It’s easy to miss it if you look quick, but yes that is a spring asparagus Spear popping up in the garden! This is the third year since I planted three asparagus crowns in my garden and it usually takes that long for it to establish itself and yield some fruit. So as you can imagine, I was super excited to see this beauty break on through and say hello. Although, when I planted it, I didn’t know much about asparagus yields and just recently read an article that recommended planting 25 asparagus crowns to feed a family of four! Guess I can’t count on my asparagus to feed us through this pandemic!
Luckily, our area of Western Mass is very well known for it’s asparagus – around here it grows like grass. The soil along the Connecticut River is very fertile and great for growing asparagus. If you’d like to try adding it to your vegetable garden it is very easy to maintain. Unlike tomatoes and other garden annuals, asparagus are perennials. Once established, the crowns will continue to provide a crop for up to 20 years or more. No matter how fresh you find it in the store, there really isn’t anything like tender asparagus spears from the garden.
My family’s favorite way to eat asparagus is broiled in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s super easy and cooks quick. If you’d like to give it a try, first snap off any woody ends of the asparagus, place your asparagus spears on a baking sheet, pour about two tablespoons or enough to coat your asparagus onto the baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix it with your hands. Be sure to coat all of the asparagus in olive oil. Once you can pierce it easy with a fork, it’s done. Usually takes 10 minutes in the broiler on high.