Friday, May 17, 2013

I'd forgotten work today

Asparagus, first year, gone to seed--you can see the rest sprouting in the distance

The asparagus is growing. I wrote about it last year, when we rooted the year-old octopus-shaped slips of plants, as a symbol of permanence. If we plant asparagus, that means we're staying. Perennials mean that one is perennially rooted in one place.

Or so I believe. The asparagus is going to seed, as it's supposed to in its second year, although I've been desperate to sample some. I tried one bite, raw, of a piece the cat knocked off.

Maybe what I like about impermanence is how its a blank slate on which to draw. The unknown elements in the future.

A farm is a new adventure each season. Based on three years of experience now, I still have no idea what to predict. Certain crops will fail utterly. Others we will drown in and have to throw away. It's impossible to know what will succeed and what will fail, but we have to keep trying, with each, with utmost faith.

The perennial garden grows every year—this year I'm able to identify handily the jerusalem artichoke and echinacea coming up, and the rhubarb is sprouting little alien brains by the day. I may even get a pie this year. The fiddleheads are going gangbusters, and I still haven't made my way out to collect any. The rhythm grows familiar.

Last year at this time I was nesting the asparagus roots in the ground. It's almost a prayer, planting things like that, entrusting them to this speck of earth. Trusting myself to husband them. Trusting they will bear fruit in time, in two years. Next year, we can eat asparagus omelets all spring.

And still the unknown beckons.

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