Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Art of Asparagus Picking

So now, I finally get to the more recently happenings in my life. About a week after arriving in Hastings, I was approached by one of the girls are the Rotten Apple backpackers asking me if I wanted to work...picking asparagus.

I was stoked. I figured it would be a good physical workout, God knows I really needed it. I had quit Taekwondo in April and had done no physical activity since then, except maybe drink too much and smoke too much. I had gained 15 pounds and felt like crap.

So I was all for it. But nothing prepared me for the crazy workout it was to be. (For a little prose on this topic, go to my other blog "Table for One"). The first two weeks were so incredibly painful, but it was good pain, you know. The lactic acid pain that you know is killing you because you've been a lazy bastard for way too long. And we would start to work at 7.a.m. It could take us until 2p.m. or later to finish a field.( it was damn long...)

But after the two weeks, the initial pain went away and then was unfortunately replaced by irritated sciatic nerves in both my legs. It was excruciating, but I worked through it, not wanting to give into the fibromyalgia that has so "kindly" accompanied me for the past 8 years now.

Below is a demonstration of how asparagus goes from the field to the grocery store shelves. Enjoy!

Step 1: In the Field

The bucket you see attached to me is where we place the asparagus as we go along the rows. Asparagus, in addition to the recommended height, must have the head completely closed in order to be the freshest. If they are opening up and especially if they are starting to seed, they are too far gone. So when you're shopping in the store, make sure the heads are closed, they'll keep longer and taste better.

Step 2: In the packhouse: sorting and cutting

Step 3: Elasticating (probably not a word but I like the sound of it) and weighing

Step 4: Packaging

Step 5: You buy it from the supermarket or farmer's market and then you cook and eat!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!


rita maselli said...

Leita, the prancing around after you cut the asparagus is so you... but I've been wondering who is shooting the videos? I love asparagus and never knew what they looked like coming out of the ground.

L said...

One of the guys who worked with me, Tom, shot that video because I couldn't do it myself. I'll ask whoever is around to help me out with stuff like that.

I know that some people might think it's silly to put such things on a blog, but I figured there would be a few of you out there that would have never seen how the process works. I was fascinated, so that was enough to have me put it up there.

Thanks for the interest!