Asparagus can be found canned, frozen, and fresh. Asparagus is one of those negative calorie foods. You burn more calories digesting it than it actually provides. Nice! Of course, fresh is best! It seems that in the last few years fresh asparagus can be found in your market nearly year round. I don’t know why, but even fresh asparagus bought at the market tastes better in the spring. Maybe we are just craving something green and nutritious once winter, thankfully, leaves us behind. Cultivated asparagus sends its first shoots up through the ground in mid-May in central Iowa. Not long after that wild, or ‘ditch’ asparagus can be found along roadsides. I only pick ditch asparagus on back, non-maintained roads as the main roads have their ditches sprayed with all kinds of chemicals for weeds, not to mention all the sprays farmers put on their fields. We pick asparagus daily and eat it in every shape and form while we have it. Asparagus never finds its way into my freezer – to0 mushy once taken from the freezer. As hard as it is to believe now in April, by the first of June we are ready to share our bounty as we actually get a bit tired of the green spears! When you find asparagus at your market it will usually be sold in clumps, held in place by a rubber band. Look for spears that are no bigger around than your index finger, and have the tips tightly closed. All too often people get their asparagus home and toss it in their crisper right from the market. Not such a good idea! Remove the tie or rubber band from the asparagus. Trim off about one quarter-inch from the base of each stalk. Add 2 or 3 inches of cold water to a wide-mouth jar or similar container. Place your asparagus in the jar, and refrigerate until you are ready to use. Change the water daily. You will be surprised how much longer your asparagus will last, and how much fresher it will taste!