We were getting worried. No asparagus had appeared in the patch we planted a year ago. Had all the crowns died during the winter?
Then our luck turned.
Magical! Here it comes!
When you grow any vegetable for the first time, there’s a certain awe to seeing the familiar form appear in the garden. Digging potatoes is a revelation; broccoli crowns nestled amongst their leaves seem surrealistic. The effect is really strong with asparagus, since the finished vegetable–exactly as you know it from the supermarket–just pokes up nakedly from the ground. It’s like a steak leaping out of a cow or something.
Anyway, we went in with a knife and cut down everything that was more than four inches tall. A couple had already shot up to a height of 18 inches or so and were starting to create ferns.
Here is our harvest. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough. We steamed it as lightly as could be, then ate it sitting on the kitchen floor. Of all the asparagus celebrations we’ve had over the years–making the coveted vegetable into quiche, soup, risotto–this might have been my favorite.