When a local calls you up and says they’re looking for someone to come dig up lotus root (the Asian variety and culinary favorite) from their pond, you say yes. You say yes despite the fact that the day in May you’ve chosen for harvest is 50 degrees, gray, and drizzly.
Even though we knew our chances of success were slim– the Bite of China video we watched showing how to harvest lotus showed drained lakes with roots feet deep below the surface, and we’d be in a pond up to our chests– we were all in good spirits a few Mondays back when Cara, Saskia, visiting chef Misti, and I drove up to Pownal to give this lotus dig a shot.
Supplies: Full body wet suits with gloves and booties, spading forks, shovels, a wheelbarrow, and a sense of adventure.
Results: A few small roots, a lovely connection to a local family, and– of course– a few celebratory photos.
We hope to try again once it warms up! Look out for lotus-leaf wrapped dishes once leaves grow and flowers bloom, and maybe even a lotus root stir-fry will be in our future.