We hurried the asparagus crowns into the ground last spring.
A little like John Henry working against the steam-powered drill of time (minus the subtext of exploited labor and so forth) I extended the ditch, flinging stones hither and yon in a frenzy. Thirty or so beautiful crowns of asparagus and only a few hours of daylight to plant them before leaving the Farm.
Fast forward three months into the apex of summer. Mr. Linton and I make our way back to the Would-Be Farm crossing our fingers about all the spring's plantings.
It's all an experiment, this absentee farming thing. So much can go wrong with growing things, even when the farmer keeps a sharp eye open for floods, dry soil, locusts, marauding goats –– never mind what can happen if the farmer dashes off into the sunset for whole chunks of the lunar year.
Well, one of the things that happens is photosynthesis gone wild: waist-high weeds growing everywhere. And I do mean weeds -- not just an unintended plant, but a weed in the pejorative sense. Prickly, stout, thick, and unpleasant things: thistles, nettles, burdock, and bramble bushes.
Cue montage of two solid days of weeding. Slow-mo scenes of repeated cutting, yanking, digging, burning seed-heads, and swearing at the thorns. Then, in a blink:
Now, assuming that time and tide allow, we'll be finishing the planting as originally planned: more mulch and a thick layer of weed barrier fabric weighed down with (what else?) rocks.
Because the rocks are doing great.
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