It’s that time of year – no, not Christmas, it the time when the seed catalogs start coming in the mail! While you brainstorm next year’s plantings, consider growing asparagus and rhubarb. Because these perennials live for years, they are worth the time investment. They often provide the first garden harvest of the year. You may not even need to plant asparagus, as it grows wild in some places.
If you’ve never had fresh picked asparagus – steamed, stir fried, or even raw – you’ve missed how good asparagus can be. I would say the flavor is kind of like snap peas, but different in a good way. Here in northwest Wisconsin it grows wild in places, along fence lines and under power lines where birds plant the seeds after they eat the fruit during the summer. The mature plants are the easiest to spot along roads and walking sunny fence lines. You can map them out and then come back in the spring. This is what last year’s mature plants look like: