Asparagus and turtle season


The month of June means the asparagus are sprouting.  It also means the turtles are nesting.   Asparagus and turtles are two of my favourite things.

The asparagus

Just a few kilometers away is a large asparagus farm  To pick asparagus several weird looking machines are used.  The farm workers lie flat on their stomaches under the canvas cover of these air plane wing looking machines.  They are protected from the hot sun and yet low to the ground and comfortably able to cut the asparagus stems just beneath the soil.

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My neighbour has a large garden crop and I have been fortunate enough to eat it fresh ever night for weeks.

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You probably knew that asparagus is extremely rich in nutrients and vitamins.  I like it because it  contains large amounts of vitamin K which helps the body prevent blood clots.  I had a problem with clots while undergoing treatment two years ago.  It also contains  folate which  produces red blood cells and vitamin C, an antioxidant required for hundreds of metabolic functions in the body.  Asparagus is great for the heart and a natural diuretic.  It flushes the body of excess water and prevents swelling, arthritis and rheumatism.  Asparagus also helps treat urinary tract infections.

I’ve learned numerous recipes and ways to cook it.  Here are two of my favourites.

Roasted Asparagus

2 lbs fresh asparagus spears lined up on a baking pan and drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 for approx 10 minutes

Asparagus, Orange and Endive Salad

Ingredients 2 1/2 cups diagonally sliced asparagus

  • 2 cups rinsed, dried and torn endive leaves
  • 2 large oranges, sliced into rounds
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 coups raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar, salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  In a large pot of boiling water, add the asparagus.  Blanch for 1 minute; drain, and plunge asparagus into a bowl of cold water.  Drain again and dry.  In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, endive, oranges and red onion.  Whisk together the raspberry vinegar, canola oil, orange juice, sugar and salt and pepper.  Add dressing to the asparagus endive mixture; toss well and serve.

The Turtles

To date, I have spotted six or seven female turtles working their way across my property.  The female turtles are leaving the wetlands to lay their eggs in sand or gravel.  Their laborious journey is fascinating but often deadly. I have read that less than 1% of them survive to adulthood. Traffic inadvertently kills them while they lay their eggs in  the gravel along the roadways.

I’ve seen a small painted turtle, a wood turtle, a snapping turtle and a blanding turtle.   Some of them are quite large and probably several decades old.  The high-domed Blanding’s turtle don’t even start to breed until they are 20 – 25 years old and they can live to be 70.

I have decided to keep a photographic record of my sightings.  Below is a picture of my neighbour holding a blanding turtle.

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About westlakemusings

In 2013 my husband and I retired. We bought an old pre-confederation house out in the country. This blog is about our new world in the country as we explore all of life's possibilities.
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3 Responses to Asparagus and turtle season

  1. That salad sounds wonderful. My asparagus supply from neighbours has dried up now, but we are still buying from the grocery. I love it too.

    I don’t think I’ve seen a blanding turtle around here before. I’ve pulled the car over to move a turtle to the other side of the road many times and the girls always get out of the car to look at them easy to do on our rural roads). Some of them are huge. Though the big snapping turtles I hesitate for – their necks can reach pretty far.

  2. Donna says:

    Hi Diane, we have been eating asparagus every night since we got home, it is so good. I roasted the asparagus as per your recipe and it was delicious. Tonight it was wrapped in foil, drizzles with some asian sesame salad dressing and put on the BBQ. Love the look on the turtles face that Gary is holding.

I would love to hear your thoughts. I really, really love comments.

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