I’m a little late to be writing about asparagus. It’s been growing for a couple of months now. Our plants are 5 or 6 years old now and I want to move them. I have to investigate if we can dig them up and put them in a better spot. The last couple of years, they haven’t produced as well as I think they should, and part of that, I think, is the caverns the gophers have dug under them.
Another interesting thing that was brought to mind, while I was washing and cutting the asparagus; how much waste there is when processing the veggies to market. A lot of veggies are tossed if they don’t look a certain way for the produce section. It doesn’t have to be that way, but we as a society have been “trained” to only want the “perfect” veggie.
Tomatoes for example; How many varieties do you see in the store? And the ones you do see are mostly very similar to each other in color and size. That’s because these tomatoes have been bred to travel long distances, to all look the same, picked green and tasteless… my opinion, about the taste. But it’s what we are used to seeing, so something new or different “can’t be a tomato, let alone taste good”.
One of our main jobs at the farm is to educate. We grow a variety of tomatoes and other veggies that you will be familiar with; you’ll know they are tomatoes, or cucumbers, but they will be a different variety, something you may never have seen before.
People who join CSA’s get to experience new tastes and new veggies. It’s exciting.
Do me a favor, and yourself this season; if you have never had a home-grown tomato, go to a farmer’s market, your neighbor’s house or grow your own. Then buy a store-bought tomato and do a taste test. You will never want a store-bought again, I promise.
And if you’re asking yourself why you don’t see varieties in the stores; it’s because we accept what they sell us, so the stores think your happy. Let them know what you want. Vote with your fork and your dollar.
Boy, how did I get from asparagus to that? ;)
If you are going to eat veggies or fruit, eat local, buy from the farmer’s market, get to know your farmer and eat better tasting, nutritious food that will feed your body.
Ok, so I owe you some facts and my fav way to prepare asparagus… It’s the least I can do after my mini-rant. :)
From Wiki: Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound. Particularly green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body produce and maintain collagen, the major structural protein component of the body’s connective tissues.
Particularly green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C. Purple asparagus differs from its green and white counterparts, having high sugar and low fibre levels. Purple asparagus was originally developed in Italy and commercialised under the variety name Violetto d’Albenga.
To learn everything there is to know about asparagus, check out the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. An amazing fact: Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10″ in a 24-hour period. (I swear, you can watch them grow. su)
Recipe: If you know me, you know I like easy and simple. This is my favorite way to prepare asparagus. Layer a row of asparagus on a cookie sheet with sides. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon pepper and broil for just a few minutes. YUM!!!! We also eat it raw. I don’t know if I’d suggest that with store-bought, but with home-grown, it’s sweet, tender and tasty.