Ever since I was a girl and started carrying Stalking the Wild Asparagus around in my backpack I have been on the hunt for the illusive wild asparagus. Eureka! I’ve finally found it! I’ve been passing it for years probably, but the other morning my attention was caught by a large and beautiful plant, its color and wispy fronds reminding me of the vibrancy of the early morning and the energy of all things.
“Wow! That’s a wild asparagus!” I exclaimed, without a hint of doubt. It was as if I always knew what it looked like and it was just sitting there waiting for me to recognize it.
Here is a picture I took of it, and here is some of what Mr. Gibbons wrote about the wild asparagus. He first discovered it as a twelve-year-old school boy while living in New Mexico, and it wasn’t until he was a middle-aged man and living in Pennsylvania that he found it again.
“The edible tips and spears, in which we are chiefly interested, appear long before the asparagus puts on its summer finery, and they must be located by that drab, old, last year’s stalk. My neighbors often smile when they see me by the roadside with my asparagus knife and pail. They think it is much simpler to merely buy the asparagus one wants at the supermarket. But I have a secret they don’t know about. When I am out along the hedgerows and waysides gathering wild asparagus, I am twelve years old again, and all the world is new and wonderful as the spring sun quickens the green things into life after a winter’s dormancy. Now do you know why I like wild asparagus?” –From Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons, page 31.