Ground Control to Farmer Tom: asparagus on Mars? The Times

If there ever was, is, or will be, life on Mars, it had better like eating asparagus.
Nasa scientists who have reviewed the results of the first analysis of soil collected by the Phoenix Mars lander say they were ‘flabbergasted’ to find that it contained all the basic requirements, in terms of minerals and nutrients, to sustain life on the Red Planet.
It was also much less acidic than the experts had expected – and suprisingly similar to garden dirt back on Earth.
“There is nothing about the soil that would preclude life. In fact it seems very friendly,” said Professor Samuel Kounaves of Tufts University, the project’s lead chemist, told reporters in a telephone conference. “The soil you have there is the type of soil you have in your backyard,” he added. “You may be able to grow asparagus very well.”