I know spring is in the air when the wild asparagus starts to sprout at Jnane Tamsna. It is now that time of the year, the season to enjoy our fresh arugula, salad greens, spinach and other spring vegetables. It is also the moment to plant seeds for our summer harvest of eggplants, peppers and tomatoes.
Among the other organic vegetables I am cultivating this year are two cultivated heirloom asparagus varieties, ‘Argenteuil’, from France and ‘Mary Washington’, developed in California. With both cultivated and wild asparagus on the Jnane Tamsna grounds, we will have a consistent supply of tender stalks in season, from late January until early March. When the season ends, we leave the remaining sprouts to grow and flower, strengthening the rhizomes to produce an even better crop the following year.
One of the advantages of cultivating our own crop is that we avoid buying unsustainably-grown asparagus from Peru, the number one exporter to Europe and the United States … and now to Morocco as well, with added air miles. As Al Jazeera recently reported, the intensive cultivation of asparagus uses a massive amount of fresh water, making it an increasingly scarce resource for Peruvians.
Much better to grow your own!