Sunday 27 April 2014

Time for Asparagus

"Asparagus inspires gentle thoughts."
Charles Lamb

Late in March this year, while doing our power walking, we passed by these covered rows in our village and instantly thought, Asparagus. They're cultivating asparagus in this area.We were quite surprised as we have not seen any asparagus cultivation in our place.

After a month of absence, we continued our early morning walks passing now a colorful fields of rapeseeds and other green grains, young strawberry plants side by side with harvested fields now brown and waiting for new planting.

 Then we came nearer to the fields now full of workers, bending, lifting the covering sheets, and we know they're harvesting asparagus. In German it is called spargelstechen or to cut asparagus.

 The white and dark covering made of vinyl materials have two functions like that of the green house effect. If the weather is still very cold, the dark side is facing outside to keep the right temperature for the growth of the asparagus and white covering facing outside to avoid extreme hot temperature. When it gets hot, one says that asparagus get cooked.
 While taking shots of them from afar, this worker has been very friendly, waving to me as he notices that I've been taking photos of them or could he be saying No?
 The sequence of the hard work of harvesting asparagus: checking every row, lifting the cover and looking for the ones ready to be cut. Asparagus can grow up to 15 cms. per day from a humus, sand rich soil.
 The friendly, handsome worker is from Romania. The guest workers in this photo come from Romania. Most of the guest workers in Germany come from Poland and Romania, and they stay for at least three months working in the fields earning 6 to 7 Euro per hour. (I really hope they get that much payment for this back-breaking work.) Asparagus season lasts until about June 24 every year.
Freshly harvested asparagus-bio ones

My first basketload of asparagus...just posing out of delight.

One worker gave me his working knife to complete the ops for the  photo.

 Talking with them, I noticed that they understand more English than German as I started my questions in German but they readily answered when I started conversing in English. Didn't protest when I asked for permission for taking photos. Thank you very much for your kind approval.
I asked if we could buy the freshly harvested ones but one worker answered that we get them from the bio-shop in the village. Here they are preparing to leave the fields to go back the next day for another spargelstechen. Somehow they reminded me of OFWs working somewhere in this world, staying away from the their families to earn a living.

The white gold as served in local restaurants with pork chops, cutlets, scrambled eggs, ham and potatoes with cleared butter or Hollandaise sauce for prices ranging from 12 to 16 Euro for a plate with a half-kilo asparagus.

Friday 18 April 2014

Semana Santa in Rotterdam: Visita Iglesia to the Laurenskerk

Laurenskerk Rotterdam

The principal organ is the largest completely mechanical organ in Europe with over 7,600 organ pipes and 85 stops. (Taken from the info leaflet inside the church)

Current Photo Exhibition of Other World Religions

History: The church was built between 1449 and 1525, right behind the dam that cut off the River Rotte from the River Meuse. This dam, to which Rotterdam owes its name, can be found in the present Hoogstraat. The church itself has always been austere that fitted a population that earned is living with fishery and shipping. The effects of the reformation also made for the austerity.In 1572 the church was stripped of the sculptures customary in Catholic churches. (Source: Stichting Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk)

Monday 14 April 2014

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

Of all the lovely blossoms
That decorate the trees,
And shower down their petals
With every breath of breeze,
There is nothing so sweet or fair to me
As the delicate blooms of the apple tree.

A thousand shrubs and flow'rets
Delicious pleasure bring,
But beautiful Pomona
Must be the queen of spring;
And out of her flagon the peach and pear
Their chalices fill with essence rare.

Oh, is it any wonder,
Devoid of blight or flaw,
The peerless blooms of Eden
Our primal mother saw
In redolent beauty before her placed
So tempted fair Eve the fruit to taste?

But woman's love of apples,
Involving fearful price,
And Adam's love for woman
That cost him Paradise,
By the labor of hands and sweat of brow,
Have softened the curse to a blessing now.

If so those pink-eyed glories,
In fields and orchards gay
Develop luscious fruitage
By Horticulture's way,
Then, sweet as the heart of rich legumes,
Shall luxury follow the apple blooms.

 Hattie Howard
 (Poem source: google)
(Photo: ML/Pinay von Alemanya)

Tuesday 1 April 2014

April First

Found an old newspaper and posted it here to celebrate April First. Enjoy the nuggets of wisdom from our parents. Beware it's April First!