Garlic Harvest 2016

Jacob harvested all the garlic at the house this weekend.  Garlic if you've never grown it before is planted in the fall, late September early October in Pennsylvania, and left to over-winter in the ground to be picked in July.  I slacked a bit at the community garden this year and didn't plant it till early December.  I harvested one bulb out of curiosity, and while smaller than these pictured above they seem to be doing quite well.  After you pick your garlic you want to let it cure for a week, this gives the individual skins time to fully develop around each clove, making for longer shelf life.  Curing garlic can be a bit odiferous, its smelly enough to keep vampires and visitors alike from your house, best to do it outside!  Tops can be braided and hung in a cool dry place.  We  keep a big bunch hanging by the stove for easy access.  

Pickled Garlic Scapes

A great way to preserve your garlic harvest is to pickle the scapes. (Top jar in above photo)  They taste like garlicky dilly-beans, and I pickle mine with strips of carrots and red pepper, it gives the jars a bit more color.  The jars make a great accompaniment to a cheese plate.

2-3 bunches garlic scapes
2-3 Carrots
1/2 red pepper
2 Cups Cider vinegar
2 TBS + 2TSP pickling salt
Dill seeds
Mustard Seeds
Black peppercorns
Red chili flakes

Sterilize four 1/2 pint canning jars, lids, and rings.  Trim garlic scapes, slice carrots and peppers into strips, you want everything to be about the same thickness for even cooking.  Pack scapes, carrots, and pepper strips into sterilized jars.  To each jar add 1/2 tsp dill seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 3 peppercorns, and a pinch of chile flake.   In medium sauce pan bring vinegar and salt to a boil.  Ladle vinegar into jars leaving a 1/2 inch head space.  Process in a boiling water bath 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove lid allow jars to rest for 5 minutes before removing from bath.  Allow pickles to cure one week before eating.


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