Ever since I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life I will never again think about asparagus the same way. And that isn’t a bad thing–it’s poetic reciprocity. It had never truly occurred to me on any conscious level that while I would buy the “off-season” imported from California or Mexico variety, that the time I loved this veggie the best was in the spring–when it was freshly picked.
Maybe it was the way Kingsolver described this first veggie of spring in the book that driving past the local farm this week I nearly ended up in the ditch seeing the sign that their asparagus was being harvested. Well, maybe not, but I was that excited that it could have happened that way. Instead, I continued on to work and headed over after for a large bag of just picked green goodness… and some daises (because, well, it only makes good sense).
I will stop into Maple Acres Farm throughout the year, but beginning with the asparagus, it becomes a several times a week routine through the fall. Nothing seems as natural as stopping, picking up fruit, vegetables, flowers, iced tea. Taking some pictures or, as was the case this week, walking back to look at all the baby chicks… you know, while they are still cute and adorable fuzzy lil peeps. Really, it all reminds me not only of Kingsolver’s book, but growing up in farm country, with grandparents who were farmers with my parents who still raise their own chickens and turkeys and grow large gardens across their property.
There’s a large movement right now within businesses to promote their dedication to local sourcing. It’s something I love simply because it makes sense to me; aligns with my personal ideals, but the skeptic in me questions if this is nothing more than just another marketing ploy being used to appeal to a re-emerging movement. Some people who’ve been willing to talk to me about it seem quite genuine, others more flippant–I think it’s a combination; you’ll always get both sides.
Nonetheless, this is the only time of the year I can stand to eat asparagus raw, and I’m getting as much as I can while I can because it will soon be time for peas and rhubarb and zucchini and well, you get the idea.