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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