"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Monday, May 7, 2012

Digging In The Dirt and Telling The Truth

I haven’t talked gardening in a while. Now that it’s taking up the majority of my time, I might as well write about it too! Digging in the dirt is therapeutic and sometimes characters and ideas surface along with the roots of the quack grass.  So I can dig and hum and make up stories all at the same time. Humming and singing to oneself run in my family. You should hear us when we all get together.


My asparagus came up too early because of the sustained warmth in March. Then the April frosts set in and the spears were killed. My new asparagus patch was nothing but drooped heads bowed to earth, depressing as a line of penitents. I waited, thinking there might be enough life left in them to fern out, as asparagus will, making a beautiful frond forest. But there wasn’t, so yesterday I took a sharp knife and crawled up and down the rows on my hands and knees and cut off the brown spears and pulled weeds at the same time and threw the mix into the wheelbarrow to be carted away.  (I confess I once wrote a short story called The Wheelbarrow about dead things being carted away.) You don’t want to leave any debris in the patch that will attract the dreaded asparagus beetle. I do have new spears coming up so all is not lost and now that the dead stuff is cleaned out, that end of the garden looks healthier. I also planted parsnips for the first time yesterday. I like to try a least one new vegetable every year.   


If it doesn’t rain today, I’ll plant kale and broccoli next to the parsnips and then we’ll set out the cabbage plants I started in the greenhouse on March 16th.  I did notice my fingers are a little stiff this morning. Funny…I can sit at my laptop all day writing lies and creating havoc and my hands never bother me. But one full day of pulling weeds makes them ache. Maybe my hands are telling me something!

9 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never tried growing asparagus - I don't even know if it would grow in this climate. Our local tradition is to not plant until after the first full moon in June. :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Asparagus is a cool weather crop so I would think you could grow it. Planting dates around here vary depending on what one is planting. Tender plants, i.e. tomatoes, peppers, melons, etc. cannot be put out until after Memorial Day. I like the idea of planting after the first full moon in June. Sounds romantic!

Elana Johnson said...

I'm afraid to grow asparagus. Sorry yours died. I'm gearing up for corn and beets. That's about all I can handle.

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like you have a wonderful garden! Trying a new vegetable each year must be interesting. :)

I'm sorry to hear your asparagus was killed by the cold.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Elana,
The trick is to get the bed established and after 3-4 yrs. once can pick freely and the bed should last 20 yrs or more if properly composted and weeded. I love corn and beets. They are a little easier to grow. Thanks for visting!

Eagle,
Thank you so much. It is a very big garden, a daunting task this time of year.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

We haven't gotten too far with the gardening. Things are just starting to turn green. It's mostly clean up time. Let me rephrase that. It's mostly my husband doing the garden clean up. :D

Yvonne Osborne said...

Clean-up is the hardest part. Then comes planting, the best part. The part that stirs the creative juices. Thanks, Stina, for commenting.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

You GROW your own asparagus! I'm seriously impressed! Pity that the late frost caught your lovely plants. :( Last Saturday we had colleagues of my husband over for a meal - some bright spark (me!)decided to make homemade asparagus soup (took me hours - never again!)

I hate getting dirt under my fingertips, but my Mom has always been a dedicated gardener - she says it's her therapy!!

Judy, South Africa

Yvonne Osborne said...

Judy,
Gardening is very therapeutic, but I have no nails. The hardest part of growing asparagus is digging the trenches to plant the crowns. But once that's done, you have a bed that produces for years and years with just weeding and a generous dose of compost in the fall. I bet your soup was good. Good to see you back blogging!