Saturday, June 28, 2014

Garlic Scape & Potato Harvest

Another grey, overcast day but it was very mild out. Since I was concerned that the big garden would still be too wet to work in, I decided to turn my focus on the kitchen garden next to the house. After I gave the whole garden a quick weeding, I removed the remay tunnels that were covering my 3 varieties of Winter Squash. It certainly wasn't any too soon. All of the varieties were pushing against the fabric and starting to crawl. Pictured above, my one huge and one small "Delicata".

Here are my two plants of "Queensland Blue".

And here are my two "Butternut" squash.


Later in the day I harvested all of the scapes from my "Chesnook Red" garlic and 3 scapes from the "Russian Red" garlic.

Then I set about trying my hand at pickling the garlic scapes. Since this was my first attempt I turned to the book Preserving by the Pint by Marissa McClellan. She has a nice small batch recipe that filled just 2 half pint jars. The scapes are quickly boiled in a brine of cider vinegar, water and pickling salt. Then red pepper flakes, dill seeds and black peppercorns are added to the jars. I made a note that 4.7 oz of cut garlic scapes nicely filled two jars. That's a little less than 5 scapes per jar.

I made two batches today so I have 4 half pint jars that will now need to sit for at least a week before I get to taste my pickled scapes for the first time.

After dinner, I harvested my two grow bags of "Nicola" potatoes. These potatoes have an interesting "history". I originally planted the grow bags on May 9th of 2013. I planted one bag with two seed potatoes and the other bag with three. Due to a very busy Fall I never got around to harvesting any of them. Our Winter was very extreme, with two snow episodes and temperatures that hit below zero. I figured that everything in the grow bags was frozen and lost. But this early Spring fat potato sprouts appeared. Somehow some of the potatoes had survived! Since they got such an early start this year, the potato plants had already turned brown and were dying back by this past week. It was time to harvest...before 4th of July!

The "Nicola" potatoes are a really nice golden yellow. Interestingly enough, the grow bag that was planted with only two seed potatoes not only produced bigger potatoes but it produced more potatoes. I harvested 5 lbs. 2.8 oz  from that bag but only 4 lbs. 6.8 oz  from the bag that was planted with 3 seed potatoes. My findings aren't 100% foolproof, since I don't know if each bag experienced the same loss of parent potatoes over the Winter. Now I have the fun task ahead of finding creative ways of cooking 9 lbs. 9.6 oz of freshly harvested new potatoes.


Tossing Dirt said...

Wow, your potatoes look great! We harvested our reds early just because my wife loves to dig stuff up :) And the beetles were after them in a bad way. Love the look of your garden.

Mindy said...

I'm obsessed with scapes. We buy them at our farmer's market. So far this year I've used them in pasta and on the grill. I have two bunches in the fridge right now to try pesto with. Pickled scapes sound amazing! You'll have to report back when you try them.

Margaret said...

I love small batch preserving books - with a home garden you often don't have enough to can in large quantities. Lovely potatoes - Now you know that you can plop some potatoes down in the fall for a super early harvest the following year - accidental discoveries are the best!

Unknown said...

What a great potato harvest.

Catherine: Made with love and garlic said...

I am now so curious about scapes that I'm going to have to scour online delis to find some. They sound fantastic, but sadly I didn't get my garden up and running in time to plant them and I'm not sure I can wait until next year!

Rachel @ Grow a Good Life said...

So amazing that the potatoes survived in the grow bags. I love Marissa McClellan's book and will be exploring some of her small batch recipes this year.