Sunday, May 22, 2011

Garlic Scapes

From Gardening

This is our first year growing garlic! We ordered two varieties from Sow True Seeds in Asheville, and they got planted shortly before Thanksgiving last year. They are just about ready to be harvested, probably once June hits. It was amazing to see it come up so quickly after a long, cold winter, but I'm a fan of plants that grow with little effort.

A month or so before the garlic needs to be harvested, there is a unique culinary opportunity that only people growing their own garlic will usually have access to, unless you have a very thorough farmers market (I have never seen scapes at any around here). Chive blossoms were our first revelation of the growing season, but we can add garlic scapes to the list! These thick curly tendrils are really unblossomed flowers, and when harvested before blooming, can be consumed in a variety of ways. Check out the cooking blog to see what we did with them.

From Gardening

To harvest garlic scapes, you simply cut them at the base that the loopy shoot came off of. It is actually helpful for the garlic to do this, because it allows it to put more energy back into the bulb in its last few weeks, rather than in flowers you don't need. Everything I read said the best time of day to do this was afternoon, since the sap would more likely dry out and harm the plant less if it was already hot outside. It felt wrong to cut them off, because these were the sturdiest parts of the plants!

I had originally planned to harvest the garlic today, but everything I've read said it is best to wait at least two more weeks. Since it is going to have to dry for a few weeks anyway, we will just continue to be patient.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Discerning Palate

Yesterday I made the mistake of giving my dog a fresh pea right from the vine, and now he knows where they come from. We have to chase him away from munching on them. This morning I discovered that he only picks them when they're ready.....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Garden Update

From Gardening

The green things in the garden are growing strong. In our first raised bed, the potatoes (up front) have taken off, the peas (in the back) are starting to produce, the garlic (on the left) is just about ready to be harvested and tied up for drying, and the radishes (behind the potatoes) have been farmed a bit for greens already, and are probably close to being ready for first harvest. The freckles lettuce is just about there, and will probably grow strong once we take the garlic out of its sun!

From Gardening

Over on the side of the yard where we removed the dead palmetto tree and filled it in with dirt we took out when digging up the grass to plant fruit trees, we found a volunteer watermelon plant. If it wants to grow, we are not going to stop it!

There are a bunch of blossoms on the raspberries and blueberries, and strawberries are already ripening. We are on our way!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chive Blossoms

From Gardening

Head on over to the cooking blog to find out about delicious dishes made with chive blossoms. If you grew chives last year and let them stay through the winter, you have something in your garden that you need to eat!
From Gardening

First strawberry of the year, almost ripe!

From Gardening

A new lettuce for us - freckles lettuce from Sow True Seed.

From Gardening

Irises from our friend Kathryn - not sure if this was the right time of year to plant them, so we'll see if they make it!

Other things are growing too! Potatoes have sprouted through, peas are almost ready to produce, garlic is almost ready to pull out, greens are going (slowly!), and the radishes are starting to grow the huge leaves we love to eat! We still need to plant more herbs, ladypeas, and maybe some more tomatoes.