It's been spring for weeks now, and I've been not-so-patiently awaiting the emergence of the local asparagus. The first asparagus signals to me the kick-off of the growing season. Normally, around these parts, asparagus starts shooting out of the ground in the beginning of April. This year, the local growers have had a tough spring full of chilly nights and frost-covered mornings. Finally, today my favorite local asparagus farmers Middleton Six Sons Farms, opened up their roadside produce stand and with that I finally felt the glow of springtime.
This year I have a lofty goal of not only eating locally this spring and summer, but also putting as much by as possible to keep us through the winter. I plan to shop at farmer's market weekly for our produce, visit local farms and u-pick farms orchards, buy organic (locally) as often as possible, and buy local meat from reputable farms (grass fed when possible). We've also started our own mini-homestead in the backyard with our two lovely chickens. I hope they turn out to be a great egg source in the coming months. Our garden will begin to grow soon and we will eat from it and preserve what we can. We also plan to dig a small root cellar to store our potatoes, carrots, and the like. This is all a very exciting chapter for us to undertake and I can not wait to see where it leads.
For now, I know that we will be eating loads of asparagus as long as it's season lasts. It all started today folks and I'm elbow deep in broken stalks, a pot is ready to blanch in, the food saver is running, and soon the freezer will be a little more full. Let's see how many 20lb boxes we can work through this season!