoses go elsewhere.

Asparagus dinners! Just think, I won't have to read Frances Mayes and Peter Mayles and drool mournfully anymore. Didn't Frances Mayes devoted an entire chapter to asparagus? When it was in season, how to cook it, what recipes were best, where it grew on their property. It was almost painful reading that chapter. But no longer. No, a bottle of crisp white wine, a bunch of these babies carefully roasted, the fading heat of the day, a few geraniums in terracotta pots, and the smell of the lemon trees in the distance... (lemon trees? how far in the distance? there aren't any lemon trees around here. who are you kidding?)

This variety is called Jersey Knight. The lifeguard at the pool where the kids have their lessons (who is also an obsessive gardener) told me that I'll be overwhelmed with them in a couple of years, because they spread like weeds.

I'm counting on it. I am SO counting on it.


Heather said...

Oh my!! Lovely. I can't even tell if my asparagus bed survived its first year - there's no sign of life there yet.

Speaking of Peter Mayle...have you ever seen the film of Year in Provence? I love it.

sheila said...

Is that the one with Morse as Mayle? I have seen it. I want to be living it, too. I think I would function quite nicely in that sort of climate. It's a bit damp here on the Coast.

I tell you, Heather, my asparagus had me feeling very uneasy for the longest time. I dug into that bed at least a dozen times, worrying about the roots and how I'd planted them. Then someone told me that it was a particularly slow spring. So maybe that's all it was. I get prodded by seeing the early asparagus brought in from Mexico and CA, I think, and expect mine to be on the same calendar.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, very phallic asparagus. Did I tell you I'm from Jersey?