Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Asparagus

 I'm participating in the A to Z blogging challenge this year. The rules are simple. I'm supposed to update my blog each April day, until I've worked my way through the alphabet. For the sake of my sanity, I'm not sticking to a particular theme.

If you want to get on my Dad’s good side, ask him about his asparagus. He planted a partial acre a few years ago and he figures if nothing else it’s been a learning experience.
Interesting things he (and the rest of the family) have learned since he opted to start this project include:
·         There’s money to be made selling young asparagus plants, hence the reason he only planted a partial acre

  • ·         Asparagus doesn’t create as many headache inducing problems as daughters and cattle
  • ·         The tasty vegetable is a member of the lily family
  • ·         Digging the trenches the young plants require by hand in the Upper Peninsula’s rocky soil is not much fun
  • ·         Asparagus in one of the four perennials native to the state of Michigan. (according to my dad, I'm to lazy to look it up) 
  • Asparagus should be 3 years old before the first harvest, this isn't a crop for those of us who are impatient. 
  • Until the government stepped in and mucked things up, Oceana County, Michigan was the world’s largest producer of the vegetable.
  • The ancient Greeks enjoyed asparagus
  • ·         There’s only 30 calories in a single cup of asparagus, assuming you don’t cover it in Hollandaise sauce, drown it in butter, or deep fry it.
  • ·         It’s a dioecious plant, meaning there’s male plants and female plants making self-pollination impossible.
  • ·         It’s pretty in the winter  


  1. This was a very interesting post! I learned so much that I didn't know despite the fact that we do grow a bit of asparagus on our allotment. I drown mine in hollandaise sauce but have not heard of deep frying it.

    1. A friend of mine has an amazing deep fried asparagus recipe. It's a lot like deep fried pickles.

  2. Interesting!

    But it can't be really both be native to Michigan and been enjoyed by ancient Greeks...

    1. Technically, it's possible, though considering the different growing conditions it seems unlikely. There's also records of it being used in Egypt. Asparagus likes cold winters which makes think different varieties grew in the different parts of the world, early genetic modification. When I have more time I'll so some digging and try to get to the bottom of the mystery.

  3. You're right, Asparagus is pretty in the winter. It's one of my favourite vegetables, so it was great to know these facts.

  4. I never knew about the three year harvest....very interesting! I like asparagus, but don't eat enough of it.

  5. I just love asparagus so your facts were fun and interesting. We planted some three years ago in our garden and last year it was finally "thick and large" enough to use and it was SO good. Hoping this year is a good batch too. Great letter A!

  6. I love asparagus. This was a fascinating post! I didn't know it takes three years before you can harvest the stuff! I love it roasted, by the way, with a little olive oil, sea salt and parmesan cheese :)

    Living in the Light
    A to Z Ambassador

  7. We planted our first asparagus plants last year. I know about the pain in the neck trenches! I'm crossing my fingers that they are still alive this year.
    Great first post! I learned quite a bit about asparagus, seeing as how all I knew before was that it tastes good and takes three years.

  8. Asparagus is pretty marginal up here--I've never gotten it to survive over the winter. But we always had some when I was growing up in Kansas.
    Missed you on WWW Sunday, but I'll see you on A to Z.

  9. Thank you for the "for the sake of my sanity, I'm not sticking to a theme" idea. That helps me out a TON! I'm 4 hours out from missing my deadline on this challenge...and racking my brain. Now, I'm not going theme-related either! (But don't worry...I'm not stealing Asparagus for the A post!)

  10. It IS pretty in the winter! I had no idea about a few of those things about asparagus!

  11. wow lovely pic! Didn't realise it is so pretty.
    visiting from AtoZ... great start :)

  12. I didn't realise it was a lily plant. You learn something every day, eh?!

  13. I like your winter asparagus pic, Jess. I think it's beautiful in the fall, too. It turns such a pretty gold color. And I think it's really nice on my plate, stir fried in olive oil and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. that might be the prettiest of all. :-)

    Great post. :-)