Every time I visit Jean’s garden there is something new that I am delighted by, a flower has come into bloom, a new project is underway, some new nurturing thing has been completed to keep the garden feeling cared for. This week it was wizards and irises.
With heads gently poking through the blackberry bushes, the irises are small explosions of colour throughout the woods.
Jean has just finished giving all the magical creatures in her garden their baths. With the moisture in the climate, they will, over winter and spring get a covering of life that detracts from the uplifting surprise of finding a vingnette just around the corner.
The other project on board are the garlic scapes. Garlic belongs to the same family as the chives mentioned in the first post done on herbs, Allium. In the garlic family there are two subsets, soft neck and hardnecks. Softnecks we will cover in July when I am being allowed to participate in the making of garlic braids, woohoo!
At this time of the year the hardnecks need a little pruning so that the energy of the plant will concentrate in the bulb. Each garlic plant will have its’ top pinched back just before the second leaf where the stem is evident.
The curly part on top is called the garlic scape. It is tender and delicious with a slightly milder flavour than a fully mature garlic bulb. The single leaf is peeled off and the scape can be used just like a chive in cooking and for flavouring in fresh cheeses, hummus, egg dishes, soups and salads. It can also be substituted for asparagus in many recipes.
I have been told a garlic scape pesto with hazelnuts will be available for testing when the harvesting is complete. ( I am sooo blessed).
Although garlic has a reputation for being pungent and giving the impression of heat on the palate and it is true that the more finely the garlic is chopped the stronger the aroma, baked garlic is a sweet and mellow, tasty addition to meats or mixed with butter and spread on bread.
Garlic bulbs are a potent natural antibiotic. They are a traditional cure for colds and coughs and can also helpful with lung and gastrointestinal issues. Having garlic in your diet can help lower cholesterol levels, lessen the risk of blood clots and assist in reducing blood pressure levels and increase general circulation.
This is another herb that should not be used in greater than culinary quantities if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Did you know that during the first World War, garlic juice was used in field dressings to combat the possible onset of gangrene?
With their reputation for warding off vampires, it is easy to understand their magical connection to protection.
For more information about garlic check out herbs-info.com
Please add to the information pool by commenting on the Facebook page, one click back. Please share how you work with garlic, in food or therapeutically.