The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Garlic scapes

Garlic scapeIt looks like I missed out on a delicacy this spring --- garlic scapes!  We planted four kinds of garlic last fall to test which one is the tastiest and grows best in our soil.  One kind was a hardneck garlic, which sends up reproductive stalks (scapes) and eventually produces little bulblets.

Now that the scapes are a couple of weeks old, I finally got around to hitting the internet.  It turns out that good gardeners pluck the young scapes and eat them in stir fries, pesto, and other delicacies when they're still young and tender.  Mediocre gardeners (us, apparently), finally remember to pluck off the scapes when they're a little older, then discard them.  Bad gardeners leave the scapes on and end up with garlic bulbs which are 33% smaller, on average.  Next year, we'll be good gardeners!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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What about onion scapes--the seed stalk onions put out. I've been munching on them as I pull them off . My dad said they kept the onion from getting big.
Comment by Errol Sat May 30 17:27:18 2009
OH, man, you missed out!! They are so delish! I've only had them grilled up with lots of EVOO - pure heaven:).
Comment by Anonymous Sat May 30 17:31:02 2009

Daddy --- it couldn't hurt to try to eat the onion scapes. We don't have them because we start from seed instead of sets and onions don't bloom their first year.

Anonymous --- next year I'll know better!

Comment by anna Sun May 31 10:47:51 2009

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