I’ve been looking forward to this for 9 months. Last August, while looking for mushrooms and saskatoons, I came across a patch of wild asparagus and since have been dreaming of a spring feed of asparagus I didn’t have to grow myself. That day has come. It’s worth noting that I am doubtful this is a native species of any kind, but is more than likely better described as a ‘feral’ asparagus. Some remanent of an old market garden or homestead in the river valley, or seeded by a bird. Or something. I don’t care. It’s giant, awesome, free, tasty asparagus.
The top left photo was today’s score. I’ve never harvested asparagus this thick. Ever. And my dad’s patch is about 20 years old – it’s got nothing on this. The thick ones are as broad as my thumb. Because they’re so giant, they add up fast. I only have a dozen or so, but I think 3 would exceed a normal portion of asparagus. The photo below is what they looked like May 3rd, taken on a forage I led for a crew of crazy-cool Slow Food Canada and Slow Food International folks. It was the first I saw them, so it wasn’t hard to get excited about it. That, and the vast majority of what we harvested was white, the soil around it being loose, and easy to dig down a bit to harvest it while entirely blanched. We ate them shaved and whole, raw, atop fresh eggs scrambled in beurre noisette and wild onion. I am looking forward to a pig out of today’s yield – I’ve been abstaining since last season.
No, I will not tell you where this patch is. But I can tell you that there are other patches around the river valley, and legend is they are even more prolific.