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Comment by Daniel W on August 16, 2015 at 1:19pm

When I was a grade schooler, my brother did an experiment on me, feeding me a bunch of Asparagus berries.  In those days they didn't pump stomachs, they just watched to see what happened.  So far they haven't killed me.

Comment by Idaho Spud on August 16, 2015 at 1:02pm

Carl, about asparagus, Wikipedia notes that "It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter, which is poisonous to humans."

Mother Earth News says: "Until about 20 years ago, all asparagus varieties were a mixture of male and female plants. But Rutgers University researchers developed a method for propagating only the male plants (the female plants produce seeds). These “all-male” asparagus varieties — including ‘Jersey Giant, 'Jersey Supreme’ and ‘Jersey Knight' — produce up to three times more than older, open-pollinated male/female varieties, such as ‘Mary Washington.’That’s because they put all of their energy into producing spears rather than seeds, according to Chee-kok Chin, a professor of plant biology and pathology at Rutgers. That also means male plants do not produce volunteer seedlings, which compete against the established plants and reduce yields. All-male hybrids also are more disease resistant than older varieties."

Comment by Daniel W on August 16, 2015 at 12:10pm

"Stalking the Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons.  If someone is my generation and was of the "Organic Gardening and Farming" mentality, following the original Rodales, that book will bring back old memories.

Today I made freezer jam from fresh grapes.  Using the "Instant Pectin", no heating or watering down is needed.  I cut the sugar in half and it still gelled.  These are seeded grapes, which adds crunch.  I leave the skins on, where a lot of the grape flavor is concentrated.

Package recipe is 1 3/4 cups fruit, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tbsp instant pectin.  I used 2 cups fruit, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tbsp instant pectin for the first batch, which tasted like grape candy.  So 2nd batch was 1/3 cup sugar, which I think was more fruity and slightly less sweet.  Store fruit might need more sugar.

Very good on Corn Bread.  I also made some batches using fresh very ripe plums, same recipe but with 1 tbsp lemon juice added.  Gave some away at work - well received.

Comment by Randall Smith on August 16, 2015 at 10:08am

Carl, asparagus does bloom, although not readily apparent, and produces little red berries. One can find wild asparagus, but farmers keep roadside ditches mowed, and fence rows are a thing of the past.

I tagged along with my farm kids to the Farmer's Market yest. I did babysitting duties as well as helping keep the vegetables stocked. It was crazy! So many customers. I was much encouraged. There ARE people out there willing to spend a little extra for quality food. Are you among them?

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 16, 2015 at 6:03am

Randy, as for thrift stores, I used to think of Goodwill as a good place to go... "Goodwill to Few Men" by Betty Bowers ("America's Best Christian") and some other articles made me rethink that. The discussion on Atheist Nexus also mentions some alternatives.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on August 16, 2015 at 1:48am

That's really interesting, Joan.  I don't think I've ever seen asparagus growing "in the wild."  Does it have some sort of bloom that flowers when not picked for eating?

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 15, 2015 at 11:48pm

Randy, when driving to Dayton, WA, many of the roadside ditches, which often carry water,  are filled with asparagus. It is such a pretty sight seeing the greens swaying in a breeze. I associate asparagus with damp ditches. 

Comment by Daniel W on August 15, 2015 at 4:22pm
Carl - Kaboom!
Comment by The Flying Atheist on August 15, 2015 at 3:12pm

Comment by Randall Smith on August 4, 2015 at 7:18am
Joan, I don't think my soil is any drier or wetter than average. I never have to water my asparagus, however.

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