Last night for dinner we had some of the last batch of fresh picked asparagus -- West Michigan is a pretty big asparagus producer and there's a large farm just down the road from us at 68th and Warner which now sells to the public. And we also had the first of the fresh strawberries. They're from South Haven, I think. The weather's been such that I think it'll still be a week or two before the immediately local strawberries start breaking out.
But oh my there is such a difference between store bought asparagus and truly fresh. Even the thicker stalks are still tender and not woody at all. Asparagus looks pretty funny -- what they are cutting are the shoots coming out of the ground, so the early fields have all these spiky things. They have these weird wide carts with awnings which slowly move along allowing several workers at a time to work on multiple rows. The fernlike asparagus plants don't emerge until after the harvest -- asparagus is one of those things which runs for a couple years, then you plow it over, plant something else for a while. For a while my father had a small asparagus bed in his garden, which is why I knew what I was looking at when we first ran across this operation.
And you hardly have to be told about what a real fresh strawberry is like. We just ate a couple as is. I suspect the shortcake part will be added this weekend.
Other Seasonal Products
As I was paying for gas this morning -- all three grades finally below three bucks a gallon for the first time in a couple of weeks -- and was amused to see a big display for Adams chewing gum. Beemans. Blackjack. Clove. I bought a couple packs of Beemans, and I'm sure that Mrs. Dr. Phil will figure out there's Clove gum available. They always seem to push it here in West Michigan at the beginning of the summer.
The weather is still cool. We've had hardly any days in the 80s, though perhaps things might start heating up next week. We'll see.