There are many aspects of gardening that encourage the development of patience. Gratification is hardly instant in food production. Rarely, however, are patience and restraint required to partner together so desperately as when dealing with the agony of growing asparagus. Fresh asparagus is certainly worth the square footage required to grow it and of course good soil and seeds are hardly a sacrifice. The time one must wait to actually eat it, however, is ridiculous. Most gardeners are ready to accept the fact that after the average vegetable seed is planted, there is no need to set the table for at least a couple of months. This flies in the face of our “fast food” culture but it’s doable. Asparagus on the other hand gives “slow food” a whole new meaning. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you may remember our students planting asparagus seedlings in our garden. Click here to read about it. Yes, that’s right, it’s been almost a year. To this date the amount of asparagus that’s been eaten or should we say “tasted” from that planting would not equal a single serving size. The goal with asparagus is to let each plant develop and grow to the size where it won’t miss a few shoots of new growth each spring. Asparagus is a perennial plant that, when mature, can produce for twenty years but it can take two or three years before it reaches maturity. Even worse is that while waiting for that to happen, these plants send up shoots that look like the one pictured above. You know it’s crisp. You know it’s juicy. You know it’s delicious. You know that asparagus is the vegetable of kings. You know you can’t have it.