My family started an unusual family tradition and its been going on near half a century. It is an unusual tradition, which has been very rewarding in a variety of ways. It is a form of hunting, without firearms, a knife is the preferred hunting weapon. The prey has a short season, and a limited range. You don`t need a license to hunt for it, but it is advisable for at least one person to have a drivers license. My family tradition is hunting asparagus.
When I was a child, before I even started school, my parents would go for a drive on the country roads, really slow, and we would hunt for asparagus. My grandfather had a big patch of asparagus in his garden, that was planted before my dad was born, it was handy, but it was more fun to hunt for it, it took some skill to be able to spot a purple tip among the green grass.
I remember mom packing sandwiches and kool-aid for our hunt,and we would make a day of it. After dad got off the main road, he would slow the car right down, and we all watched and waited in anticipation for the first siting. Once someone said `there`s one``, dad would pull over and park the car, the hunt was on! We were always in competition to see who could find the most asparagus, each of us carrying a wooden basket with a paring knife rattling around in the bottom as we scoured the ditch-banks for those tell-tale purple tips. We got a lot of soakers jumping ditches but didn`t mind getting our feet wet.
It is easiest to find early in the season, before the grass starts to get too tall, but once the grass starts to hide it, it takes a trained eye to see it hiding among the blades. It also takes some knowledge of the growing conditions of the asparagus as well, it won`t grow just anywhere. It won`t be found near trees, as they are competition for it`s water supply and they don`t like shade. You won`t find any growing in freshly turned ground, within the past ten years, as it takes a long time to mature from seed and the working of the soil will kill any pre-existing roots. the most common place to find it is in a sunny ditch. It won`t grow in colder climate zones, Zone 5-6 is about as far north as it grows. Most people don`t know this but it does start sprouting again in the fall, when the temperature cools, not as productive as in the spring, but it is a treat!
While we where walking along the ditch, hunting for asparagus, we also learned a lot about nature, we would catch tadpoles, collect fossils and rocks, pick wildflowers and if we were really lucky, would come across a strawberry patch and have a treat, wild strawberries. Strawberries and asparagus have the same growing conditions, so they were often found together. While we were out hunting for asparagus, we would keep an eye out for Elderberry bushes as well. Elderberries ripen in August, and make delicious pies.
When my boys were growing up, I took them asparagus hunting every spring and now they take their children who also enjoy it. I think that it`s a family tradition that will keep going as long as there is wild asparagus to hunt.
Welcome to my family history blog. Finding more about my family's history is very rewarding as well as being interesting and educational.
I created this blog to share my thoughts, experiences, tips and resources in my search for my ancestors' history and maybe, help you in your research as well. I am particularly interested in the history of Upper Canada and the Loyalist period in history.
My Carnival Blogs
- Black Sheep Canadian Ancestors - The Quaker Loyalist Turncoats
- Cabinet of Curiosities #15 - What Did I Dig Up?
- Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture # 12 - Letter From Ireland
- COG # 68 - A Tribute to Women - Sarah Haines, UEL
- COG # 69 - What If...The British Won the Revolutionary War?
- COG #71-Local History - The Tomato Capital of Canada - Leamington, Ontario
- COG #73 - The Good Earth - Vege-Land
- COG #75- Justice and Independence - The Loyalists Viewpoint
- COG #76 - My Favouriite Summer Vacation
- COG #77 - Disasters - God's Wrath
- COG #81 - A Short But Full Life
- Smile for the Camera #11 - Brothers and Sisters
- Smile for the Camera #12 - Noble Life - Rev. T. Neil Libby
- Smile For The Camera #15 - They Worked Hard For The Family
- Smile for the Camera - All Creatures Great and Small
My Daily Blog Theme Posts & SNGF with Randy
- Follow Friday - Cape Cod Gravestones
- Follow Friday - Destination: Austin Family
- Follow Friday - Tribal Pages
- Follow Friday - Viviti For Versatile Blogging
- Madness Monday - 10 Questions
- Madness Monday - I'm Realy Connnected To My Parents
- Madness Monday - Nettie Kennedy
- Saturday Night Fun - My Grandmother's Ancestors
- Saturday Night Fun - Poetry
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ahnentafel Roulette
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - All My Grgrgrandparents
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Family Increases
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - My All-Time Favourite Song
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Surname Distribution
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The Nicest Things
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Tricks And Treats
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Luck!
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Where were they in 1909?
- Surname Saturday - Small, Smalle, Smalley
- Tombstone Tuesday - Col. John Butler Family Buryng Grounds
- Tombstone Tuesday - Doan's Ridge Cemetery
- Tombstone Tuesday - My German Ancestry
- Tombstone Tuesday - Tecumseh
- Tombstone Tuesday - The Family Plot
- Tombstone Tuesday,Happy Birthday Great-grampa John Haines
- Wordless Wednesday - Alexander Taylor
- Wordless Wednesday - Elizabeth Simcoe
- Wordless Wednesday - Global Warming???
- Wordless Wednesday - Happy Anniversary!
- Wordless Wednesday - Jane Fairbairn Kendrick
- Wordless Wednesday - My Gardens
- Wordless Wednesday - Niagara region, Ontario, Canada
- Wordless Wednesday - On The Island
- Wordless Wednesday - The George Fairbairn Family
- Wordless Wednesday - The Taylors of Essex County
- Wordless Wednesday - Touring the Settler's Village, Bobcaygeon, Ontario