Monday, May 25, 2015

The Great American Garlic eSCAPE

It's almost June and our garlic that we planted back in November is almost ready to harvest.  We planted our first crop of Music Garlic last year and this will be our second year.  We planted a couple more rows this time and to our surprise yesterday we discovered Garlic Scapes!!! If you aren't familiar with what a garlic scape is, let me tell you that you are in for a treat :)  First of all there are different varieties of garlic and that includes the differentiation of being a hard neck variety versus a soft neck variety, not to mention every other Allium family member out there that is delicious with everything.

Hard neck varieties of garlic have more flavor and have fewer cloves but are easier to peel, whereas soft neck varieties such as Elephant Garlic can grow in warmer climates and tend to have more cloves.  If you would like to learn a little more about garlic and some things to do with scapes in particular click here.

So what is a garlic scape?  The variety that we planted, which is called Music Garlic is a hard neck variety so it produces a scape that grows up the center of the plant and when cut properly has a mild garlic flavor that can be used simply as green onions or scallions.  The recipes out there for garlic scapes are many, and I will share a few at the end of this blog, however I wanted to talk about the importance of cutting at the proper time.  Most Alliums will produce a flower but the garlic scape is picked before it flowers and it has more of a 'seed pod' as opposed to an elephant garlic that has a nice fluffy flower that is more for decoration.  The scape can be used in any recipe calling for garlic.

It's also important to cut the scape before flowering because all the energy the plant needs to produce a garlic bulb goes downward instead of upward to produce a flower.  Also I notice a huge difference in texture when you cut it.  If cut early enough it is more tender and versatile to cook with.

Did you know that there is are garlic festivals all across the country? Well there are and if you are a lover of garlic as we are, I'm sure you will find these delicious treats as fascinating as we do :) Here is the ever popular garlic scape pesto recipe which I included in this week's CSA box:

Garlic Scape Pesto

You will need:
A bunch of garlic scales (or two depending on how much you want to make)
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Parmesan Cheese
Sea Salt

Chop the scapes and simply mix all the ingredients in a food processor until combined to your preferred consistency. Add more oil if necessary. Sea salt to taste

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Our First CSA...It's What Food Should Taste Like.

CSA boxes filled with Spring Veggies including the most delicious Mikola Butterhead Lettuce

What a big day for our farm and family! Last Wednesday we harvested a variety of vegetables for our members including some turnips, radishes, a couple salad heads, kale, and some asian greens to start. We are filling these boxes for ten weeks and we are so excited to share all this delicious food!  I am including a newsletter each week as well to keep everyone up to date with what is going on on the farm.  And there is always something going on on the farm!

I promise we didn't put this radish in the box.  These are what we use instead of sticks for Diogee to fetch.

Father and Daughter harvesting for first CSA

Rainbow Chard

Look at those colors! Too beautiful to eat. Almost.

Matt filling CSA boxes

We couldn't even close the boxes there were so many veggies in there!

Matt has been dreaming of this day for so long I had to take pictures for our memory books.  He has worked so hard and we both have been through so much just to get here and now that we are semi-settled into our house it's time to farm.  Starting from scratch is so hard but I believe it's the way it was supposed to be for us.  It makes us appreciate all the little things most people take for granted.  Like just waking up and going to check the plants in the greenhouse instead of driving back and forth each day.  Or waking up in the middle of the night to make sure the deer aren't feasting on our crops.  I think what will be the best thing is for our CSA members to see our work in constant progress with the hopes that they will be a physical part of the farm as well.  This way they can see their work and support of this farm grow!

We also survived the first tropical storm of the season last weekend which just so happened to be Mother's Day weekend and it rained non stop for two whole days.  We went to check on the field which by the way had quite a bit of water but the plants are just as healthy and hearty.  We came across a painted turtle which I had never seen before, on the way out to the vegetables.  The biodiversity on this farm is so wide, I'm so blessed to meet all these creatures for the first time with Juniper.  I didn't get to grow up with these animals and plants, and I am so glad I can show our daughter this way of life.
Thanks for reading our blog and feel free to drop us a line or two if you have any questions!
Steph and Matt