wild asparagus

      
  
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     This first story comes by way of family tradition. Dennis, a native of southwestern Minnesota, recently relived a late spring ritual in the wide-open spaces near his family home. In a bittersweet role reversal, he led his aging father on a hunt for spring asparagus.          "   My dad grew up picking wild asparagus with his father, scouring the ditches along the gravel roads that line the farmlands near Lynd, Minnesota. You can spot it as you drive, if you spy the tall spikes that shoot up from the plants on the verge of going to seed   ."      

 

This first story comes by way of family tradition. Dennis, a native of southwestern Minnesota, recently relived a late spring ritual in the wide-open spaces near his family home. In a bittersweet role reversal, he led his aging father on a hunt for spring asparagus.

 

"My dad grew up picking wild asparagus with his father, scouring the ditches along the gravel roads that line the farmlands near Lynd, Minnesota. You can spot it as you drive, if you spy the tall spikes that shoot up from the plants on the verge of going to seed."

 

      "When I was a kid, we'd go out in the late afternoon warmth before supper, to check around for a bunch of asparagus to bring home. We'd know it was time when the first dandelions were in full bloom. We always brought our dog along, giving us a good excuse to head out for a walk. Our dog instinctively knew what we were looking for and would run ahead, chewing off the tips of the first spears he found.  I don't think he really liked them, but just wanted us to know he knew the goal of the treasure hunt. One of my dad's favorite places to search was along railroad tracks."

 

"When I was a kid, we'd go out in the late afternoon warmth before supper, to check around for a bunch of asparagus to bring home. We'd know it was time when the first dandelions were in full bloom. We always brought our dog along, giving us a good excuse to head out for a walk. Our dog instinctively knew what we were looking for and would run ahead, chewing off the tips of the first spears he found.  I don't think he really liked them, but just wanted us to know he knew the goal of the treasure hunt. One of my dad's favorite places to search was along railroad tracks."

      "Most of the time you have to dig through the tall grass to find the fledgling stalks, but sometimes they show off in the early evening sunshine. Any country road holds the promise of a bountiful find."

 

"Most of the time you have to dig through the tall grass to find the fledgling stalks, but sometimes they show off in the early evening sunshine. Any country road holds the promise of a bountiful find."

      "A grove of old cottonwoods still stands in the same place my dad took my sister and me to 45 years ago. And we discovered fresh asparagus growing there, just like it has every year since our first visit. Knowing where to look is often a well-kept secret, like hunting for other wild foods, since it's disappointing to arrive at a favorite patch and find it's already been harvested    ."

 

"A grove of old cottonwoods still stands in the same place my dad took my sister and me to 45 years ago. And we discovered fresh asparagus growing there, just like it has every year since our first visit. Knowing where to look is often a well-kept secret, like hunting for other wild foods, since it's disappointing to arrive at a favorite patch and find it's already been harvested."

      "It's hard for my dad to go out on his own anymore, so this recent jaunt revived fond memories for him    ."

 

"It's hard for my dad to go out on his own anymore, so this recent jaunt revived fond memories for him."

     All a handful of slender stalks needs is a bit of steam, a drizzle of butter, and a sprinkle of flaky salt and freshly ground pepper.

 

All a handful of slender stalks needs is a bit of steam, a drizzle of butter, and a sprinkle of flaky salt and freshly ground pepper.