Meet my first garlic bulb: Killarney Red, a rocambole type of garlic. One of its marketing points is that it survives wet soil better than most garlics. Chef Shop says its rare and rich and they charge a lot for it.
I ordered 3 kinds of garlic last fall from Burpee for my first foray into growing garlic: Elephant Garlic, shown here with Roma III tomatoes with baby ‘maters on them. The Romas will be caged today even though they are sold as not needing staking or caging.
Italian Early, a softneck and milder for eating fresh and Killarney Red, rich garlic flavor for cooking and powder.
When I’m out of garlic I’m stopped in the kitchen and all bets are off. We live 5 miles from town so I wanted to have a stash of garlic. Ya, that’s right. Garlic gluttony.
Killarney Red is said to be hot and fiery, good for making garlic powder. I planted a row and it shares the bed with Italian Early, a softneck and more mild garlic.
Scapes grew this spring on the Elephant Garlic and the Killarney Red. The third type of garlic is Italian Early, a softneck which doesn’t produce a scape and is good for braiding. Scapes are beautiful to look at and wonderful to eat. Try them if you see them at the Farmers Market. And then pat yourself on the back and declare yourself one of the luckiest people around!
At that time I didn’t cut the scapes from the Killarney Red even though the elephant garlic scapes were soooo delicious and made me want more. I wish now I that I had.
The Burpee packaging said that the Killarney Red scapes would be double looped. I waited for that double loop. It didn’t come. I am finding out that there is lots of misinformation about garlic readily available. I’ll just have to learn on my own! I do think this Canadian grower has good information: Boundary Garlic Farm
One day last week after a stretch of dry hot weather the scapes were upright, not looped at all, so I cut all of these very mature scapes and have been peeling their stems much like very mature asparagus stem and cutting up small bits and frying the softest parts in every dish coming out of the Stitchery Kitchen. Oh, yum.
An upright scape usually signals that the garlic is mature and ready to harvest.
Then it rained and rained as the tornadoes moved eastward from their dirty work in Oklahoma. Our little trenches filled up and flowed.
I feared the worst: bulbs rotted in the ground.
This morning some of the Killarney Red garlic tops were all brown. Alarmed, I lifted one:
No wrapping skins on this one. This was not what I was expecting to see. I expected to see rotted bulbs from all the rain. I will let this one cure along with any more that I harvest today according to the advice given here by Garlic Farm I do trust a serious Canadian grower, don’t you?
Maybe they will become garlic powder one day this summer if they don’t face the frying pan first.
Out of the swamp and into the skillet. Oh, goody!