Friday, October 9, 2009


I didn't know the asparagus was a member of the lily family. You learn something new every day.

I remember, as a boy, my grandparents would go out along the ditch banks looking for wild asparagus growing there. I suppose they found some sometime, and they must have eaten it themselves, because I never remember having any, or, for that matter, ever wanting any.

Most vegetables aren't that appealing to a young boy. Although, when you think about it, nice shoots of asparagus could be used for pretending that you had a sword, I guess. At any rate, I don't remember going either to hunt along the ditch banks or ever eating the stuff.

It's hard to imagine they actually grow asparagus as a crop. And then, after it's grown, they have to harvest it. They probably pay somebody to do all of that work. But knowing how things work these days, they probably use some machine to do it. Although, it seems to me that I read somewhere where they still handpick it and clean it and then carefully package it so that the tender stalks are not damaged.

I wonder where these asparagus farms are? I don't remember ever seeing one around here. Also, though, you have to wonder if the asparagus was growing wild along the ditch banks, if there wasn't a farm somewhere around of asparagus.

Curious thing.

This all makes me remember working in the cannery up in Boise for the LDS church. Every once in a while as members of the ward there we would get an assignment to go work at the cannery, and I kind of enjoyed it. There was all this machinery and all these people would come to work together, a lot of people, who for the most part didn't know each other from Adam. It wasn't all Adams either. There were lots of Eves.

I can remember being assigned a particular job in the whole process. One time, we were doing corn and I remember I was on this big machine that would shuck the corn.

A big truck would come and unload corn fresh from the patch. Then men would shovel corn up onto a conveyor belt and the cobs that hadn't been shucked yet would ride on up and then be fed into various shoots they rode down. On either side of the shoot were rotating cylinders that were corrugated in a way so that they stripped the covering off the cobs, exposing the corn on the cob. Further along in the process, the machinery would strip the corn off from the cob.

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