We are in rainy, warm July. We are full of:
- Abundance in my little garden,
- Frequent unexpected wildlife viewings (i.e. bears and deer)
- And so little time to get summer projects done.
Every morning the fog and clouds drift across our huge mountains and the sun peaks through in the afternoon.
Oh, the to-do list is endless! And I'm sure you can relate even if you don't live on a homestead. How is it that life seems to speed up in summertime? Like a merry go round that makes you dizzy. But it's a good dizzy, one that makes you appreciate being alive.
My kids are growing like weeds in the garden.
I'm trying to fit in time for myself, even if it's just 15 minutes a day. Yoga, meditating, or even a quick dance party!
The tractor is broken (surprise!). And the grass is about 6 feet tall, so mowing can't happen until the parts arrive. But like anything in life persistence will win and those critical projects will get done.
I've been pickling garlic scapes and chopping them up in egg dishes, casseroles, and even salad dressings. What are garlic scapes, you ask? You might have seen them at the Farmer's Market in a bunch. They are beautiful curly green stems and unopened flowers that grow on the top of garlic plants. A garlic farmer will cut them off to make the cloves bigger and stronger tasting, so that the plant is putting all of its energy into garlic cloves instead of flowers.
I want to inspire you to grow this easy plant, and also to cook and pickle garlic scapes!
Garlic can be grown in a small backyard plot. Therefore almost anyone can grow their own scapes and bulbs! You can plant either fall garlic to harvest the next summer, or spring garlic for harvest during the current season. Check your favorite seed company’s website to see if they offer spring or fall garlic cloves for planting.
Garlic is extremely easy to grow and requires hardly any maintenance (other than cutting off the scapes in mid-summer for better clove yields). Garlic does need well draining soil, so compact clay will give you smaller bulbs. It is also harder to harvest garlic in sticky, clumpy clay soil. Garlic will grow even in part shade and is frost tolerant. There are many unique varieties of garlic to grow, ranging from very complex mild Italian garlic flavors, to Russian garlic packing a very powerful garlic punch. The hardest part is deciding which varieties to grow! For a more detailed look at different garlic varieties, sauerkraut blogger Kirsten K. Shockey has written a great article about the different qualities and flavors of garlic (and garlic scapes).
Go to Mother Earth News to get my Pickled Garlic Scapes Recipe.