June 1, 2011

The Bounty of Spring

Well, it's been a stormy, wet and cold spring here in Michigan, but, even so, the crops are slowly starting to come in. My two favorites of spring are asparagus and rhubarb. They are fresh and springy and beautiful. They signify the return of life to these northern climes.

This asparagus came from a local grower, Long's Orchard. The asparagus will be available for another couple of weeks and then they will have strawberries.  We bought 8 pounds. Some we've cooked fresh and the rest I prepped for freezing. To freeze asparagus, blanch it very quickly in boiling water and then plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking process. I froze some whole and some pre-chopped. If you are in the area, head over to Long's. If you have an asparagus grower near you, check them out. I've found that Long's on-site prices are about half what I have paid to other growers at the farmer's market. Which is understandable, since they're paying for transportation and stall fees, but I'll take the better price every time!

This small batch of rhubarb is from my own little patch. My first successful harvest of 2011! I will be transplanting the rhubarb soon, as it needs more sun than it's getting. Even though the harvests are a wee bit puny at the moment, there is still a great feeling of accomplishment when you're eating food that you grew right outside your door.

Now that it's finally getting warmer, we can look forward to an abundance of fruit and veggies, but these first of the year are always some of my favorites!


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