Sacrifice now, celebrate later: this is what people mean when they say, “It’s a great investment.”

Planting asparagus is a very particular kind of investment. When I got my apartment in New York, I invested pretty much all my savings. And I invested weeks putting together a 120-page “board packet” that included all kinds of information that one would ordinarily consider private. But within a couple of months, I was living in my new home.

Planting asparagus is not like that. It is more like the beginning piano student practicing scales in the hopes that someday she will toss off  the Hammerklavier sonata, or the beginning yogi suffering through navasana in the hopes that someday he will fly. Gratification is a long way off, and the preparation—the “investment”—is no fun at all. In fact, it can be downright painful.

Planting asparagus requires digging a very large trench. Ordinarily, one might dig a large trench with a large shovel. But asparagus are perennial, so it is important to completely rid the soil of weeds. Although a large shovel would efficiently remove large loads of dirt, it would chop up taproots in the process, resulting in more weeds rather than less. So one achieves the trench by means of hands and a fork.000_0612

It took me the better part of the day to dig my trench. It is about 15 feet long, two feet wide, one foot deep. I got some old black horseshit from a neighbor, made 10 little piles, and then draped an asparagus crown over each hill. 000_0615Then I shoveled all the dirt back into the trench (more work than you’d think, even using a large shovel) and mulched.

This was, by far, the most labor-intensive row of vegetables I’ve ever put in. Invested in. And assuming as I stay on top of things—keep em weeded, watered, mulched—I will enjoy the fruits of my labors in three to five years.

Maybe I’ll start practicing scales again while I wait for my asparagus.

Explore posts in the same categories: asparagus, garden, practice, weeds

3 Comments on “Investment”

  1. carina gebl Says:

    Very well done!

    Hope the cream helped those poor gardeners hands of yours. 🙂
    I guess we just wait now… This is one of the best ways to learn patience!

    xo good to see you,
    thanks for stooping by!

  2. Nathan Dyrud Says:

    Hope permiates the planting of asparagus and with that hope comes the living of life… Would you make this effort if you knew you had to flee your home? Or if you couldn’t enjoy the fruits of your labors?

    No more philosophical ponderings… I can’t wait to taste and smell the pee!!! 😉 *ahem* I meant, smell your “peas.”

  3. […] arrival isn’t, strictly speaking, a volunteer. Last year I put a lot of time and energy into creating an asparagus bed at the very back of the garden. All the books—and all my gardening friends—warned me not to […]

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