Farmer Zippy's Notebook: Garlic Scapes!

Zippy, translated by Hannah
Friday, June 6, 2014

Well, I sure learned something new this week. Something I’d never heard of before. Something I didn’t even know was possible! Here’s how it happened:

The other morning, Lisa said: This week, we’re going to harvest the garlic scapes! I said: . . . What?

Lisa said: This time of year, the garlic plants start to go to seed. If you let them grow, they make huge puffy flower heads – almost as big as you! They’re really beautiful, but the plant’s energy becomes focused on producing the flower heads, not on the garlic bulb . . . which is what we want it to focus on. So we have to take the flower heads off.

Sometimes I wonder what she DOESN’T know. Anyway, then I said: So . . . what are garlic scapes?

And Lisa said: The scape is the stem that the flower head grows on. It gets really tall and it makes a curly end, and you cut it before it actually opens up and starts to bloom. And you know what? Once you harvest them, they’re good to eat!

Well; how about that. I didn’t know that. Did you know that? I bet you didn’t.

So guess what we did today? We really did harvest the garlic scapes. See me in the picture up there? That’s me out in the field, helping to harvest them! That long thin stem in front of me (see it sort of going back behind my cheek?) is the scape. Lisa says the thick white part is where the flower would form, if it were left to grow. (I’m pretty much convinced that she knows everything. Seriously. Everything). So I learned how to harvest garlic scapes!

And I got to taste one. And you know what? It tastes like garlic. Only better. And you know what else?

I like it.

Farmer Ike doesn’t like it that I like it. He says it makes my breath smell like garlic, and that sheep breath and garlic breath don’t go together.

But I say: Too bad!