Asparagus is the first things to be harvested in our garden each year. We were fortunate enough to have bought the property with 200 establish asparagus plants. Never having experience growing it before…. having so many is quite an intensive learning experience.
We’re still trying to figure out what an average harvest season is, but between last year with the dry weather, and this year cold and rainy, it’s hard to get a baseline. The one thing that has been consistent, is there’s always one week where it booms, and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with. We have to pick at least once a day – rain or shine, until the boom is over. At its craziest, we harvest close to 20 lbs in 48 hours. And then… the growth almost stopped completely. We had an unseasonable 90 degree, which I think negatively impacted the plants somehow, slowing new shoots from coming up for a bit.
We’re done harvesting now for this season – we sold a ton to many very happy customes, and have eaten far more than normal consumption the past couple weeks … and this year, I even tried pickling some. We usually get some stalks where the ends have either started to fern before we had a chance to pick them, or where the asparagus beetles have damaged the tips. Last year I tried blanching and freezing – but this year, thought I’d whip out the canner for an early season appearance.
Once we’ve had a bit of distance from asparagus season, we’ll have to give it a taste test. In the meantime, my taste buds are dreaming of summer tomatoes.