I ended up getting 10 asparagus crowns after work yesterday.
I drove up to the community center in one of those subdivisions in Puna - the roads are private, not county, and sometimes are an adventure to navigate, so the person selling the crowns wanted to meet me at the center. When I drove up, there was a young man with a laptop propped on his pick-up and a toddler running around. I asked him if he was the one with the asparagus and he replied, "I wish I was." This disconcerted me a little, and as I rolled up the window (quickly), my son asked, "Does he think you are asking for drugs?" Welcome to Puna.
Buying the crowns did feel a little clandestine; the woman drove up with a paper bag full of the nondescript roots and I slipped her the money. When I got back in the car, my son said, "You know, Mom, that really did look like a drug deal." Aargh. Again, welcome to Puna.
I live so in the boonies (although it's better now) that the local dealer used to have his clients line up on the main road - line up like they were in the school lunch line. I used to call the police all the time. Once he stopped me on my walk to tell me how he kept the people from doing worse stuff and he kept them in line, so I should be grateful. My dog stood right between me and him, growling the whole time. He also told me if anyone robbed us, I should tell him and he would get my stuff back. Interesting conversation.
Anyway, it was nearly dark by the time I got home. My husband and I walked around again to examine currently unused spaces on our land, and then I mentioned that we should figure out where we want the basically permanent asparagus plants to go. We ended up digging out the grass near the bottom of the rock wall near the pump house, dumping a deep load of compost, and planting the crowns. It was basically dark and I was working by the light of the tractor headlights. When my husband drove off to get another load, it was dark. The coqui frogs were warming up and the basil in my greenhouse was fragrant.
It was nearly 8 by the time we were done, but at least I know those crowns have a good chance to grow instead of sitting in a bag until the weekend.