"Feral" asparagus any good to eat?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mountaineer, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    Out walking this morning I noticed several clumps of asparagus growing in the ditches too far from any homes/farms to be cultivated. Probably seeded. Possibly many generations ago too. Closest properties are old and abandoned homesteads from 50-100 years ago.
    Is this worth digging up to plant? Does it taste similar to home grown or does it revert to a nasty bitter type?

    Thanks!
     
  2. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When we lived in NM one of our favorite spring pasttimes was walking the roads and irrigation ditches picking wild asparagus. Are you sure this is feral? Could it be the much more luscious wild?
     

  3. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    I bet it would be tasty. We also would go asparagus hunting when I was a kid. There was this one old homestead (any buildings long gone) that had tons of it. I have a book that suggests digging up wild aparagus plants and putting them in your garden.

    Heather
     
  4. Jan Sears

    Jan Sears Well-Known Member

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    We have wild asparagus that grow along the fence line of our property that we pick all the time. It tastes just like the garden variety.
     
  5. ArkansasLady

    ArkansasLady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Haggis writes in his book of his wife eating wild asparagus.....what is ferral asparagus..
     
  6. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    Some of the best eating I've ever had was wild asparagus growing on the roadside. Used to go on asparagus hunts to get enough to eat and some freeze for a few future meals. That was back when gas was cheap enough to be able to do that.

    Wish I'd been smart enough to snag some of the plants to bring home and carry with me in all my moves. Yummy stuff! Not bitter at all.

    As far as harvesting some of the plants to start your own bed, you haven't anything but time and gas to lose so I say go for it. Plop it down in a good spot and be willing to wait a year or two for it to start growing good. I don't think you'll be sorry.
     
  7. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    Asparagus is asparagus, still hunt it from time to time.
    Careful about digging it up, some people don't like digging in "their yard", even though it is legally on a right of way.
    Pick it if you want, but don't dig it up! (unless the new road is going through and it will be destroyed).

    Lots of funny stories from these adventures.
    Like the one where I was almost beaten up by two 'little old ladies" w/ black coats, bubusha's and broom sticks!

    P.S the handle "hunter" refers to these kind of activites, not just hunting.
     
  8. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks- very good to hear!

    I know the farms current owner and I'm sure she'll let me dig it, but will ask of course.

    I was afraid it would be nasty!
     
  9. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The wild asparagus growing around here is from old long gone homesteads that were once very numerous. Now there is very little to show the spots where early settlers spent their lifetimes working and often raising large families. They were truly self sufficient homesteaders. It saddens me to see a few old stones that are all thats left where real live people once lead vibrant lives. Ashes to ashes.
     
  10. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    Note: This is the time of year when driving around the country side to spot the plants as they are pretty tall and bushy now. Make a note of where they are and visit the same spot in the spring ( this could very in different parts of the country).

    Around here ( WI ) if you see dandielions blooming in the yard (not next to the house),
    the asparagus is up!

    The two old ladies I spoke of were using the broom sticks to "swish the grass", when the hit something, they would check for asparagus spears. I tried it works great.
     
  11. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    This area is being taken over by wealthy people who don't eat stuff out of the ditch. Digging them and planting them at my homestead is the only way they'll actually get some use.
     
  12. doohap

    doohap Another American Patriot

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    You know ... usually when confronted with a decision like this, I just dig it up, plant it, cultivate it and see what I get ... Have gotten some real goodies in life this way ... some real doozies too, if you know what I mean!

    Peace and smiles,
    doohap
     
  13. country friend

    country friend country friend

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    From my tame patch of asaragus patch . The birds over the years have spread the seeds all along the fence . As the years go by the clumbs get bigger and they are just as good as the tame patch . Just wait till spring to move them it will give them a better chance to start .
    Indiana Country Friend Jack
     
  14. phrogpharmer

    phrogpharmer Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to dig up the plants. Those red berries on the dried asparagus stalks contain seeds. Cut some of the stalks and when the berries turn brown the seeds are ready to plant in the garden. Plant in the fall and in one and a half years you should have some harvestable shoots and every spring after the shoots will be more numerous and larger.
    In a lot places the asparagus is harvested by many people and digging up the roots will deprive others of a crop that they may have as much right to as you.
    If you have permission from the owner of the property to dig the roots it is a different story. Wait until the above ground part of the plant is completely dry before digging. Be sure to fill the holes in.
     
  15. mayfair

    mayfair a yard full of chickens

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    We used to hunt wild (or feral-like that word!) asparagus as kids, too. My mom dug some up and we had that in the garden for years.
     
  16. Tonya

    Tonya Guest

    We grew up on the stuff!! We had a patch in our lane that got us our school supplies. Mom figured that each "Creamed Asparagas on Toast" dinner that we could hack down would save us $1. That $1 was put into a jar and that's what we were able to get school supplies with!! Back in the 70's $1 was a fortune!!

    To this day I crave some Creamed Asparagas on toast...with lots of butter..... :dance: