Garlic Bounty!

Hard neck garlic

We’ve been harvesting garlic for a fellow gardener whose spouse got temporarily relocated to CERN in Switzerland. They planted the garlic in the fall of 2012 prior to knowing they’d be leaving the country for a couple of years. So we helped weed and clip garlic scapes, then volunteered to harvest the crop.

When we helped weed, we also clipped the garlic scapes and got to keep what we harvested. I counted them – it was 300 in all! But that was not even half the garlic that was planted. In order to make use of that many scapes, I fermented them in brine. There are six quarts of fermented scapes and flowers sitting in my refrigerator. They will be great to add to various foods! They’re a bit stronger tasting than the garlic bulbs.

Garlic scape

Garlic scape

I often add scapes to my veggie juice recipes, for when I make my “salad” type juices. They are healthy and nutritious additions!

We’re saving bulbs for the friends that planted the garlic, so they can have starts to plant in the future. But we get to keep most of what we harvested (though I wouldn’t mind giving most of it to the ones that planted them)! Naturally, it’s way more than the two of us can use in a year, so we’ll be giving some to friends and family.

Pictured here is only a small portion of what we’ve harvested so far.

Hard neck garlic

There are different varieties in every row of the garden, which we’ve kept track of and why it seems random where we harvested. Some varieties are soft neck but the majority is hard neck, which means the scapes need to be cut (it’s where the flower sprouts and turns to seed) in order to get the bulb to develop.

Today was a beautiful sunny day with a cool breeze. So I sat at the picnic table at our community garden and cleaned the garlic once I harvested it. Check out the video below!

We’ve never grown nor harvested garlic, so we learned on the fly. I love it! It’s so incredibly beautiful!

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