Milk Maid

Be safe when collecting asparagus

The sunshine sure feels nice! It is starting to actually feel like summer. With the sunshine comes plants and gardening.

One of the plants that is currently in season for harvesting is asparagus. Those green spears are commonly prepared steamed, wrapped in bacon, grilled, layered with cheese, drizzled with butter and more. Asparagus is known for being loaded with nutrients and nutritional benefits.

Asparagus is a nutrient-packed vegetable. It’s a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

Personally, I don’t understand the hype around the green spears. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.

The reason I’m bringing up the vegetable is because it’s in season. This vegetable is known to grow wild, especially in places with a lot of midday sun. Some of those common growing areas are road ditches, farm fields, fence lines and more.

With it being wild asparagus season, you’ll also notice that it’s wild asparagus hunting and gathering season.

Because asparagus plants are perennial and can be found in the same location year after year, it’s not too difficult to hunt some down. I’ve been noticing with the increased sunshine, the number of asparagus hunters has also increased.

I’ve decided to share some bits of wisdom I have for asparagus pickers. To ensure success in the wild ditches of asparagus habitat, make sure you are finding and picking your asparagus in an approved area. There are many asparagus patches in public places like township ditches.

However, there are also many patches that are on private land that isn’t open to all asparagus hunters.

My brother, who is an avid asparagus hunter and gatherer, has been catching several people picking asparagus from our fence lines. Those people have been trespassing and haven’t been permitted to prance around our land.

Get permission first!

Gravel roads have really taken a beating with all the precipitation we’ve received.

They are mushy, full of potholes and are difficult to drive on. If you are hunting asparagus on country gravel roads, be careful. Drive to the road’s condition, not how fast you want to go. On the subject of driving, don’t drive with your body or any passenger of yours, partially out of your vehicle while driving slowly trying to spot the asparagus.

I also encourage asparagus pickers to park on the side of the road when they stop to peruse the patch. I strongly detest, and will at the minimum scowl at anyone who blocks the road by parking in the middle of it. It’s dangerous and rude. I’m all for asparagus pickers bringing their families and dogs along to help them with the hunt.

However, please keep them out of the road and keep an eye on them. I personally get so nervous when I see children and dogs on the road because they are so unpredictable and I don’t want to cause a tragedy just because of asparagus.

I’m also all for people being proud and confident in their own skin. But why does picking asparagus require some people not to wear shirts or shoes?

There’s probably a ton of mosquitoes in the ditches and there isn’t a lot of shade in the best asparagus patches.

Do yourself a favor and dress appropriately.

With these tips, the only thing that won’t be safe is the asparagus!

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