Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My First Harvest

Today I got my first bit of harvesting in. Just a tease really; we don’t have much that’s actually ripe, or ready, yet, and we don’t start distributing shares until June. But as I mentioned last week we have this field that wasn’t sown with a cover crop last year and hasn’t been plowed under yet (that will probably happen in the next few days) that has a hodge-podge of different crop plants that survived the winter and have put some good, new, nutritious growth out there. The most conspicuous is the garlic. When harvested last year, many stems broke as they were being dug or pulled up, leaving the head of garlic in the ground. These, in turn, sent new leaves up in early Spring. At this stage it is called green garlic, and has not developed any kind of bulb of cloves yet, but it is pretty good to eat and quite aromatic.

Yesterday a crew harvested a bunch and sold it to a semi-fancy Greek restaurant in Ipswich (I was told that they planned to grill them) and today I helped harvest some that we sold to a neighboring farmstand (we have no farmstand of our own). Though we were given spades to dig them up, it seemed that they came up pretty well just by pulling them up by the stalks. For reference, these look like very large scallions, sort of, or teeny-tiny leeks. Sometimes the white part of the stalks near the developing bulb curved around in funny ways. We harvested about 50 pounds or so, cleaned them up a bit and bunched them with rubber-bands, and then I drove them over to the other farm to drop them off.

Kind of a little thing amidst a day of weeding, setting up irrigation pipes, thinning seedlings in the greenhouse and potting up tomato and pepper seedlings, but significant in my mind because the harvest, of course, is what we’re all working for and when we get to see the fruits of our labors. No matter that this garlic was planted last year, when I was far away, and has mostly come up by accident anyway, it’s still food, a wonderful gift of the earth, the sun, the rain and a lot of hard work, and it felt good to get it up and out there.


Nikki said...

is they also called garlic scapes or is that something else? We made pesto with ours last year. Yum.

Brian Kenney said...

Scapes are actually different - the curly tips of the hardnecked variety of garlic, usually from plants a little further on in their development, like early Summer. I'm not sure if ours is this variety or not, to tell you the truth. I remember eating them many years ago. They were tasty.