All keen vegetable gardeners, including me, keep a diary because we love to compare crops from year to year and especially to take pleasure in the knowledge that we’ve broken a record, even if we can’t take any credit for it. I think a record may have been broken today because spears of asparagus have started to emerge from the ground. I usually only record the date when we start eating asparagus (the average, taken over ten years, is April 24th) but I’m always on the look-out and saw several emerging shoots today when I was picking some broccoli. I’m certain that they’ve never emerged as early as this before. Once it gets going asparagus can grow 6 inches in a day, but it won’t grow at all if the weather isn’t kind. This afternoon the rain was beginning to turn to snow. It may be a while before these incipient shoots are long enough to pick.