Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wild Summerland Asparagus

The tender early spears of wild asparagus caught me off guard as I walked up our driveway to the road.  Checking past web-posts from the Okanagan, many folks usually find early asparagus spears in early May, but in another week, these particular tips would have opened up and gone tough.  I found these on a warm, sunny bank, but the other plants in the yard (that get a bit of shade) are not up yet.  There are some pretty lush patches of asparagus in the orchard (watered and fertilized), but I'd rather avoid the ones that get sprayed. 

In order to live in sand and get baked by sun all summer, asparagus must be an amazingly drought tolerant plant.  It apparently grows roots up to 3 feet deep.  Last summer, I  started feeding buckets of compost to one wild plant growing near the house.  I hope it rewards me. 

Many locals keep their favourite asparagus-hunting locations secret, like some hidden treasure or elusive fishing spot.  The saying "I'd tell you but I'd have to kill you after" does come up.  If you do like asparagus though, it is fun to discover it growing wild, like the surprise of finding Easter eggs!  Happy Easter everyone.

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