I saw Brittany Spears yesterday. She was in town with her boyfriend Aspara Gus. Here they are. Aren't they cute? They were here to celebrate the Asparagus Festival. We are darn proud of our asparagus here in San Joaquin County and rightly so. It's the best asparagus on the whole planet because it's grown in the highly fertile peat soil of the San Joaquin River Delta. Ages ago this was a boggy delta with seasonal fluctuations of the water level. Around 1850 the first levees were built and by 1870 bountiful crops were being harvested on many islands, but flooding was still a constant problem. When the steam powered clamshell dredge was introduced, larger levees were easily constructed and by 1920, virtually all of the swampland was reclaimed. In the 1930's a 26' deep channel was dredged for ships. It basically followed the course of the San Joaquin River and opened the fertile San Joaquin Valley to ships from all over the world.
The asparagus growers had an educational display. Here is a sample of some premium spears. Isn't it beautiful? They also brought in some soil and "planted" some so folks could see how asparagus grows.
It's a fun day out with music, arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations, and plenty to eat and drink. But the real reason to attend is this:
Deep fried asparagus. They use these huge tender spears and then slather it with garlicky parmesan cheese. It's positively heavenly!
So if you think you need some, run on down to Stockton this Saturday or Sunday. I can't guarantee you'll see Brittany Spears, but I guarantee you'll eat some mighty fine asparagus.