Thursday, June 9, 2011

asparagus roots

I live in an old house, or a house which is old by standards of the rim, which in my eastern seaboard experience is pretty recent--"oh, a hundred years old? that's the new house"--but out here farms advertise their existence as century-long enterprises by official plaques, so that the lifetime of our home at 110 years is still exceptional even if it might not last another century. all of which is to say I'm not terribly surprised to discover all kinds of things in the ground that I would never have expected to be there: mauls and tanks and pottery shards and worn-smooth wooden toys along with the requisite bones.

our property used to be a larger piece, chunked into parcels decades ago by the farmer to our immediate east, a former high school history teacher who got the bug and never looked back. he married into a working farm and they built a newer, more efficient set of buildings and gave these up. at one time, before the county road came through, this was all of a piece, which goes some way to explaining why there is asparagus growing not 2 feet from the macadam.

the state is widening the road, which will bring it right up to 1 end of our front lawn, and so threatens the existence of the asparagus, so it was in a righteous mood that I went out yesterday with a shovel to dig it up and replant it on our property. but I'll also admit to a proprietary mood as well, that it should remain part of the property.

it took me much longer to dig up than I'd expected. I knew the roots were tangled and thick and deep but not how deep and I spent the better part of an hour and a half digging out a little here and there and here again. it had had 10 stalks when I started and dropped off, 1 by 1, all but 2 by the time I tugged out the rootball, like an upsidedown head with a matted tangle of thick dreads, free of the earth. but not to worry, I left a generous amount of offshoots still there so that when the apocalypse comes and the roads dissolve the stalks will shoot up through them like nebraskan missiles.

No comments:

Post a Comment