Monday, January 17, 2011


Yesterday one of girls friends came over to play.  They both got picked up at the end of the day and brought to the friends house to spend the night.  While she was here, friends mom kept making comments about them not being rich.  They live just down the street (2 miles away) in a house the same size as ours but on two acres as compared to our five.  They have several cars and trucks.  I have a work truck (that's not mine) and a family truck. They have a pool.  We don't, although I wish I could afford one. We have a garden.  They don't.
I made a comment to her that houses can be deceiving.  Just because someone lives in a big house doesn't make them rich.  Nobody else knows how much money they make, how much money they owe, or just how wisely they spend what they have.  It's all about priorities. 
I told her my comment at work is always that the more they cut our pay the bigger my garden has to get.  I can't see spending hard earned money on something at the store that I can provide for myself.  People comment that a garden can't really provide for all your calories.  I disagree with that, although we aren't self sufficient around here yet.  We produce lamb and sometimes goat, but rarely do we run a steer.  I don't have irrigated land which means I have to provide hay for a steer for about 9 months out of the year.  It's better to have the sheep and goats.  I rarely have to buy feed for them. 
If you like asparagus you should have an asparagus patch, or two, or three.  The nice thing about asparagus is that it lives for twenty or thirty years.  You can grow it from seed or you can buy the plants bare root.  You can also divide the plants once they get bigger.  My asparagus has been in one location in my garden for about 10 years now.  Today I am going to dig up many of the plants and divide them.  I'm going to replant some back in the same location but will plant others along the fence in the front. 
Around here, until the asparagus gets established in a couple of years, you need to water it in the summer to keep the roots strong.  After a couple of years I don't have to water it at all.  The asparagus shoots come up in the spring while the ground is still moist.  After several weeks of cutting asparagus the plants will leaf out and you leave them alone until the winter.  During the winter you cut the plants back down to the ground.  That's all there is to it.  Around here though, if I want asparagus during the summer or fall, I can cut the plant down (as I do in winter) and the plant will send up more asparagus.  You can get a second or even third crop this way.  It's hard on the roots so I make sure that I don't cut back the same ones each year, and I also make sure they stay moist.
You can gather seeds from the plants and plant them in the fall.  It will takes three or four years for those plants to provide large enough stalks to eat.  Until that time you just let them grow and cut them down each winter.  Easy.  
Plant some asparagus if you don't have it.  Plant more if you do. 

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