Asparagus is beginning to come in now at our neck in the woods, so we stopped at a farm stand yesterday and picked up a pound. While we were waiting to pay, the cashier was explaining to another customer that she needed to soak the fresh asparagus for about 10 min. in hot water. This is so that the tip, or bud, of the asparagus would open up a bit and the dirt inside the tip would wash out. Then, just swish around in the water and drain to dry. I had never heard this before. I think the asparagus we buy "fresh" in the grocery stores is already cleaned, so this cleaning would not be necessary. However, if you are getting it directly from the farm, the washing is important. I followed the 10 min. soak directions and was quite surprised at all the dirt in the bottom of the sink. Just thought I would pass this along. Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's out there.