Friday, June 5, 2015

Asparagus Hunting

Where we live, asparagus grows wild along the fence lines of farmers' fields.   I love asparagus, but I don't love paying $3-4 per bundle at the grocery store.  A few years ago, my old neighbors and good friends who are natives to this area, showed me what to look for and how to find wild asparagus growing.  On my occasional walks, I'll go and look for some asparagus, and usually I find a sprig or two, if it's in season, but usually it's mostly already picked off.  Apparently, picking wild asparagus is no secret.

One day when my eldest was at Activity Days at church, I took my youngest out to hunt for asparagus.  She had already gotten dressed in her pajamas for the evening, but she jumped at the chance to go for a ride for an hour while we waited to pick up my other daughter. 
This is what memories are made of.  We drove together down the rural streets, keeping our eyes peeled for the "fronds" from last year's asparagus.  When we'd find some, I'd pull the van over, she'd hop out and investigate, and usually return with a sprig or two or three or maybe even four or five if we were lucky.
I love the unrestrained enthusiasm my daughter gets from things that grow.  Watching her harvest things from the garden and seeing the joy she gets from it truly lifts my heart and inspires me to garden.

In a little less than an hour, we visited probably 10 asparagus plants and came home with a handful of fresh, wild sprigs.  Not bad numbers, but truly we came home with a lot more than that.  We came home with "hunting" experience and fun memories to boot!  

Incidentally, we had so much fun hunting that we had to get the entire family involved, so a week later, we set out for a 20 minute detour from one of the errands we were running, and hunted asparagus as a family.  We came home with another handful, which we washed up, put in a plastic bag and stuck in the fridge until I was ready to use it.  I love to make roasted asparagus with a little olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.  My kids prefer chomping into it raw, and except the somewhat bitter tips, it tastes a lot like sugar snap peas.

Tuesday Garden Party 
The Gathering Spot
Tuesdays with a Twist