One reason that I hesitated to have a horse in my life again is the amount of time that that animal takes up. Rding is only part of it. Grooming, equipment care, and simply walking all the way out to the paddock and back, can consume hours. A 45 minute ride can easily use up most of your afternoon. But that’s not all. Yesterday was a stunningly beautiful, perfect spring day. It’s the sort of day that last year I would have spent in the garden. This year I spent it with Tonka. He’d had his second round of yearly vaccines in the morning, so I didn’t ride, but still went to the stable in the afternoon and hung out with him. I shampooed the winter grime out of Tonka’s tail. I hand grazed him – meaning I put him on a lead rope, led him to some good grass and stood around while he ate. There went the afternoon. It made me ridiculously happy.
But, the good thing about springtime is daylight stretches into evening. When I got home, I did go out to the garden. The other good thing is that I’ve been tending this garden for eleven years. Some plants come up even if I’ve ignored them. Asparagus is a perennial and is harvested well before anything else is ready, which is right about now. My asparagus bed is tucked behind the big barn. I’ve glanced at it over the last couple of weeks, but saw little other than dirt and weeds. Asparagus is a really weird crop. A patch of ground, with what seems like nothing useful in it at all, suddenly sprouts spears. It’s only after harvest that the main plant emerges. Even better, after the harvest, you let the fronds grow up and die. You’re supposed to let it be. (I did weed after taking this photograph.)
It’s early days yet for asparagus, but I harvested enough for dinner. The first handful is so very, very delicious that all I do is wash, break off the tough ends, and steam. I don’t even put any dressing on the spears.
Later on, I’ll use the recipe from my Farmstead Egg Guide and Cookbook for Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Smoked Salmon. A photo of this is on the cover,
and I’ll also make Goat Cheese and Asparagus Custards (the recipe for that is in this article.)
I’m going back to the stable today, but I’ll find the time to get into the garden as well. The rhubarb is up and it needs to have compost tucked around it. I am so looking forward to rhubarb pie!