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April 2008
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June 2008

Garlic Scapes

Its garlic scape time!  Garlic scapes are one of my favorite seasonal treats.  Garlic scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature.  We harvest the scapes to encourage the plants to put their energy toward larger bulbs . . . which also provides us a yummy garlicky treat.

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Scapes are more delicate than garlic bulbs; it is not necessary to use very high heat to cook them.  If you have a scape that has started to curl, trim off the base of the stem and fine tips.  One simple recipe is to sauté chopped scapes in olive oil, then pour a beaten egg mixture over them and garnish with fresh herbs.

Here is my favorite garlic scape recipe (from Mother Earth News):

Sauteedscapes

Sautéed Garlic Scapes

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
8 oz garlic scapes, trimmed
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 cup grilled haloumi cheese, diced

Heat the oil in a
sauté pan and add sugar.  Stir to caramelize the sugar for about 2-3 minutes and add the scapes.  Cover and sauté over medium-high heat for no more than 3 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to prevent scorching.  After 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and wine. Stir, then cover and reduce heat to low; continue cooking 5-6 minutes or until scapes are tender but not soft. Season, then add the parsley and haloumi.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Haloumi Cheese Note: Haloumi cheese is a goat and/or sheep cheese made in Cyprus.  It can be sliced and grilled or fried in a skillet, and it doesn't melt. Other salty cheeses such as cheddar or aged chevre can be substituted in this recipe (but I think the haloumi is a perfect compliment to the scapes).

Enjoy!

--Kristin, Clagett Farm Staff


First Week of Shares

This is our first week of harvesting and we're so excited!  Based on the Tuesday pick-ups at Dupont and the farm, you all are, too!  We're looking forward to seeing the rest of you this Saturday.

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So far we're having a great season. The spring has been really amazing with plenty of rain (we recorded 10 inches of rain over a 4-day period last weekend!), which also flooded parts of Upper Marlboro. Thanks to the rain, we haven't had to irrigate any spring crops, and thanks to accurate weather forcasting we were able to get all of the tomato plants and several other crops out of the greenhouse and into the ground in time to get a fresh sprinkle. Unfortunately, thanks to so much rain we've got mud puddles in some of the fields and for right now the most affected crop in your share this week are the strawberries. Some of them are mushy and quite muddy. We don't wash them first because that will make them even mushier and decrease their shelf life; we recommend that you also wait to wash them until just before you're ready to eat them.

Here are Cassie and Freebird lounging in the shade.

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You probably wonder what we've been up to over the past few months. Before our first harvest we have been busy seeding trays that will be in the greenhouse for a few to several weeks before we transplant the seedlings; seeding spring greens, carrots, radishes, turnips, squash, beans, cucumbers, etc. throughout the farm; tending to the crops you'll see in your first month of shares; and transplanting the major crops of the late spring/summer such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and melons.  Here we are transplanting tomatoes last week . . .

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Finally, we hope that you are all enjoying the seedlings that you got in your shares this week. There will be more next week! Feel free to ask us questions or share gardening tips. It's never been a better time than now to learn how to grow your own food and support local farmers. Here's to a great season!

The Clagett CSA Farm Staff