ThistleDew Farm

ThistleDew Farm
Established 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garlic - Hurray!

The most wonderful thing about garlic is, when most gardens look like this in May and early June....

My garden looks like this - really no kidding, come out to the farm and check it out. (This isn't a picture of mine - but I swear mine looks like this - I am amazed, can't you tell?). You plant garlic in the fall, and it actually sprouts and pokes it's little head out a few inches and waits for Spring. The first sign of longer days and warmer sun it shoots up so fast you can nearly watch it grow.

My garlic is dangerously close to harvest - the bottom two leaves are dying but I am being patient as I have to wait until the bottom six leaves turn brown (but not more than the bottom eight leaves, then the bulbs spoil - according to the experts.....) OK, so I'm not really being patient, I peeked at a bulb to see what it was doing - it seemed happy and looked like a small bundle of garlic! So I snuggled the dirt back around it so the garlic will continue growing in my happy garden.

I am growing three types of garlic - two hardneck varieties (more intense flavor and cool scapes)and a softneck (similar to the grocery store kind)

Chesnok Red garlic which is a standard purple stripe garlic and is said to make the sweetest baking garlics of all. Over at The Garlic Gourmet they say "The first time I tried Chesnook Red roasted , I thought someone had put some sugar in it - they are sweet." They even purport that if squeezed on vanilla ice cream and refrozen it tastes like butter brickle - I think I'll pass.

The other hardneck is a Porcelain, German White. It's properties include being a great eating garlic - and very richly flavored with an earthy muskiness and generally hot strong tasting garlic with very large cloves. The Porcelains are the densest of all garlics and research scientists say that makes it a superior medicinal garlic, especially the hotter ones. Don't forget the rule - if one eats garlic, we all must eat garlic!

The softneck I have is a silverskin, Mother of Pearl. Silverskin garlics are usually the ones that you see in braids. Silverskins are generally the longest storing of all garlics and have a soft pliable neck that lends itself to braiding and holds up over time better.

I long to have garlic this beautiful and show you a picture of my very own garlic braid!!!!

I want to talk with you about the scape - this is probably the number one reason I decided to grow garlic this year. At the farmers market in Lagrange KY, near Windy Meadows Horse Farm, I taste tested Meadowview Farms garlic scape cream cheese. Then I immediately came back and bought the cloves for planting. Yes it's that good!
Here's what a scape looks like.Toward the top of today's blog, in that picture you can see where the scape is on the plant. My garlic is further along than that picture. I've harvested my scapes and they look just like these cuties to the left.

If picked early scapes are very tender. They have a very mild garlic taste and are excellent sauteed with a little olive oil...the smell is out of this world! A subtle garlic aroma that doesn't fill the house with a lingering odor, but summons everyone with a nose and a fork to the table...I added shrimp to the pan to make a scampi, then served over spaghetti noodles - absolutely fabulous...I then did it with chicken the next night. You can also saute them and serve as a side dish. Garlic scapes are now synonymous with spring for me and I will have to grow garlic every year even if I don't need more garlic cloves (I know sacrilege...how could I say such a thing - not need more garlic cloves.) I am learning how to preserve the scapes and also to preserve garlic. The only garlics to grow scapes are the hardneck variety which also have the shortest storage life...it appears that you can dry the garlic and then crush into powder as needed and it tastes, although not like fresh garlic, infinitely better than store bought powder, which I never use because I don't like the preservative flavor. You can also press and then freeze garlic and use like fresh. It is pretty close to the real thing, my friend has been doing this for years. Alas, poor soul, her garlic did not survive the winter.
I'll keep experimenting with the garlic and let you know....in any case, we have no vampires on my farm....think it's because of the garlic?

6 comments:

Terri said...

You do too have a vampire - it's a vampire SKUNK!!!! Yes, your garlic looks fabulous - I see it waving happily at me every evening when I come in from school. Those scapes were good, too - I put some of them in a salad and they were mild and garlicky and wonderful!

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

I'd love to come out and see your garden! How wonderful!

Hey, I just stopped by to tell you I'm adding you to the blogroll and you are now a official member of our book club-I laugh because we are very laid back... If you are interested in hosting a month/book let me know: robinruns@comcast.net
If you do want to host...All you have to do is pick a book and then post on the blog for that month. I oversee everything and so far it's been fun!
I'm thrilled you are one of the sisters!
Robin~♥

Mildred said...

You have made me so hungry with this post. I've never grown garlic but love it in recipes. Keep us posted.

Susie said...

I'm a lover of garlic too Melissa. Doesn't garlic sauteing in olive oil smell divine?!?!??

Darlene said...

How neat to grow your very own garlic. I have never had any kind of garden but this year we got one tomato plant. Nothing like starting out slow..huh.....lol

Anonymous said...

Gucci
Replica GUCCI SHOES
Replica GUCCI handbags
wholesale gucci shoes
cheap Gucci shoes
cheap Gucci handbags
discount gucci shoes
Gucci shop
Gucci bags
Gucci shoes
Gucci ON sale
Gucci Belts
Gucci small accessories
Gucci hats & scarves
Gucci wallets
Gucci Handbags
women Gucci shoes
Men Gucci shoes
Gucci
Replica GUCCI SHOES
Replica GUCCI handbags
wholesale gucci shoes
cheap Gucci shoes
cheap Gucci handbags
discount gucci shoes
Gucci shop
Gucci bags
Gucci shoes
Gucci ON sale
Gucci Belts
Gucci small accessories
Gucci hats & scarves
Gucci wallets
Gucci Handbags
women Gucci shoes
Men Gucci shoes