It's not everyday you hear about adventures involving asparagus. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I have heard about somebody else's asparagus adventures...and I may still have fingers to spare!
It was over a year into our time living in Sioux Falls before somebody told me they went asparagus hunting. I cannot remember if he actually used the word "hunting" when he told me about it. He may have referred to it as asparagus "picking." It really makes no difference. What you need to know is that there is wild asparagus growing in the ditches up here! (There may have been where we moved from as well, but I had never heard about it).
This was such exciting news to me! Until then, the only things I knew to be in ditches were dead animals, trash and live snakes...all leaving me quite terrified of ever ending up in a ditch. So the idea of being able to go searching for something we eat and enjoy made this a top priority adventure!
Every year now, my excitement for asparagus adventuring builds up as we transition into spring. Unfortunately, wild asparagus doesn't grow year-round in South Dakota ditches. I have found that you should go asparagus hunting when the lilacs (one of my absolute FAVORITE plants) are in bloom. This most likely is around mid-May. This year since our winter was long, we were a couple weeks behind and was probably best end of May and beginning of June.
Here is how this works:
- Find a friend to adventure with you.
- Give yourself a couple hours to spend driving around on this adventure.
- Have fun!
THINGS YOU SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF...
1. Don't cut asparagus in front of somebody's house. They most likely would appreciate you leaving it to them.
2. Don't trespass.
3. DON"T CUT ALL OF THE ASPARAGUS YOU FIND!!! In each location, you NEED to leave a few stalks that can grow up and reseed the area. If you take them all, there will be nothing for the following year. Don't be selfish.
4. Piece by piece - Expect there to be only 1 or 2 available stalks each time you spot asparagus. Part of the adventure is that you have to keep searching for it. There are times when we spot the asparagus (big ones left to reseed) but all the small stalks have been cut. OR, there are only 1 or 2 extra stalks for us.
5. Be safe on the road. Whether driving or parked, make sure the safety of you, your fellow adventurer AND anybody else you encounter is your #1 priority.
6. Dress appropriately. You will be going into road ditches. I've already mentioned what you can expect to find in road ditches...add ticks and other biting bugs to it!
7. Wash it. It came from a road ditch.
8. Enjoy the adventure. Take in the beauty of being on country roads. Make a good memory!
Searching, Cut, Washed, Cooked!
Thanks for reading!