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Monday, November 14, 2016


Monday, 8:45 AM.  46 degrees F at the ferry dock, 43 on the back porch.Wind NE, light with moderate gusts.  The sky is cloudy with a high overcast, the humidity 82%.  The barometer is steady, now at 29.92".  Rain is forecast for tomorrow and again on Thursday, with snow possible on Friday as temperatures dip into the thirties.  Winter is on its way, right on time for Thanksgiving.
   Wild asparagus is merely a garden escapee, found growing in roadside ditches and other places.  It is golden yellow now, its appearance fern-like, and can be marked for identification next spring to collect the edible young shoots.
   Asparagus officinalis, in the Asparagus Family, is native to Europe, western Asia and North Africa, and has been grown as a vegetable since ancient times (officinalis translates from Latin as "sold in shops").  Its "leaves" are actually needle-like modified stems.  Its red berries are mildly toxic and some persons get a rash from handling the plant, but cooked shoots are innocuous and edible.  In Europe the young shoots are often blanched by covering them with soil or growing the plant in dark tunnels.
   Asparagus has been used as a diuretic in herbal medicine, and it is also very rich in micro-nutrients.
   No post tomorrow, as we have an early morning appointment in Duluth.

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