Saturday, June 25, 2011

Garlic Scapes "R" Us!

Here are a few photos of what is taking all of our time right now, our beautiful and scrumptiously delicious garlic scapes, which thankfully waited until after our son's wedding to mature and be ready for selling at the farmers' markets and to area chefs. We hit the ground running after his wedding and have been going full-speed to get them harvested and sold over the past two weeks.

We have loved being back at three local farmers' markets, greeting last year's customers and making new ones, too! We have even opened up our farm for a few days of 'U-pick' and had lots of fun helping those people pick the scapes (which believe me, is SO much easier than picking strawberries!). 

Here are just a few pictures of some of our garlic scapes and farmers' market activity.

(Photo: Dick and Diana, our first appearance at the markets for 2011, at the Ypsilanti Downtown Farmers' Market sponsored by Growing Hope - we are FAR less frazzled in this picture than the one taken a year ago on our very first market appearance as new vendors!)
(Photo: Our Garlic Scape sign board - we are very close to finishing our logo development and then we'll be off to the races with a banner, real business cards, t-shirts for us, a stamp for the little paper bags that we'll put the heads of garlic in, even a Facebook page, etc, etc! I really don't know why we set up our chairs, since it is very rare that we sit down!)

(Photo: Elephant garlic scapes - these do not curl, and elephant garlic is actually not garlic, but a type of leek.)
(Photo: My favorite view of our fields this year. I love looking at the winding road leading to our farm at the end of the dirt road. If you look carefully, you can see differences in the field showing evidence of the 42 varieties we are growing this year.)
(Photo: one single beautiful garlic scape, ready to 'head north' to flower - this is a Killarney Red. This is still fine to cut and eat, but left to shoot up further, it will start to get stiff enough to hold up the flower, thus the garlic category "hard neck" or "stiff-neck". We only sell the scapes when they are still very tender. )
(Photo: Also a Killarney Red, which has not even done its first loop yet, edible at this stage, but it will still grow some more before getting stiff.)
(Photo: One perfect Killarney Red, perfect to pick for eating and also perfect to pick to wear as a bracelet!)
(Photo: Yes, we do eat garlic scapes in addition to taking their pictures and selling them. Here is an easy and beautiful way to use them. Just lay the whole scapes on top of a piece of fish to cook and you end up with perfectly seasoned fish, perfectly cooked scapes, and a gorgeous presentation!)
(Photo: Froggie scape, taken by my good friends at Frog Holler Farm, Brooklyn, MI)

(Photo: my car's bumper stickers with "No Farms, No Food" from The American Farmland Trust on the left and "Know Farms, Know Food" from Ann Arbor-based on the right)
We are bringing fallow farm land back into organic production and want people to know and enjoy both our farm and our food.

My friend Megan at Hand Sown Farm in Manchester writes on her blog that 'farming is not romantic........but it is glorious." I could not agree more. :-)

Lastly, we have had some press lately in the on-line version of the Ann Arbor News at:

1) an article that mentions our green garlic
2) an article about our garlic scapes
3) another article that mentions our garlic scapes

We are more than a bit surprised to have this press, but it makes us very happy. We love what we are doing and fall into bed both contented and exhausted each and night. The best part? Waking up to the birds singing outside of our bedroom at the crack of dawn, eager to go see what 50+ things need to be done today! :-)

Remember that the garlic scape season is very very short, only 2-3 weeks. I hope you haven't missed them where you live. If you are living in the upper Midwest, the season is now! 

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Kateri said...

I had a picture of a killarny red scape to post to my blog today--then I read your post, so I had to link to it. This variety definitly had the prettiest scapes of all the garlic I am growing this year. I enjoyed reading your links...I see patients in Brooklyn frequently. I will have to find out where Frog Holler Farm is.

Elaine said...

Well, as I mentioned in previous comment, I don't have time (sadly) for a long visit with you this morning. But I couldn't resist looking at the wonderful photos in the post. I'll be back at lunch to read the text. I know it's going tell a very good story.