Sunday, May 27, 2012

Each patient..........extraordinary care

I should be doing 100 if not 1000 other things (right now), but somehow my fingers found their way to this one page on the wide, wide internet, and I needed to share it with all of you (right now).

Here is one example of a cancer center that 'gets it' and has clearly made a commitment to include the full array of beneficial nutrition services to its entire patient population and then market this advantage that they provide in terms of true comprehensive cancer care to its patients.

My hat is off to the John Theuer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ. Thank you for overcoming (ignoring?) all the tired old reasons why providing proactive, individualized nutritional care is not able to be done. You have my deepest appreciation and admiration for the comprehensive and 'world-class care' (your words and I support them) that your cancer center has committed to provide its patients.

I just love how the photo at the top of the page shows the oncology dietitians in their amazing (!!!) kitchen. I want to come to be part of your classes (sorry - scratch that - I don't have time - but I still wish I could!).

I am sure the dietitians still feel like they need 36 hours in each day to provide the care they know needs to be done. I am sure things might still slip between the cracks at this cancer center (they sure did recently at a local major cancer center when I got a phone call, somehow, on a Saturday afternoon - long story, no need for details, just suffice to say I know even caring staff sometimes miss things, systems fail, and a family feels over-looked - I gave them lots of sympathy, empathy, and several tips for getting through the weekend with Plan B).

My point is - if your cancer center (no matter how big or how small) is still not providing proactive and individualized nutritional care by Registered Dietitians (RD) with expertise in oncology (even certified in the specialty of oncology nutrition - CSO), then please, please, please speak up and ask "Why not?". I kid you not, I have said this before but it bears repeating, I have seen cancer centers around the country finally get their nutritional services brought on board (and increased) by patient grass roots efforts.

Patients are the 'customers' here, so please speak up. A group of you at your own cancer center just might help someone (a medical director, a 'bean counter') reach a tipping point in that decision process.

I am sure there are more 'model programs' out there. Over the years I have highlighted a few others when I have found information about them. I don't know everyone anymore, and I hope more and more cancer centers (again, no matter how large or how small) are coming to the recognition that providing nutritional care by RDs is necessary for cancer care to be called truly 'comprehensive' and provide the best chance for full effectiveness of cancer therapies and optimizing quality of life during and after cancer therapies.

I always love hearing about other 'best programs'. I will give them a shout-out, too. :)

Now back to harvesting garlic scapes which have emerged a full 3+ weeks earlier than last year, so all my plans and hopes about getting my website and blogs consolidated by any certain deadline have evaporated!

Have a great holiday weekend. Think of me farming - 365DaysofFarming could be another new blog - yikes - no time!!! You can follow our farm's quick updates on Facebook though.

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

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Monday, May 21, 2012

Musings: Birds, Roadblocks, and Poetry

I need to capture this short poem by Jim Harrison so I remember to somehow include it in the long-suffering effort of combining all my blogs with my website into just one location on the web - step, step, step.

"In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan 
and the mountains of the Mexican border
I've followed the calls of birds
that don't exist into thickets
and up canyons. I'm unsure
if all of me returned."

Yep, done that. Both places and others, too. And I would do it again. In fact, I am unsure if I lose a bit of myself or find myself nearly everyday now when some bird is calling on the farm that I do not know, I cannot find, or I do not have time to find. Either way, I am content.

This website/blogs consolidation project has had set-backs, but I am hopeful I am getting much closer to getting it over the finish line. Some of the logistical and psychological hurdles have been identified and resolved. I am setting a goal for myself to have this 'launch' no later than June 21, which will be the 5-year anniversary of this blog. Hopefully, I can pull out the stops, set the birds aside, set my new-found love of poetry aside, set the garlic aside, set the weeding aside, set my friends aside, set cooking aside, set my lovely dog Phoebe aside, on and on and on, and get it done before then! Please note - no where did I say 'set my husband aside'. He needs me, I need him. :)

This new website which combines all my blogs and all the content will be beautiful and so much easier to find everything, even for me, maybe especially for me! :)

PS - We do have baby turkeys born somewhere and now running behind their mother on the farm, I scared up a woodcock last evening, hummingbirds are everywhere, baby bluebirds are getting bigger, and so much more. What lovely creations (and distractions)!! I love waking up every morning. :)

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

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Friday, May 18, 2012

Let food be thy medicine..........

A University of Missouri group of researchers has shown that a molecule called apigenin found in celery and parsley can reverse an aggressive type of breast cancer through multiple mechanisms. The study was done in mice and the apigenin was injected, not consumed in the diet from foods. However, the final statements in the press release by the main author are telling:

Finding funding for clinical testing of apigenin in humans may be difficult, according to Hyder.
“Clinical trials of apigenin with humans could start tomorrow, but we have to wait for medical doctors to carry out that next step,” Hyder said. “One problem is, because apigenin doesn’t have a known specific target in the cancer cell, funding agencies have been reticent to support the research. Also, since apigenin is easily extracted from plants, pharmaceutical companies don’t stand to profit from the treatment; hence the industry won’t put money into studying something you can grow in your garden.”
Of course there is no guarantee at this point that consuming an entire parsley plant or bunch of celery everyday will prevent (let alone reverse) cancer, and nor am I recommending that. However, I am going to plant more parsley this summer and make sure to those plants healthy enough to bring inside all winter. I have also purchase two celery plants to experiment with growing that, too. In addition, chamomile, thyme, and rutabagas (my husband's favorite vegetable!) are also high sources of apigenin. I'm sure there are additional great food sources, too.
Variety, variety, variety of whole foods is the unspoken part of Hippocrates wise advice:
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ― Hippocrates

Make your morning smoothies even greener and healthier with added parsley, even celery!

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow and eat - leaf by leaf and stalk by stalk, 

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Recipe: Paella with Green Garlic

This was a test run for an easy 'company recipe'. It was as easy as it looked in the cookbook, as delicious as I hoped, and a winner. I made a few tweaks (who doesn't?) from the original recipe, which came from a vegetarian cookbook. However, I wanted to see if I could make a variation by adding boneless chicken thighs. Oh yum, yum. My husband declared this recipe a keeper - with incredibly moist and flavorful chicken. So I think it passes muster and can confidently be used as a 'company recipe'.

You must wonder if I am turning into a stalk of green garlic by now. Well, our house does smell very garlicky, but so far, I don't think I look like a stalk of green garlic. I am an example of 'you are what you eat' but not literally - yet. :)


• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 sweet red pepper, cut into strips (I used some of our frozen peppers from last summer)
• 2-1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium versions)
• 8 ounces risotto rice (I weighed this out, I should have also measured to see what 8 ounces was - addendum - 8 oz is approx. 1-1/3 cups)
• 4 stalks green garlic, trimmed roots, washed, thinly sliced white and green sections - this will be divided
• 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
• Cayenne pepper - just a tiny smidgen
• Salt and pepper to taste (I forgot to do this!)
• 1 tomato - sliced into wedges (I used half fresh and 6 slices of dried tomatoes as a test - I preferred the 'punch', i.e., taste, of the dried tomatoes)
• 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
• 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs


1. Add olive oil to paella pan or wok or large cast-iron skillet (this is what I used). Heat.
2. Add peppers to the pan, heat until soft and a little bit crusty but not burned.
3. Add spices and half of chopped green garlic to pan.
4. Add rice to pan and stir to coat evenly with oil and spices.
5. Heat broth to boiling in separate pan.
6. Pour broth into skillet, add chicken thighs.
7. Heat to boiling and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, turning chicken thighs over after 5 minutes.
8. Add peas, mix in with rice, then add tomatoes on top of rice around chicken thighs, then cover to cook for 15-20 additional minutes. Do not peek or stir.
9. All broth should be absorbed and rice soft.
10. Uncover and then sprinkle the remaining green garlic on top of the dish.
11. Serve immediately.

This dish would be lovely served with a steamed whole artichoke or grilled asparagus plus a green salad and some hearty bread to make sure every bit of the paella is eaten off the plate.

Paella ready to cover. 

Paella covered with my largest pan cover and aluminum foil to finish covering the edges. 

Paella - cooked, now add the remaining chopped green garlic as garnish but so the delicate green garlic flavor is not cooked out of the dish. 

Paella - we ate half ourselves. Thus, this recipe would easily serve 4 people, especially if served with another vegetable such as a whole artichoke or grilled asparagus plus a salad and bread. I love left-overs since so many days we work outside until after sundown and are often too tired to cook a lovely meal. 

Who would like to come to dinner? 

What do you serve for company that is easy, relatively quick, beautiful, and oh yes!! delicious, the final and most important factor? 

I think this is the end of my green garlic frenzy, although I should add that I am also drying some chopped green garlic in my food dehydrator and also freezing some chopped green garlic (just chop and freeze on a cookie tray or be 'lazy' and just add to a freezer bag). 

Next up? Garlic scapes in a few weeks! I can't wait. :)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow (in addition to what you eat!) - inch by inch, row by row, 

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Friday, May 11, 2012

Recipe: Falafel Patties with Green Garlic

I'll never forget the evening we had some of our older son's college friends over for dinner many years ago now. As these young men left, one of them grabbed my arm and thanked me over and over for making falafel from scratch. I was deeply touched by his sincerity but also that he recognized and appreciated 'scratch' cooking. :) This recipe is simply a variation on a standard falafel recipe by substituting green garlic for some of the fresh parsley.


  • Chickpeas, canned, 2-15 oz cans, drained (the easy way, or cook your own from dried chickpeas to make ~4 cups)
  • Breadcrumbs - 1 cup
  • Green Garlic - 6 stalks, white and green
  • Parsley, minced - 1/2 cup (one bunch, take out as many stems as you can without being obsessive)
  • Flour - 1/4  cup (I use white whole wheat flour)
  • Salt - 1  teaspoon
  • Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Ground coriander - 1-1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground cumin - 1-1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric  - 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper - 1/8 teaspoon
  • Oil for pan frying (as little as possible just to keep the patties from sticking - I used a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet)


    1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them with fresh water. Place the chickpeas, breadcrumbs and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the chickpeas are the size of the breadcrumbs. Do not overprocess to a puree.
    2. Remove the chickpea mixture to a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil and mix together well. The mixture should have a fairly dry, crumbly texture. Add a little water (I added ~1/4 cup, but start with 2 Tbsp.) if it is too dry to form balls with your hand. Adjust seasoning to taste. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls or ovals and then flatten slightly.
    3. Heat very thin of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Drop patties a few at a time onto the hot skillet and brown well on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the browned patties from the skillet and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining patties. I have also successfully baked patties in the oven at 375 degrees about 20 minutes, turning half way through. 
    4. Falafel can be served on its own with yogurt (plain) or serve with Mint-Green Garlic Dip. Or stuff it in pita bread halves with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and eat as a sandwich.  

    Falafel patties cooling and draining excess oil (very little) on a paper towel. Sorry the picture is sideways - it is not in my jpg file. 

    Falafel patties complete with Green Garlic-Mint Yogurt Dip on top, roasted sweet potato wedges, pickled garlic scapes with some locally-made Perkins Pickles that my husband just loved because they had a good crunch and were not 'too briney'. 

    I think you are probably seeing the big picture here, that green garlic is a very versatile additional way of using garlic in cooking. Not only is it a delicate, not over-powering, garlic taste, it added color, texture, and even substance to a dish like these falafel patties. 

    One more recipe coming - Paella with Green Garlic!

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

    Diana Dyer, MS, RD

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Recipe: Green Garlic-Mint Pesto

    I thought the Green Garlic-Mint Yogurt Dip was delicious and could not be topped. I was wrong. This new recipe for Green Garlic-Mint Pesto will knock your socks off and inspire you to run right out to find a pineapple-mint plant if you don't already have some growing in your yard.

    (Full disclosure: Although I have tweaked these two green garlic-mint recipes, I was inspired by ones sent to me by my good friend and local 'Salsa Queen' Stefanie Stauffer, founder of Nightshade Army Industries, a local food company based in Ypsilanti, Michigan that makes an amazing array of hot sauces and salsas from locally-grown ingredients ("Ypsi-grown, Ypsi-made").)

    Pesto is pesto and can be used on anything, pasta of course, but we use pesto as a sandwich spread, to top a baked potato, added to soups, added to egg or tuna salad, even hummus, and yes, I  confess, I sometimes indulge myself and just enjoy a spoonful. :)


    • Pineapple-mint leaves - small bunch (discard stems) - I used about 1/2 cup slightly chopped
    • curly parsley - small bunch - wash, dry, remove as many long stems as possible but do not obsess
    • 4-6 stalks green garlic - wash carefully, trim roots leaving as much of the white clove as possible, trim away any brown tips, chop in medium chop, all of it
    • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • salt to taste (just a small pinch)


    1) Chop mint, parsley, and green garlic coarsely
    2) Put mint, parsley, green garlic and walnuts into food processor and chop together until medium (do not let it become a pureé)
    3) Add olive oil and lemon juice
    4) Very briefly mix in processor until the consistency you want

    Store in refrigerator, covering the top with just a thin layer of olive oil to maintain the fresh flavor if you do not use it all right away. Stir the oil in when you use it next. 

    Here is one way I used this pesto when I found I was out of pasta but had some polenta. I heated the polenta in our cast-iron skillet, layered the slices on top of a mixed green salad, added a dab of pesto to each slice, a few drops of hot sauce for color (I would have preferred to have some spring radishes or even dried tomatoes(, and a generous sprinkle of grated hard cheese. (To be honest, this was a skimpy supper for both my husband and me, and we had popcorn later in the evening.)

    I purposely chose to purchase this pineapple-mint to pair with the delicate green garlic hoping for an interesting but not overwhelming complement of flavors. I made a great choice. :)

    How do you enjoy using pesto? What haven't I thought of?

    Do you have other ways you enjoy green garlic? What haven't I mentioned yet?

    There is still time to find some - maybe even in your own garden or by your backdoor (according to my friend Marjorie Johns, soap maker and garlic grower extraordinaire from St. John's, Michigan).

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

    Diana Dyer, MS, RD

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Recipe: Green Garlic-Mint Yogurt Dip

    When the mint starts poking its leaves up through the remainder of last year's garden (or grass, or landscaping), you know spring is here! This dressing combines mint with another spring crop, green garlic, so you get the flavors of both in one fresh and very versatile dressing. 

    You can use this Green Garlic-Mint Dressing as a salad dressing, a vegetable dip, or drizzle it on fresh veggies, such as cucumbers. It is also terrific as an additive to soup or a topping to falafel patties. In fact, just get out your spoon (or fingers), because seriously, I found my own finger in the end of the bowl of it, making sure every last bit was in my mouth. :) 


    • yogurt - 1 cup (I use a full-fat plain, unflavored organic yogurt)
    • lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
    • green garlic - 2-3 stalks, remove roots, wash, finely chop whites and green tops
    • mint leaves - 1/4 cup, finely chopped (I used leaves of pineapple mint, which was just lovely!)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (not much, just a small pinch or twist of the pepper grinder)

    It was a rainy day, just perfect for staying inside experimenting with new green garlic recipes. The clear green bottle on the left does not contain an ingredient - I just pulled it out of the window sill so it could be shown in the photo, hopefully piquing your curiosity (or knowledge!) about what is in the bottle. Any guesses?

    Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir or whisk carefully. Add additional lemon juice to thin, if you like. Taste before you add more. Serve with fresh greens or as a dip.

    Makes about 1 cup. Keep any unused dip in the refrigerator. I used it all within 2 days in the following ways:

    1) Dip for vegetables - you can see here it is nice and thick. 

    2) Dressing on a green salad (not tossed yet)

    3) Mixed into a clear broth soup to make it creamy

    4) Topping on falafel patties (also made by adding green garlic), along with some roasted sweet potato wedges, pickled garlic scapes, and some locally-made Perkins Pickles purchased at the Downtown Ypsilanti Famers Market. 

    5) 'Finger food' - sorry no photo of me using my finger to get every last bit from the small bowl I used to store it in the refrigerator. :)

    All this from one delicious and easy recipe! Head down to your local farmers market to see if you are lucky enough to snag some green garlic. We are gleaning our fields right now, looking for any 'doubles' or 'triples', where more than one garlic clove was planted in one spot. The resulting 'garlics' are too crowded to grow beautiful heads, so we dig them up for more delicious green garlic. 

    You might ask your local garlic grower if they can bring you some harvested in that way. We'll be done this week, maybe tomorrow. Our 4th local chef just got in line to say she 'wants it all'. :) Good thing our CSA members were first in line this year!

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

    Diana Dyer, MS, RD

    PS - sorry for any weird formatting/appearance here, too, on this post. I'll get this figured out soon. 

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

    Recipe: Nettles Soup with Green Garlic

    Everyone once in a while I have the joy of experiencing a new food, even one I could find and harvest without any effort made with growing it. I have read about nettles for years and years and have been excited about finding some on our farm. To be honest, I am sure I have some at the farm, but I just have not found them yet.

    So I was thrilled to see some at our local farmers market sold by one of my favorite new farmers, Meagan De Leeuw from Handsown Farm. I just 'grabbed them' and came right home to make some soup from these nettles combined with just a small amount of kale I also had hanging out in the refrigerator and some green garlic (of course!).

    I could have just made up a recipe in my head but I followed some basic guidelines from two books I love:
    1) Spinach and Beyond: Loving Life & Dark Green Leafy Vegetables by Linda Diane Feldt, Moonfield Press, Ann Arbor, MI and
    2) From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition, Jones Books, Madison, WI.

    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    4-6 shoots of green garlic, roots trimmed and then whites to greens chopped fine
    4 cups water or broth (vegetable, chicken, your freezer broth, your choice)
    1 large bunch nettles, add some kale - wash and remove any stiff kale stems if desired - (handle nettles with gloves or tongs when uncooked at this point)
    Salt and pepper to taste plus any herbs or seasonings of choice (even a splash of hot sauce)
    Heavy cream or yogurt

    1) Sauté half of the green garlic in hot oil for just 1-2 minutes. Use a deep soup pot. Save remaining garlic for adding to soup in the bowl.
    2) Add broth to hot pan with garlic. Warm.
    3) Add nettles (use tongs) and kale. Heat over medium heat until greens are bright green and soft - about 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook.
    4) Add carefully to blender or use an immersion blender to blend all together.
    5) Carefully reheat until hot.
    6) Check seasonings and adjust as desired.
    7) If desired (options) you may add some heavy cream or yogurt at this point to the entire soup pot.

    Place in bowl, add a dab of yogurt, swirl in bowl, and then add green garlic slices to float on the soup.

    Oh this soup was very good with just a hint of spring freshness with the green garlic!!

    I keep looking for nettles on our farm but have not found any yet. I will continue to keep my eyes open! I am not an herbalist like the author Linda Diane Feldt, but I have read enough to know that stinging nettles have a multitude of uses for many common ailments. Yes, I am determined to find some of my own on our farm. :)

    Ah, yum, yum, yum! Complete with the chopped green garlic on top and a few slices of buckwheat bread from our local Café Japon. I usually get to the market after this bread is already sold out, so I felt lucky that day to be there in time to snag a loaf.

    I'll include a food blessing that was traditionally said with the first corn harvest, but it seems appropriate to use with the first spring harvest, too. March and early April were often lean, hungry months until the first foods emerged. Spring greens like nettles and spring garlic would surely be celebrated when they were in the soup pot!

    Footprints I make! I go to the field with eager haste.
    Footprints I make! Amid rustling leaves I stand.
    Footprints I make! Amid yellow blossoms I stand.
    Footprints I make! I stand with exultant pride.
    Footprints I make! I hasten homeward with a burden of gladness.
    Footprints I make! There's joy and gladness in my home.
    Footprints I make! I stand amidst a day of contentment. 

    ~~ Osage Indian prayer

    What new food have you eaten recently? I would love to know. Feel free to add your comments. May we all stand amidst a day of contentment. :)

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

    Diana Dyer, MS, RD

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Green Garlic Galore

    It is now officially spring because we have sold our entire crop of green garlic after delivering this first fresh garlic of the year to our very special Garlic CSA members. Three area chefs bought the remainder this year, all of whom are purchasing as much locally-grown organic food as possible to serve in their restaurants or deli (The Grange Kitchen & Bar, The Ravens Club, Zingerman's Deli). We thank them, especially for being creative with our crop and featuring us on their menus.

    Now we can focus on keeping the garlic watered and weeded as we wait for the garlic scapes to emerge in a few weeks, get our many varieties of hops finished being weeded and then supported in a proper manner, i.e. more sturdy, structured, and sightly than we have had time to do during the past two years. Dick is currently trimming our messy and overgrown grape vines that came with the property (whoa! look at that - there is even more invasive, but yummy, garlic mustard under them that I have had never seen before!) and is also expanding his bee hives from the two that made it through the winter to five (hoping to catch and re-direct a swarm from one of his own hives!), along with so many other things that I look people straight in the eye without blinking or joking and tell them that farming is cramming 36 hour days into 24, at least for just the two of us.

    What else are we doing? We actually plan and hope to get our own garden planted this year with tomatoes (35 varieties planted in pots now peeking up), many types of peppers, onions, kale of course, heirloom beans, and on and on and on. Lots to do there with clean up which never got done well last fall and getting started on that. Last year we didn't plant our corn until the end of June. I almost hate to admit that it might have been on July 4th. Of course it didn't do as well as it could/should, but at least it got in the ground and we had fun (grrrrr) knowing the electric fence was thwarting a few slow-learning raccoons.

    We bought and ate our first duck eggs from our friends at Bridgewater Barns. We are now seriously considering changing our plans to include ducks, perhaps instead of chickens. Step, step, step!

    Lastly, guess what? We are cooking - woohoo - at least a little! Of course we still have plenty of our own supply of green garlic so we are enjoying using that in various ways. I will post those recipes separately, so they are easy to find. I hope you still have an opportunity to find some green garlic in your area. The new recipes I'm going to post are winners (as was the recipe for the Green Garlic Fajitas I posted recently). They all say "Spring is Here!"

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

    Diana Dyer, MS, RD

    PS - Vacuuming and sweeping get done fairly frequently because now we have a furry dog with muddy paws, laundry gets washed (maybe not put away) daily, but if you come to visit or help us, please ignore the dust piling up. :)

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    Recipe: Fajitas Topped with Green Garlic

    I feel like it's been quite a while since I posted anything about food! Here is an easy recipe for fajitas, made with what I had in the house, which of course being garlic farmers means that in the spring time we have a built-in supply of the delectable and delicately flavored green garlic.

    First of all, many of you may be wondering "What is green garlic?". The easiest way to describe green garlic is to compare it to green onions, only it is garlic, not onions. In a more detailed description, garlic cloves can be dug up in the spring when the shoots are nicely developed. Here in SE Michigan that is typically around the end of April unless a warm spring like we have had this year in 2012 brings them ready to harvest sooner. It is important to harvest before the single-planted clove starts 'bulbing out'. The roots, clove, and shoots are all dug up intact, then washed, trimmed, and eaten exactly as you would green onions from the white clove all the way up to the tip of the green shoots (trim off any browned or dried tips). Hint: do not trim roots until you wish to use them, keeping them nicely damp, even storing upright with the roots in water. 

    You can make your fajitas any which way you would like and then top them with chopped green garlic. The green garlic is the most mildly flavored form of garlic, so much so that cooking it causes much of the garlicness to disappear, so we generally just toss it into salads, mix it in to egg salad or tuna salad, top a pizza after it is cooked, add at the very end of a stir-fry, toss onto hot pasta, or in this case, sprinkle on top of fajitas just like you would other toppings like a salsa, extra lime juice, guacamole, etc. 

    I made mine with extra-firm tofu, chopped into strips, stir-fried with some hot spicy salsa made by Nightshade Army Industries in Ypsilanti, MI (all locally grown ingredients, including our garlic). Then in a separate pan, I just stir-fried some pepper strips, onions slices together and I forget what else, adding a bit of lime juice at the end. 

    Right now I don't even remember if I served this on rice, or chips, or in roll-ups - it does not matter. Do whatever your family likes best. Use chicken, pork, beef or even tempeh strips. Add other vegetables. I love such flexible cooking and eating. 

    Special Note - I can't speak for all garlic growers, but we don't sell green garlic 'cheap' because by harvesting green garlic now, we are essentially sacrificing an entire bulb (head) of garlic being formed to sell later with each slender stalk and clove of green garlic dug out of the ground in April. Wow - think about that! Each of those cloves and its stalk will make a full head of garlic in a few months. 

    In fact because local chefs have bought all of our green garlic the past two years, we decided to hold some of our green garlic in reserve for our Garlic CSA members this year. In fact, the "top tier" CSA members got our first green garlic of the year, even before the chefs! 

    Here are some photos, including green garlic, so you get a better sense of what this is and what to look for at the markets. 

    Green Garlic, from multiple garlic varieties, thus different colors, with a typical paring knife for size comparison. 

    Tofu strips stir-fried in my smaller cast iron skillet, seasoned with and cooked in some spicy salsa.

    Fajita filling in my larger cast iron skillet - I see peppers, mushrooms, and onions, cooked until soft, then seasoned with a bit of lime juice.

    Adding the chopped green garlic at the end, so it did heat up a tiny bit but was not fully cooked. 

    Fajitas - tofu and vegetables with green garlic served over brown rice.

    Yum, yum! I wish I had some right now to eat again. If green garlic is not in your area or already done, I'm just guessing that this recipe could be duplicated with chopped garlic scapes, too. They'll be ready in a few weeks! 

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

    Diana Dyer, MS, RD

    PS - Oh fooey - I'm sorry about the weird coloring/formatting on this post. Arghhhh.......I hope that 'substance over style' is acceptable here.