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Spigarello plants in June

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

When I read seed-catalog descriptions that tell me a plant “tastes just like [fill in the blank],” I have to wonder, well, why don’t I just grow the original plant, rather than the taste-alike? Sometimes, it seems like the substitute might be the easier route, but we all know how shortcuts often have a way of turning out to be disappointing, to say the least.

If I’d put some effort into getting a good bed of real asparagus going last year, for instance, I’d probably be able to harvest a few stalks this spring, and they’d really be asparagus. Instead, I went for the seemingly simpler route of growing asparagus peas and spent months waiting for hardly a mouthful of pods that weren’t all that asparagus-like anyway.

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