Asparagus has arrived!
Let the garden gods bless aspargus. I know that many of you out there reading this happy little blog happen to live in London Ontario or perhaps, the surrounding areas. Well, we all know how long and miserable it seemed that this winter was for us. I know, I know, every winter seems long and cold and never ending in Canada, but this one – seemed to drag on an eternity, am I right?
So to my glee, yes glee – driving into work just last week – I see the the most exciting spring happening, well.. just happening. Yes it is true, the glorious little green spears of the proud asparagus plant are emerging out of the fields, poking their brave and pointed noggins out to say “hello, we are here,yes,we are delicious, and we are ready to be eaten.”
I am having a couple friends over for dinner this Saturday and I am going to pop into Mark”s Adelaide Street Farm (adelaide street north) and buy some of those fresh green, aspargus. I am not quite sure what I will do with them just yet, I promise to keep you posted – although, I do believe that it was Julia Child that once said the best way to cook asparagus was just with a little butter and some salt et voila.
The below interesting facts have been provided by the Michigan Asparagus Board
Did you know?
- Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.
- Asparagus spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils.
- Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10″ in a 24-hour period.
- Each crown will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer.
- The outdoor temperature determines how much time will be between each picking…early in the season, there may be 4-5 days between pickings and as the days and nights get warmer, a particular field may have to be picked every 24 hours.
- After harvesting is done the spears grow into ferns, which produce red berries and the food and nutrients necessary for a healthy and productive crop the next season.
- An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first 3 years after the crowns are planted allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system.
- A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.
- The larger the diameter, the better the quality!
- Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.
- Asparagus has No Fat, contains No Cholesterol and is low in Sodium.
And.. Yes it does make your pee smell funny, but who cares!? This last fact was of course not on the Michigan asparagus web site, but added by yours truly. In fact, there is a reason for this smell, and not every one of us has the pleasure of producing it, just in case you are one of those people who has to know.. well anyways.. I”ll just cut to the chase, here it is : http://dsc.discovery.com/guides/skinny-on/asparagus.html
Now go eat some local asparagus already, it beats the pants off any of that shipped in stuff some of you may have subjected yourselves to over this long winter.