This time four years ago, I planted my first perennial plant on the allotment, asparagus. Asparagus is notoriously tough for vegetable growers, not because it’s difficult to grow – it is in fact an excellent cropper once established – but because it takes three full years until you can harvest it and it requires the patience of a saint to not hack away at the young shoots in the first three years. When I planted my asparagus way back when, I had no idea just how much my garden and my life would change in the intervening years between planting and harvesting.
The day I planted it, someone remarked “there’s no way in hell you’ll still be here in four years to harvest that, you shouldn’t bother”. Pfffft!
Today, I finally harvested some beautiful stalks of asparagus from the plot and as I cut the stalks, I laughed to myself. Not only am I still here, I am in love with my garden, I am having my most productive year yet and I am finally seeing my patience pay off.
I brought the asparagus home, blanched it for two minutes, topped it with a poached egg and some lemon balm from the plot. It tasted sweet, earthy and hadn’t a hint of bitterness.