Now is the season for the coveted garlic scapes that only come around once a year for two to three weeks, so don’t miss it! Scapes are the tender flower shoots that hardneck garlic produce. You want to harvest them just after they break the soil and start to curl. Of course if you missed it and they are tall or even started flowering don’t worry. You are still about to enjoy a wonderful delicacy. Make sure to harvest the scapes or flowers in the heat of the day. Yes, you heard that right. I know it is unusual you never hear me tell you to harvest produce in the heat. Let me explain why. If you harvest the scapes in the morning the plant will weep for hours and that is not good . You want the plant to sear over and heal quickly, this is the reason for cutting in the heat of the day.
If you do not want to give it a whirl and try a new thing, you still need to cut off the scapes or flowers. The energy needed for bulb formation will go into the flower and you do not want that. Give your garlic and onion heads a chance to form and cut the flower stalk at the base. Scape shoots can be used like green onion.
Scapes Cont. from PG 1
Recipes and Preserving
There are a few methods of preserving these little potent gems. Scapes can be stored in a plastic bag for up to 3 months in the refrigerator. You can also store them by putting them in a jar and alternating them with salt. Let it cure just as you would sauerkraut. Or you can pickle them using the dilly bean recipe, making sure to blanch them first. Freezing works but you loose the asparagus like texture. Stir fry scapes into just about any recipe any you have a great treat. Scape pesto is the top suggested use by far. If your garlic scapes have gone too far and now have flowered don’t fear. The flowers make a wonderful addition to salads. Both onion and garlic flowers are delicious raw and cooked just snip apart and enjoy! And Stir fry the green part in anything that I want an onion or garlic flavor with an asparagus consistency. Here is a good link for garlic scape recipes
Scape or Onion Bug Juice
Garlic Stalks For Bug Repellant
Not so hip on eating garlic scapes and onion flowers? You can still put them to good use in the garden. Make an aphid repellent out of them. Take your garlic and onion flower stalks and heads and toss them in the blender or food processor with water. then add 2 tsp of cayenne pepper. Put it in a stainless steel or glass container to ferment for 24 hours. It will turn from green to a brownish color. Strain it first through a metal sieve to remove the heavy solids,which go in the compost. Then strain it through a cheesecloth. Dilute with water and use a hand sprayer. You can add 1/2 tsp of dish soap for heavy aphid infestations.
For garlic scape risotto see this recipe
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