Tag Archives: Asparagus

This priest’s gardening mistakes

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Sixty years old. My first time gardening. Mistakes are bound to be made:

  • Never having planted squarrrsh, I didn’t know how expansive they are, how much they hog the sun, putting up an impenetrable canopy. Pretty much all my cucumbers have bitten the dust, planted too near the squarrrsh. Cucumbers can climb. They don’t mind being in seed-boxes. So, they’ll get the seed boxes next year.
  • The squarrrsh are doing… um… waaay tooo well. Unlike the cucumbers, they don’t need to be near a fence. And now I know they do NOT do well as they could if they were NOT to be in seed boxes. The branches break off at the edge of the seed boxes, exposing the wide-open tunnels of the inner branches to all sorts of critters. So, next year, no seed boxes for squarrrsh.
  • The tomatoes are doing well. There is still one without one tomato. Others have half a dozen already on the way, some tiny, some tennis ball sized. The tomato cages I put over the just planted plants were put down… um…. upside down! What do I know?! Obviously nothing. Such beginner mistakes. But barring plagues and moulds and rust and such, it looks like I’ll be getting at least some tomatoes. There are, among my 14 plants, some just a few feet high, some over five feet, now some 55, make that 60 tomatoes. But my neighbors laugh at my upside down cages. :-)
  • I planted a squarrrsh plant right in the midst of the asparagus forest, making it about impossible to see the new asparagus. But that will be corrected next year. The cucumbers will go with the asparagus. It’s a space thing.
  • The October Beans never appeared at all. The seeds either didn’t germinate because I planted them way too deep, or rotted for the same reason, or were eaten by critters for the same reason. There’s a reader of the blog who asked for such seeds years ago… if he hasn’t planted them — Hey! — send them back! I’m gonna try to grow these again next spring, which isn’t that far away. 82 Third Street; Andrews, NC, 28901, USA!
  • The biggest mistake was experimenting with spaghetti squarrrsh seeds. I dumped the seeds in the ground with no fertilizer, no extra care, no special soil. Nothing. They exploded are now huge, taking over the house. As you can see from the picture above, I’m guiding them along the top of a two-foot high wire fence. Just in that picture you can already count three spaghetti squarrrshes. They get huge, like a small watermelon, weighing in at four to eight pounds each. Yikes! My question: should I rip these vines off the top of the fence and place them on the ground? And actually, it’s already too late, as some lengths of the vine itself is woven into the fence and can’t possibly be removed. A huge mistake? or is this still alright?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Asparagus & Bacon recipe, edition)

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Returning to the rectory for just a second between hospitals and home visits the other day, I spied on what I guess is a welcome newcomer to the gang of Flowers for the Immaculate Conception providers out at the back creek bank. We shall see what appears as it springs up this Spring. :-)

There’s that. Meanwhile, there’s also this at the very beginning of April:

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And, another was to be spied spying through winterized concealment as the day warm up. And then more. We’ve seen other “asparagus” family relatives in the bluebells. But these aparagi(pl?) won’t count toward Flowers for the Immaculate Conception until the zillion red berries come out after the plants have been allowed to grow to full forest height (almost 9 feet this past autumn, if stretched out on the ground). But the next three months it looks like this asparagus bed will have to be harvested even daily.

Recipe?

What if I took the thick asparagus spears and wrapped them in bacon and put them on tin foil on a cookie pan and then placed them in the oven.

Question:

How long should they be in the oven and at what temperature?

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3 year 9 foot asparagus?!

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As some parishioners know, I didn’t put any lime down, no fertilizer, and the weeds were like trees. No matter to this asparagus. In the Spring it was watered daily. I gave that up in July when I stopped harvesting so let it rest and concentrate on sending down stronger roots. Nine feet. Next Spring should see daily harvesting. A Psalm (104:20-23) to recall:

“Thou makest darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep forth. The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. When the sun rises, they get them away and lie down in their dens. Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening.”

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Asparagus: I waited a day too long

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Generous green thumb parishioners planted two-year roots last year. This year, I’ve done nothing to help them really. No lime. Kind of weeding only once, and now the weeds are taller than them. They don’t seem to mind. Those above were left a few too many hours and really took off. They’re so fast. They are still good. You break them starting at the top, about every six inches or whatever is convenient. When they don’t pop apart, discard the rest. The taller one popped only to half way. The others went almost to the bottom.

Laid out on a plate, microwaved for until you hear the first explosions (about 10-15 seconds). A bit of salt or just as they are. Even not heated up. Mmm mmm.

If you’re quick, from garden to stomach in less than a minute. :-)

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Ready to harvest: Asparagus!

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These were just 4″ high yesterday morning. 8″ this morning. Wow. 4″ a day. You don’t want them to go beyond 8″ though, as they get woody. There were more but I’ll wait until tomorrow to harvest them. Gardens amaze me. Really tasty.

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The tip of the spear, best with bacon

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A most wonderful daily treat as these spears jump up from the ground each day, eager to be ever so slightly browned in bacon grease saved from past extravaganzas. A slight sprinkling of salt is savory. Just ever so slight.

I heartily thank my parishioners who dug the bed and and planted 2-year-old roots one year ago. I ignored those entirely for the year, letting them forest out to get a good hold. But now’s the time to start enjoying them. The same parishioners weeded everything some weeks ago. I’ll have to follow up on their great work and get out there myself.

While I was gone to Rome, my neighbor who was feeding Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog was able to enjoy the spears. He himself was the tip of the spear, as it is said, having been 82nd Airborne. Now he’s out in his yard digging a patch up to plant asparagus roots.

I was taught to cut them about 3/4″ below the ground, careful not to injure other spears working their way up. You can’t let them grow too tall as they get too woody.

Do you have an asparagus patch? How do you prepare them?

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