Summer is upon us

It sure seems Spring is shorter and shorter each year – this year we had frost one day and 2 weeks later 90 degree days!   The past 2 days have been scorchers outside and right now it is storming so the garden is getting a much-needed drink!   This was the first year I was able to sit and actually watch a pair of Purple Martins around their nest.    They make a clicking sound as they move about which I found quite amazing.

I was able to capture a turtle actually laying eggs (the video is 4 mins. in length and this is over the limit at Flickr so I need to shorten it or find another way to post it).   Frankie alerted us to the turtle’s presence and stood howling away at her as she calmly proceeded to do her duty.   I have the area marked off and hope we will be around when the baby turtles make their appearance.

The chickens love the warm weather and all the nice little bugs they find – the ticks are one of those bugs I could easily live without.

I find plenty of them down south and this year the locust are out, about and LOUD!

I harvested my first batch of Garlic Scapes and promptly made a nice pasta dish using them.   Also shared some with a local chef who was very appreciative.   These were from the Chrysalis Purple hardneck and I will have many more from the other varieties soon.   Along with all this summer activity, we have been busy getting our home in St. Charles ready for market.   Obviously, this is not a good time to sell a home …… but you never know!

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Garlic Scapes

This year I decided to harvest the garlic scapes from the hard garlic growing in the garden.   Some folks do this and others don’t – last year I didn’t and all the garlic harvested seemed quite large to me.   This year by cutting the scapes (the curly stalks that hard garlic grow) I am giving the bulb in the ground an even better chance of growing larger – the growing energy is directed towards the bulb and not the stalk or scape.   So now I have all these Garlic Scapes

and browsing through the blogs participating in the GROW project I spotted this perfectly timed post by Colleen at In the Garden online  and spent the day yesterday making Garlic Scape Pesto and canning up 6 pints of pickled scapes.   The pickled scapes will make a great addition to my Father’s Day gift since my Dad loves garlic and the garlic bulbs are not ready yet to harvest.

I cut the scapes to fit the pint size jars (I made 6 pints) and added the hot brine along with some red pepper flakes and dried oregano.   To make the liquid brine you heat up 3 cups of vinegar, 5 cups of water and 1/4 cup of kosher salt.   Then you use the hot water canning method and cook 45 minutes.   They need to set for 2 weeks before eating to allow the flavors to blend.

I also made the Garlic Scape Pesto and it is totally addicting – I am thinking even better than a Basil Pesto ……. really good!   I modified the recipe a bit.   I cut up 1 cup of scapes and added them along with 1/3 cup of walnuts to the blender.   Blended a while and added 1/2 cup olive oil and lastly about 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese.

 So very delicious!!!   Thank you Colleen for your timely post – I am enjoying my Garlic Scapes to the max!

I recently returned once again from the trip down south and my mailbox was full of wonderful treasures …. 2 new magazines I have subscribed to;  Runner’s World and PaperCrafts.   I have decided I now have to purchase the Provocraft Gypsy to go along with my Cricut simply because of all this back and forth traveling.   The Gypsy will allow me to travel and create without lugging the Cricut machine each trip….how exciting is that!

Renee’s Garden once again floored me with their promptness and generosity.   I received the media kit with my Nasturtium seeds and decided to send for the 18 free packages of seeds they offered.   I received them all within a few days and am overjoyed with all these wonderful new possibilities to add to the gardens down south.

Happy Gardening!!!