I am in mourning.... I cannot be consoled. The asparagus season is OVER for me - a very brief two-week harvest season for my crop since my plants are only one year old. (This article nicely details the recommended cutting time frames during the first four years of harvest.) Asparagus is a thinking-ahead-to-the-future kind of crop as it takes a while to get established, but then produces for years. Oh my, I barely had a chance to enjoy my limited harvest, much less try out all kinds of recipes tucked away in my asparagus file.
There is no picture to go with this post as I have no freshly harvested asparagus to photograph!
Boo hoo.... Sob.... Wail...
Words can't even describe how fabulous it was. I had read that freshly-cut asparagus is so much better than anything you can buy because it quickly turns fibrous and woody after being harvested. It's so true!! It was wonderfully tender and tasty, both the thick and the thin shoots. Maybe the flavor was so amazing, partly because of the memories of digging that asparagus trench all by myself last spring in anticipation of this very moment (I had considered paying someone to do it for me, but who do you get to dig asparagus trenches these days?? Even if I had a husband, how many husbands do you know who happily dig anything for their wives??), or maybe it was because it was some of the first produce of the season from my garden. Either way, I was quite enamoured and incredibly satiated.
Of course, I could keep cutting some more spears for eating; the asparagus season will last for another 6 weeks or so. But, I'm going to be a good girl and give my asparagus the chance it needs to develop into healthy, established plants that will yield abundantly for years to come - 10-15 years according to the same article I referenced above. Believe me, it was tempting to keep picking it - who would know, much less care? Bottom line, it's worth the present restraint for the bounty I'll reap in later years. (There's nothing like a garden to teach you self-discipline, not to mention loads of other spiritual lessons!)
At this point, I think I'm going to see if I can survive the rest of the asparagus season without purchasing any whatsoever for my own consumption. (Of course, if someone serves it to me, I most definitely will not turn it down!) Yes, I certainly could ask my dear asparagus gardener friends for a stash since they always have an abundance and delight in sharing their bounty with others. I certainly could buy it at the local farmers market since it is plentiful and inexpensive right now, not to mention local and in season. Instead, I'm going to see if I can hold off until my plants produce again next spring. Why?? For a number of reasons. Because there's lots more veggies coming in season in my garden, and I don't want to miss their shining moments. Because it's a reminder to me that we're often so busy looking off into the horizon for the things we want or think we need when there are all kinds of wonderful things right under our noses. Because I want to eat out of God's provision, not out of my own ability to provide for myself. And, because I want the anticipation for next year's harvest to heighten my enjoyment of it next spring.
Bless you, asparagus!