The fact of the matter is I have absolutely no patience. I have a lot of major character flaws, primarily impatience. I can't stand waiting on something to produce, grow or flower. It produces an anxiety within me unparalleled by most of my other outrageous worries. Now that I honestly think about it, gardening is about the worst thing for me to do. Too many variables, too many things I can't control = profound agitation. But I love it. As much worry and nail-biting as it causes me, there isn't much greater than walking out your back (or front door...thank you Woody!) and grabbing whatever it is you need to feed your family.
Anyhow. Asparagus. My Memaw had a line of asparagus along her back pasture fence. I remember them being huge ferns with little red and yellow bulbs, but I never remember eating asparagus there. And I was there all the time. I do remember my mom making me eat store-bought canned asparagus, which I absolutely hated because it tasted and smelled just like pond scum. Flash forward 20 years and I love real asparagus, not that abomination they put in a tin can and try to sell you.
We decided a couple years ago to grow our own, so Woody bought 2 or 3 crowns. Everything I read says not to cut it the first year and that maximum production can be reached in 8-10 years. What?! Are you serious? So, in my ever-growing futile attempt not to have to buy anything at the store, we planted 9 more crowns this spring. I read a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about trenches, mulching and blah-blah-blah. I can tell you this, as complicated as they make it sound, I know my Memaw never did any of that crap to hers. Because she wouldn't have. Things in her garden either thrived or died, but she wasn't going to baby them along to feed us. If something didn't produce, it never got replanted.
The thing about the asparagus is that at my house there is an oversight committee that gives me permission to harvest our asparagus. The hard and fast rules of asparagus agriculture be damned, if I see a spear that looks tasty, I'll cut it down, put it on the grill and directly into my mouth. But not anymore. Every time I think I'll harvest a tasty niblet, my husband appears like he just got beamed down from the Starship Enterprise and says something to the effect, "That paper (that came with the asparagus crowns) says you need to be patient the first couple years and not harvest any." Really? Because I have a knife and a fork here that dare you to come two foot closer and say that. Just kidding. I kid. I'm a kidder. I would never hurt my husband when I'm hungry, but I'll be the first to admit I get downright irritable.
|Yes, I cut this sucker down and had it ate within minutes.|
Kind of makes you wonder how they used to feed their families all year-long out of a garden smaller than half of one of ours. How did any of the asparagus ever survive without a pamphlet giving you permission to harvest? :)