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Archive for September, 2009

Speaking of crazy…this asparagus idea is starting to sound a little cuckoo. 

I’m meeting Fabio in Italy tomorrow and have been researching how to prepare the asparagus bed.  We had this idea that we’d spend a day or two of our vacation digging a plot for the asparagus in a sunny spot in the terraced garden.  Then we’d mix the soil with manure or something equally tasty for hungry, young asparagus roots and let it marinate over the winter in preparation for the spring planting.  Piece of cake.

Annoying research has shown that this is no small potatoes activity.  Potatoes would involve less work.  I suspect almost any other vegetable would involve less work. 

I located this very kind American farmer and asparagus blogger in Cinque Terre who confirmed what I refused to believe from my internet research.  The recommendations are as follows: 

  • Plant 25 asparagus plants per asparagus-eater.  So that’s 50 plants.
  • Set each plant 1 foot apart.  So that’s 50 feet… of digging.
  • Dig each row 1.5 feet deep.   Gasp.
  • Mix in manure and sand with your feet because gawd knows you won’t be able to use your arms after digging 50 feet of soil 1.5 feet deep. 

We are intimidated.  It’s like mining a football field.  Okay, it’s not, but Fabio estimates 1 full week of excavating.  Like digging-all-day-on-our-vacation kind of digging.  And I have to admit, the work would mostly fall on him because I will hit a point fairly early on where my girl arms will just cease to function.

We might wait til spring.

backhoe

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I can’t really count in Italian.  My recently cultivated special vision of horror is that Fabio’s little nephews will find out. 

Fabio has 2 nephews: Luca age 7 and Stefano age 5.  They are adorable, they are rambunctious, but above all they are candid.  And counting to 100 is a source of pride and respect for their age group.  If they discovered this fact, I would be disrespected… by Italian munchkins.

Okay, it’s not as if I don’t know the numbers at all, but it goes something like this.  Imagine someone asks you to compute “13+2” in a Martian language, and you listen, then you translate to English, then you do the math in English, then you translate back to Martian… then you forget what the question was in the first place. 

So now that this moving to Italy thing has gotten serious, I voiced my secret fear to Fabio during a road trip through the potato fields of Idaho last month.  He confirmed that ridicule from the nephews was a very real possibility if they learned this truth.  We started practicing that day. 

Every day since, I’ve been counting to 100 in Italian.  Actually, 120.  Call me an overachiever.  I practice under my breath walking down Broadway to Fairway Market.  I’m pretty sure I’m officially one of the NYC crazies now.  Crazy now… not-so-stupid later in front of pint-sized troublemakers.  Yes, I care what they think.

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