March 07, 2010

I try to avoid impulse buys. Usually the stuff around a cashier station is just junk, except for all the chocolate you can pick up in the checkout lanes at the Seward Park PCC. And shopping at my local Lowe's tends to me make me cranky enough that I refuse to buy extra stuff at the registers as a matter of principle; they made everything I was looking for so hard to find, why should I buy this just because it's here?

But it's spring. They've rearranged things to put the vegetable gardening stuff up front (or at least on your way out if you are checking out from the garden center). And they had asparagus crowns.

I've been daydreaming about growing asparagus ever since reading about it in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle. It's popped up recently over at the Urban Farm Hub. Fresh asparagus, and it's supposed to be pretty, too, all ferny-like. But I couldn't quite settle on a place in the backyard for it; since asparagus isn't an annual, it needs a permanent home, and most of my backyard garden is pretty well occupied at this point. But then, at Lowes, standing in front of the boxes of asparagus crowns all wrapped up in burlap bags, the light went on: I could plant it in the P-Patch. One of those little bags leaped into my hands and didn't leave until we'd checked out.

So, I've planted 6 asparagus crowns (three more than I was expecting, though I'm not sure why) in our P-Patch plot. (Unfortunately, they don't photograph well for me at this stage, just little nubbins peeking out, so I'll leave you with these far prettier violas, instead.)

violas at sunset

They march in their rows on the south side, just east of the garlic. I won't see any crop until 2012 since I'm supposed to let the spears grow uncut to build healthy roots, and they will be all the sweeter then for the delay. And whoever inherits my P-Patch plot when I have to let it go someday will luck into homegrown asparagus without the waiting period. I hope someone tells them what it is before they dig it up.

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