Farm Fresh

A couple of weeks ago my coworker asked me if I liked asparagus. The question took me a little off guard, since the questions I usually get from her are, "Are you coming to the meeting?" or "Did you hear what happened to that project at the printers?"
And I kind of wondered what I might be getting myself into when I replied yes. It turns out she was selling asparagus, grown at a friend's farm north in Wisconsin. I signed up for a bunch for $2.75.

I don't know if this was a bargain or a rip-off, since I'm not normally paying that much attention to the market prices for asparagus.

A couple days later, she called down to me as I was walking down the hall, "I have your asparagus!" An equally odd thing to hear across the cubicle walls.

Since I'm not the diligent foodie type who gets up early in the morning to go to the farmer's market, it was a neat experience that night to hold in my hands asparagus stalks that had only seen two sets of hands besides mine: the farmer and the friend. No supermarket clerk, no stockboy, no one loading them into a truck at a processing center. If I'd thought to ask, I could have easily known the farmer's name, and probably even what kind of car he drives.

More notably, this was the most gargantuan asparagus I'd ever seen! It was super tasty, as I wrapped it in with prosciutto with goat cheese the first night. (Second night it was added to a recipe for spiced chicken and vegetables.) It did cause me to wonder, probably for the first time in my life, 'how does asparagus grow?' I'm guessing it's not picked off of a tree, but does it sprout off a lot of stems, or pop up from the ground? Does only the little head peep up, or does the whole stalk grow upwards? (You have to scroll down, but there's a good explanation here.)


Andra Sue said...

Definitely a bargain! I've been known to pay up to $5 a bunch at the local grocery. YUM!


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