Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to find wild asparagus...

...is like googling how to locate the best fishing spot on a specific lake.  Its a guarantee you will come up empty handed.  So how does one find the "How-to" when it comes to foraging for the elusive spears? Take a hike!
Hunting for wild asparagus, foraging for edibles
The author carefully planning his next move.

 No really, get your shoes on and start searching. However I warn you now, it is much easier to stop at the local grocery and buy a bundle of asparagus then spending hours coming back with only a few.  So why do it? Why get out and do anything? Why do hunters hunt when our local deli's are stocked with fresh meat?  Why do fisherman spend all day trying to catch a couple fish to make a meal when the market has pounds upon pounds of freshly caught or farm raised fish?  I dunno, but what brought me on this adventure for the first time was the experience.  Hell, we only live once and I want to say I have "hunted for asparagus" along with the other adventures I still wish to experience.

Hunting for wild asparagus, foraging for edibles
An asparagus shoot, past its prime.

*See that beauty right there is what I was looking for.  I thought it screamed "Hey dummy.  Right below me in this grass is a bounty of fresh spears". Boy was I wrong...

Hunting for wild asparagus, foraging for edibles, skull
Some kind of skull. Possibly a T Rex?

Nothing. Nada. Zip.  The search continued.  I scoured the ditches along a looong gravel utility road and came across a very similar scenario every single time.  I started to doubt my eye sight. I started to doubt my timing. I even started to doubt what I saw standing tall and proud was asparagus.  Of course it was, but those long walks have you questioning a lot when you are empty handed.  But I wasn't. I started noticing a pattern right about the same time I had to get back to my daily routine.  So where were the asparagus? I was looking in the right spots: along the road in ditches, along old fence lines, and at the edges of farm fields.  What I had found in almost every case was a few tall asparagus standing tall and proud not because they were marking the location of their fellow spears, but letting me know I missed the opportunity to a bunch of "asparagus hunters" whom had combed these grounds before me! I was late to the game but it all wasn't a waste.  After heavy rains, asparagus roots will send up new shoots.  In some cases these new shoots will grow 6" in a single day.  If my research is correct, they stop sending up shoots around the second week of June in my area. I am not a veteran hunter, but I do plan on combing these few asparagus patches I came across again in a couple of days.  

What do I have to lose?

Hunting for wild asparagus, foraging for edibles, wild columbine
Wild Columbine

Why is asparagus good for you, health benefits of asparagus
Health benefits of Asparagus

Cheers ~ Kevin


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