New Experience #22: Asparagus Picking

Apple picking? Check. Pumpkin picking? Check. Strawberry picking? Check. Asparagus picking? No, that is one we hadn’t tried yet.

When I found out that Terhune Orchards in Princeton, NJ offered asparagus picking as one of their many Pick Your Own vegetables, I knew we had to try it.   My family loves visiting the farm, and our last visit was no exception.  Before we went to the asparagus fields, the kids had a ball pedaling the John Deere tricycles around the enclosed play area.  I tried to convince them to visit with the farm animals, but they were having too much fun to stop.

Once they had their fill of the tricycles, we took a short walk to the field of asparagus.  At first glance, the field looked barren.  There were weeds sprouting up here and there, but I didn’t see any asparagus plants.  When I looked closer, I saw that the “weeds” were actually stalks of asparagus sticking straight up from the ground!  I was as amazed as the kids were.  None of us had ever seen asparagus growing.  I had only seen it tightly rubber banded together in bunches the supermarket.  Now, I may be showing my ignorance here, but I really never gave asparagus plants much consideration.  I didn’t have a clear picture in my head of what an asparagus plant might look like, but I certainly did not expect to see individual stalks growing in small rows.

Luke and Leah were excited to start picking.  They ran into the field and got right to work.  The woman in the farm store told us just to snap the stalks off at the bottom.  We did just that, and they made a satisfying little snapping sound as we did.  Asparagus picking was definitely a novelty for us, and it was easy to keep my kids in line.  Usually, when we go strawberry or apple picking, I need to remind my children to stop sampling the goods.  With asparagus, I didn’t have that problem.

We only picked asparagus for about 20 minutes.  The kids didn’t want to stop, but I told them that we have to eat all this asparagus.  They immediately stopped arguing once they saw how much we already had in our bucket.  As we walked back to the farm store, Luke started planning our next adventure to the farm.  He’d like to pick cherries next time.  Leah can’t wait until the pears are ripe.  Looks like we will have a few more trips to the orchards this year!

 

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10 Responses to New Experience #22: Asparagus Picking

  1. megan says:

    also – Johnson’s Farm in Medford has sweet potato and popcorn picking in the fall, i think we are going to check it out this year!

  2. megan says:

    that really is cool to see asparagus growing like that! just wondering if you came up with any interesting recipes for all that asparagus?? I am sure that will be a whole new experience of its own! :)

  3. Susan says:

    I just love the picture of your son holding his piece of asparagus.

  4. ar011 says:

    I’d never thought of Asparagus picking before – I’ll have to look nearby and see if there’s anywhere that offers that.

    If the kids want to pick to their hearts content (and sample to their hearts content) there are usually food bank farms that welcome little kids who want to pick fruit and veggies and are happy to let the kids eat all they can while they’re picking. We have one near us that caters to Maryland and DC food banks. It’s run by a church but you don’t have to be religious to join in – best of all, it’s free and you usually get to fill a bag with whatever produce you need as “payment” for picking. We took our Girl Scouts there and even the littlest ones (Kindergarten) had a great time picking kale and turnips, and then going over to the orchard for apples. In fact, I think the little ones had a better time than the adults!

  5. I had no idea that asparagus picking was something you could do. What a great new experience!

  6. my son cut asparagus professionally one summer from a machine with a knife –he relives those days with no fondness -

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