My fondness for asparagus arises in the years I lived in an orchard in the Yakima Valley, where, thanks to an earlier agricultural disaster, asparagus seeds had gotten into the irrigation water and spread everywhere. The green sprouts were often touted as “Local ’Grass.” As a consequence, we had about a month when we could take our knives and, being careful to avoid areas of pesticide use, return with a basket of stalks for lunch or dinner. I learned to glut out in season, realizing it would be another year before we’d indulge again.

Now that we have our own asparagus bed and repeat the ritual, albeit on a smaller scale, we’ve also come to regard the damage asparagus beetles inflict as well as the miracle appearance of lady bugs to the rescue. That, in itself, has convinced us of the value of organic farming.

As for Shiva, he’s the horny Hindu god of creation and destruction, and he wields a wicked blade.

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