Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Seasonal treats

I don't buy tomatoes in winter; it's an exercise in fruitility. I focus on root vegetables and the like, appreciating the sweetness of their flavor in their season.

This time of year, I'm longing for something green that isn't broccoli. And that usually means asparagus. There's no way native asparagus will be in stores or farmstands for another, oh, 6-8 weeks, I'd say. But there is another barometer. I will not buy asparagus in the spring (ok, late winter) until the price drops to $1.99 a pound. (Or better yet, a bunch.)

As sure as the Derby prep races (and there are a lot of them this weekend, good luck, Pat Kelly and Naughty New Yorker! And Galloping Grocer. And Rockport Harbor! And... oh, never mind...), that first less expensive bunch of asparagus is a sign of warmer (if not quite yet salad) days.

Glory be, there they were, in Fresh Markets this morning, at that magical price!

It's also a good indicator of when I can start my seeds. Received wisdom says the last frost in this zone is May 31. If that were so, I'd be using greenhouses and season extenders like crazy, but we all play fast and loose with that May 31 date. My own garden is its own little microclimate. It faces due south. It's only five feet wide and lies between the stone foundation of the house and a five foot tall wooden fence. It is toasty in there. So this weekend, I'll probably be starting my basil, tomato, and cabbage seeds. And hopefully, the basil will thrive enough so that in mid to late summer, through early fall, I can make and put up enough basil to get us through next winter. There's still a small container in the freezer from last year...

The cabbage is a new experiment; Melissa read in the Johnny's Seeds catalogue about mini-cabbages. You get minis by planting them closer together than you normally would; I'm hoping to get the same effect by planting them in containers. Don't know how it will work out, but it should be fun... and take up less room than the volunteer pumpkin plant we had last year that Melissa wouldn't let me tear up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen Asparagus this BIG
They grow up to 15in long and 2in wide.
how to grow asparagus

12:52 PM  
Anonymous growing asparagus said...

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4:01 PM  

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