On new harvests

Last weekend we were all due to be away from home:  my husband as an instructor at a swanky design camp, and we girls off to a weekend of cardplaying and gabbing with the women of my mother’s family.  Our daughter got sick, though, so she and I spent the weekend at home.

img_1043Yum.  But look at that nasty clay soil.

I don’t care how sick someone is:  if it’s beautiful weather, one really needs to go out to the gardens!  And look at what we found.  The beginnings of the asparagus.  Now, our daughter loves these shoots so much that I had to raise the latch to the gate so she couldn’t pilfer them all.  This was a couple of years ago and now she is tall enough to unlatch it and eat at will…but she was simply glad I let her have one, a tiny one.

img_1049She’s eying the rest of the patch

“Well, how is it,” I ask her.

“Good, Mama.  Do you still have that salt in your greenhouse?”

Wow.  I can’t put anything past her.  That salt was for tomato-eating!

11 responses to “On new harvests

  1. Raw asparagus must be a genetically acquired taste. I *LOVE* cooked asparagus, but when it’s raw it tastes the same as dandelion stem milk to me. HORRIBLY bitter.

  2. Wow, I can’t believe she liked it raw! I tasted one and thought I was gonna hurl…ewwww. Good for her!

    • I am surprised by you, JCC and Christy. You HATE raw asparagus? Wow. I guess I prefer it cooked too but that’s mainly because it becomes a vehicle for fat consumption (butter and/or hollandaise) but freshly-snapped raw stuff out of the garden is sublime. Are my daughter and I alone in thinking that?

  3. I think I’ll think differently about raw asparagus when it comes fresh from the garden. Every year I’m surprised at how wonderful my homegrown veggies are. Things I never used to like raw I love now.

    Oh I can’t wait for years from now when I get my own little yummy asparaguses or asparagi or whatever 😀


  4. Oh Yum! Ok, now I’m officially jealous. Rhubarb AND asparagus!?!?

  5. I love raw asparagus! I eat more than I bring to the table. My husband eats it raw, I put it raw into salads and chopped up on other veggies. Yummm. Oh, and the cows love it raw! Snapped off right at the ground, I have to keep them away from the fence lines that have the most asparagus growing along them.


  6. My mom tells stories of snapping wild asparagus to munch while out playing when she was little.

    We just got our first harvest this weekend, and I think it was the best thing I ever tasted—roasted, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Mmmmmm. I liked it so much that I ordered 20 crowns to put in my front garden. The ferns are so pretty, and who can ever have enough asparagus?

  7. Geoff Rutledge

    Hi El,

    I’m a physician and former faculty member at Harvard and Stanford Medical Schools. I discovered your blog while looking for the best health writers on the web. I reviewed your posts, and think your writing would be a great addition to the Gardening Community on Wellsphere, a top 5 health website that has nearly 5 million visitors monthly. If you would like to learn more about how you can join our Health Blogger Network, republish your blog posts and be featured on the Wellsphere platform, just drop me an email at dr.rutledge@wellsphere.com.


  8. I love raw asparagus 🙂
    And I know what you mean about going out for a bit even when feeling sort of sick – often the air and the thoughts of the garden revive me a bit, maybe because it gives me something else to think about?

  9. No, El, you and your daughter are certainly not alone in liking raw asparagus. I eat them straight out of the garden, sometime sliced thinly and added to salad, early in the season when they aren’t enough poking out yet to make a meal.

    But I wonder if they may turn more “bitter” the longer they are cut?

  10. JCC, I must admit I liked your description. I actually do grow a kind of dandelion (Italian red-stemmed chickory) and it only goes really milky when it’s old. Otherwise, it’s a nice tangy thing but I suppose that’s just my taste.

    Christy, try some straight out of the garden if you can…it might be fine!

    Kim, I am not sure of the plural either so I just keep with the -us. But definitely, growing your own changes everything. Alice Waters gets slammed for being a food elitist but in actuality she just simply KNOWS how things should taste. Can’t fault the woman for having higher standards for all of us. And frankly I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have access to a food garden!

    Jules you reminded me I need to check the progress of our rhubarb…then take a pic to make you nuts! 😉

    Linda, I am glad you agree! Yes the deer normally get our first harvests at the abandoned asparagus farm kitty-corner from us and who can blame them?? Or your cows! It’s good stuff.

    Danielle, yeah, you guys are definitely a bit ahead of us. Your mom’s story is cute. Do you have the stuff growing wild out there like we do? But what a lousy winter/spring it has been here. The grass has finally greened up though: you should see the color of the geese’s beaks and feet: shocking orange! I am excited about your front yard plans so please post your progress. And I think a second or third asparagus patch is great; they ARE pretty. I like how they dry out too.

    Hi Geoff, yes, I have cross-posted at other blog sites, and I am glad you asked as opposed to just taking what I write here (that has happened). I will investigate your site and let you know what I think. Thanks for considering me!

    Hi MC, good, glad I am not alone! But yeah, I think the gardens are a psychological lift if you’re feeling blue. Poor kid though she was REALLY sick too. Not too sick to eat that asparagus though…

    Funny, Sylvie, I have no idea what old raw asparagus tastes like either! Gosh are we spoiled. Wait: oh yeah, it takes a bit of work to grow your own…but what a payoff, eh? But definitely we do the same thing you do.

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