Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Field to Table :: Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes - those wild looking curly-qs - are a delightful late spring-early summer treat. Many are completely unawares of this veg, while others know to look for it during this brief season. As seen below, scapes are the flower stalk of the garlic plant - we remove them at this time of year (when they reach full curl), so that the garlic plants may focus on making bulbs instead. (Scroll down for recipe links.)
Garlic scapes growing.
What do they taste like?  Garlic scapes have a mild garlic flavor, the white, swollen flower part of the scape has a bit more kick. You can use the entire stalk; to use test the base end to remove any tough parts (especially if they are real large) just like asparagus, by bending and snapping the stalk where it breaks easy, you may also want to trim the tip. Because the flavor is milder, some folks who have a hard time eating garlic find that they can enjoy scapes.

How to use Scapes  Scapes are delicious raw or cooked! Another bonus is that they have a really long shelf life. I chop up my scapes and add them to eggs, fresh salads, pastas, soups, stir frys. They are fantastic cooked on the grill - leave them whole, add a little olive oil and pepper, and toss in the grill wok. Really they are so versatile, you can add them wherever you would use onions or garlic. Make a scape chimichurri or pesto, hummus, or try pickling them. Scroll down for recipe links. If you want to tame their flavor go ahead a blanch them for 30 seconds, cool, then proceed with your recipe.

Storing Scapes  Store scapes in a closed container - a plastic bag or tupperware - and they will keep for a month or more (I have literally lost some in the back of the fridge and they were still good three months later). Make sure to remove any rubber bands.

Preserving Garlic Scapes  We preserve our garlic scapes two ways here on the farm, and both are easy peasy. First, we simply chop and freeze! In the photo below you can see trimmed scape sections, these are prepped, then chopped and frozen on a cookie sheet; once frozen they are transferred to a freezer container, then we can easily grab a tablespoon or a handful and toss into meals all winter long! They hold really well this way, surprisingly good enough to even throw on raw salads.

The other way we preserve scapes is by making a pesto. We blend up the pesto and freeze in pint jars (experiment with what size jar is right for you). We used to freeze it in vacuum seal bags, with the oil it is easy to open a bag, break off a hunk and reseal; we move to jars to use less plastic.

Some of our favorite ways to use the pesto include in grilled cheese sandwiches, with crackers/sardines/cheese (a favorite quick lunch), in scrambled eggs, with sautéed greens, of course it good with pasta and you can mix with yogurt for a dipping sauce.

**Warning - consumption of garlic scapes may result in extreme pleasure and may result in additive behavior, heightened awareness of the brief fresh garlic scape season, shaking your scape bunches like maracas in the kitchen.**

A Handful of Recipes to Get You Going

Garlic Scape Pesto (We use walnuts instead of pinenuts.)
Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce (Omit the jalapeno, if you aren't feeling it.)
Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto, Sugar Snap Peas and Ricotta 
Garlic Scapes Hummus

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Seasonal Items for Sale 6/24

What's In Season?
Contact us to make an order - pick up at the farm, or delivery by arrangement. Cash/check only please.
Lettuce $2.50-3.00/head - red and green
Radishes $2.00/bunch or 2/$3.50 *Limited time!
Kale $3/bunch or 2/$5
Swiss chard $3/bunch or 2/$5
Garlic Scapes $3/bunch or 2/$5 *Limited time!
Herbs $1.75/bunch – sage, parsley
Green shallots $1.50/bunch *Limited time!
Rhubarb $2.25/lb or 3/$6
Contact us by email info@alternativerootsfarm.com
In Gratitude,
Brooke & John

Friday, June 22, 2018

Photo Update June 22

So, this will be an update for all of June, apparently! As of today we have had 9.67" of rain, the field is more like a bog, but it is what it is. Cruise through the month of June so far in these pics...
Maybe I should grow cranberries in my bog?
Did you catch that worm video on facebook? The mud has provided some fun. ;)

The raspberry patch got an overhaul - well weeded and trellis posts put in. We will wait to string up wire until next year (for one thing it is just too wet right now).

Raspberries are beginning to blush!

For two weeks we did our Spring CSA pick up at the farm, here's what it looked like - a market style pick up where folks select their own goods.

Lettuce, rhubarb, radishes, strawberries, kale, parsley, sage, green shallots and garlic scapes are farm fresh in June!!

Green and red heads of summercrisp lettuce.
Heirloom rhubarb.
Beautiful radishes.
Delicious and nutritious kale.
Parsley and sage.
We started on our big project for the year! We will be renovating the quonset hut to meet our changing needs at the farm. The inside is all graded, supplies are being delivered and we are getting ready to get the concrete poured.

Tomato plants are blooming and little green fruits can be spotted (same with cukes).

A little evidence of the rain - carrots look okay at the top of this planting, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to replant the back half. The rains are really setting back weed control, as well as some seeding.

Potato blooms grace the field! We have lost some potato plants, due to the water, hopefully these sunny days will help things bounce back.

I just harvested our first pound of basil on the 21st! I love the smell of basil!

Harvesting for Spring CSA and local orders has been a little mucky! Today looks dry all day - quite a blessing!!

I added two new items to our wellness line, two items we use around here regularly, our Cool It and Herbal Bug Spray. Cool It is a blend of essential oils that I use on hot days - spritzing on my pulse points, back of my neck and on my chest to cool off a little. The bug spray is a blend of yarrow and catnip to cleanly and naturally deter bugs; spray every hour, or as needed. Studies show catnip to be as effective as deet!

It's been a real pleasure harvesting fresh food for my community again this spring. The open house we had in May, the Spring CSA and Mini Market at the Farm brought old and new faces - it means so much to connect with all of you.

 Apples are growing! The crop looks really great this year. Info on Apple Shares coming soon!!

Until next time!!!