Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Have Scapes!

I was surprised to see that I have a few scapes forming on my garlic. Scapes are the flower stalks found on all members of the Allium family (onions, leeks, chives, and garlic). In garlic, the scapes curl as they grow, and then grow little seed-like bulbils. The scapes should be removed so the plant continues to focus its energy into making larger garlic heads or bulbs, they don’t drain energy from the garlic plant.

The good news is the scapes can be eaten. I’ve read that they have a mild garlicky flavor and can be added to anything you would add garlic too. I only have a few scapes so far, so will probably chop them up and add to a stir fry, or salads. I found a simple recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto that I would like to try someday:

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9), top flower part removed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until mixed. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Mix in parmesan cheese by hand. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Pesto will keep for up to one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Let me explain all that grass growing among the garlic:

I actually planted this garlic in the fall of 2007. This was the edge of the garden at the time. Spring 2008, we expanded the garden about five feet and I let the garlic grow planning to harvest in the fall. Well, the garden got away from me as far as weeding goes and I “lost” my garlic among the grass and assumed it didn’t make it.

I was surprised to find this garlic growing earlier this spring. I left most there and transplanted some to the SFG. I left a gap between the solar mulch so as not to smother the garlic. This is where the grass has quickly grown once again.

There are melons growing on either side and will be sprawling all over this part of the garden soon. I wanted to get this area weeded and pull the solar mulch together and close up the gap a bit so the grass does not continue to grow.

I attempted to weed this area before, but left it when a pickerel frog jumped out at me. I wanted him to have some safe cover as he visited my garden. That was several weeks ago so I thought surely he has gone back to the body of water he came from.

Not so, I began pulling some grass when he peeked out from under a 2x4 used to hold down the solar mulch:

I guess he lives there now.


  1. Don't you just love garlic???

    I've got to get some ordered!!! But first have to pick a place to plant them...

    Isn't it fun having a frog in the garden? I have one in my strawberry patch. Before I knew he was there... he jumped out at me too! Scared me! Now I try to be respectful of him. I love that he eats lots of bugs!

  2. Hey! That's my cousin. Cute, isn't he.

  3. Looks like someone's playing peek a boo with you. ;-)
    Thanks for sharing the scape recipe. I've added it to my collection. I can't wait to grow some garlic!!! Come ooon fall!

  4. Toni, I DO love garlic. I love how it seems to grow even with complete neglect!

    Ribbit, Well your cousin can stay as long as he likes. I like having him around. I am sure he is earning his keep anyway.

    Momma_S, It looks good doesn't it? I may have to visit the farmer's market to get enough scapes to try this recipe.