Asparagus

Asparagus (Source: Geo Davis)
Asparagus (Source: Geo Davis)

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is an early season perennial vegetable that pops out of Rosslyn’s still chilly soil sometime in May. Each year it is a harbinger of spring, arriving at just the right time to reassure us that the long Adirondack winter is retreating.

Rosslyn’s asparagus bed was one of the very first improvements I made when we purchased the property and began renovations. First located inside an old stone foundation located along the south side of the carriage barn, sunlight reflected off of the tan clapboard and warmed the soil allowing for extra early asparagus spears.

When I established the new vegetable gardens west of the carriage barn, I attempted to transplant the asparagus crowns. Too late in the season. Too cold a winter. Most died…

The following spring I added several dozen additional crowns to fill in the voids, and Rosslyn’s asparagus bed has returned more and more robust every spring since!

Nota bene: My earliest memories of asparagus are driving around back country roads in the Adirondacks with my father, surveying the sides of the road for wild asparagus. When we spied a clump my father would pull over and I would hop out to harvest the aromatic spears that to this day smell like springtime to me.

Asparagus Posts on Rosslyn Redux

The following list shows my previous posts in which you’ll find an asparagus “cameo” (and in some cases a bit more than a cameo.) Enjoy!

  • Soggy Soil Delays Planting With some Champlain Valley residents being evacuated by boat and the Wesport Marina totally flooded, we’re feeling fortunate that a submerged boathouse and waterfront is the extent of our flooding problems. Although we have our work cut our for us when Lake Champlain water levels drop, another short-term challenge is the super saturated soil. Tilling the ...
  • The Farm We walked down the road from the tennis court and stopped off at my parents’ house, still closed up for the winter. It would be several weeks before my parents arrived in Rock Harbor for the summer, and by then the asparagus would have gone to seed, so we picked enough for dinner and enough ...
  • Serene, Patinaed Fantasy Accustomed to living out of a suitcase, I pendulumed back and forth between Manhattan where Susan was wrapping up a degree in interior design following a decade-long career in video production, and Westport, New York, where both of our parents owned homes and where we’d met a couple of years prior. Susan had recently refinished a ...
  • Sally Lesh & Hyde Gate One of the unanticipated joys of living at Rosslyn (aka Hyde Gate) has been discovering the property’s legacy. Prior to purchasing our home, neither my bride nor I had ever stopped to consider the impact that these four buildings clustered along the shore of Lake Champlain might have had on others before us. One recent reminder ...
  • Radishes and Radish Greens On this technicolor Tuesday I present to you one of our flashiest May garden treats, French Breakfast Radishes. Field and forrest foraged veggies — like stinging nettles, wild ramps, and fiddleheads — are nature’s charitable reminder that winter has once again yielded to spring. Then our vegetable gardens begin to awaken with asparagus and spinach that spoil our ...
  • Moist May 2017 The Lake Champlain water level is ever-so-slowly dropping, but it’s premature to rule out the possibility of hitting (or even exceeding) flood stage. At present, there’s about a foot of clearance between the bottom of Rosslyn boathouse’s cantilevered deck and the glass-flat water surface. Windy, wavy days are another story altogether. For now, at least, Rosslyn’s boathouse is ...

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