The 1st of September is the official start of spring, however I think the first asparagus spear is the real date to celebrate. But a watched pot never boils… and I was starting to think all those daily surveillance patrols of my asparagus patch were never going to pay off. (I’d even tried to “bandicoot” about with a hand trowel, poking it around under the soil for any signs of action from those subterranean crowns, just as we do with our early spuds each year). And then, boom! Up came the first ‘Pacific Purple’ spear. It looks a bit like an amputated finger, which isn’t very appetising as a concept, but I can’t wait to eat it. (Mental note to self: buy an asparagus knife, ASAP.)
I’ve got grand plans for my asparagus patch this year. I want to pick albino asparagus – the fancy white stuff that’s prized in parts of Europe. Last year I interviewed local asparagus growers to find out how to do it (I wrote about it for Lifestyle Block magazine; click here to read the story), so this weekend’s top task is to convince my husband to build a blacked-out temporary tunnelhouse over the top of a few of our rows. How hard can that be?