Harvest time is now virtually over for this early season crop, but a few weeks ago, my hubby and I headed out to Edgar Farms (near the town of Innisfail in central Alberta) for their annual Asparagus Festival. The celebration is held over three weekends in May and June, and features a farm tour, lots of yummy food, and artisans selling their locally-made wares. The star of the show is, of course, asparagus, which isn’t cultivated very much as a commercial crop here in the province – the family-run Edgar Farms is one of the only producers that I am aware of. Interpretive signs near the asparagus fields offer fun facts about this fascinating perennial veggie, tips to successfully grow it, and a history of the farm and its owners. (You can also take a guided wagon tour if you’d rather not walk the property; we chose to walk because I always find you see more if you’re on foot). One of the highlights of the festival is the opportunity to go out into the asparagus fields to break a spear fresh out of the soil and pop it in your mouth. And, of course, all the freshly-harvested asparagus you can bring home from the marketplace…YUM! It’s going to be difficult to wait another whole year for such a delicacy!
Purple cultivars of asparagus taste a bit sweeter than green ones, and wow! that colour! Spectacular! (Just like many purple bean cultivars, purple asparagus spears turn green when you cook them, and actually, if you slice open a raw spear, the interior is green).
A man with more literary awards than you can shake a stick at (as well as a little bauble called the Order of Canada!), renowned Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer was recently in Calgary acting as the visiting writer-in-residence at the Calgary Public Library. My hubby and I managed to squish in Mr. Sawyer’s highly entertaining lecture “Why Everyone Should Read Science Fiction” on June 2. In addition to defending his position on Star Trek’s superiority over Star Wars (I’d say the room was divided on that one!), we were treated to an educational and fascinating discussion of the history of science fiction writing and its focus on social issues.
Speaking of science fiction, I’ve published writer Geoff Hart’s flash fiction work “Fly Fishing” over at Paper Butterfly. It’s a story you’ll fall for hook, line, and sinker…guaranteed. Head over there and enjoy!♥
Spring is my favourite time of year! I’ve already reblogged a few wonderful posts but I’d like to wrap up this theme by showcasing some more bloggers who are also celebrating the season! (This may also introduce you to some new blogs that you might enjoy as much as I do). Have fun!
These huge, furry, pollen-laden willow catkins stopped me in my tracks (pun intended) while walking near a crowded train station here in Calgary last week. I sort of wanted to hug them, but made do with a photograph instead.
What signs of spring (or autumn!) are you celebrating in your part of the world?
I’m super late with Flowery Friday (actually, I’m even late for Saturday; in some places it’s close to Sunday by now), but we’ll roll with it because it’s really all about the flowers, anyway. Or, at least that’s what I’ll claim so that no one notices just how disorganized I am….
This darling little heap of Hepaticas* isn’t late. These plants are right on time, as one of the earliest spring blooms you’re going to see in my neck of the woods. (See what I did there?). Sadly, these beauties are not from my garden – I visited them at the William Reader Rock Garden here in Calgary early last week. (Three days later, we received 15 centimetres of snow. Ah, Spring! Your vagaries delight!).
*Hmmmm…what would be the collective noun for Hepaticas? “Herd of Hepaticas“? Nah, that makes me think of a marauding band of them blanketing the countryside (which, on second thought, might not be such a bad thing). What about “hillock of Hepaticas“? You know…because I found them in a tumulose, rangy rock garden. Ba dum tsss! Okay, I’ll go now.
One of my favourite times of the year is when the new issue of The Prairie Garden arrives in my mailbox! This themed, annual digest has been in publication for a whopping 63 years and I am delighted to have been a contributing writer since 2011 (although I missed 2015 and 2017). This year, the theme is Growing Food and it includes my article “Integrated Pest Management.” Check out The Prairie Garden‘s website for more information about the book and the other featured writers, as well as for details on how to order both the new book and available back issues. (The book is also available for purchase in select bookstores, garden centres, and nurseries in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta).
Flashback to mid-summer last year and a public planting found in a playground in the Beltline area of Calgary. That mix of foliage textures and the pop of lime green, yellow, and pink-purple (possibly combined with the fact that it was crazy late in the evening and I hadn’t eaten supper yet) made me drool.
Pretty much any colour is making me drool right now….the absolutely bananas weather has given me a serious case of cabin fever!