What even is a garlic scape?!

All hardneck varieties of garlic – of which Saunderstown Garlic Farm grows about 14,000 plants – produce a cute little curly-wirly thing called a “scape.” Aside from being delicious, the scape has a very important purpose. If allowed to grow, it will turn into a flower and develop 50-100 tiny little “bulbils,” or, tiny garlic seeds. If planted, these tiny sees will grown into small, single cloves of garlic.

Should you cut the scape?

While lovely and aesthetically pleasning, allowing these flowers to develop will divert the plant’s energy away from the bulb and into the production of these little bulbils. But, usually, farmers don’t want this – we want big fat garlic bulbs It helps the plant conserve energy by diverting growth away from seed production and towards bulb development. By harvesting the scapes (in Rhode Island and the Northeast of the US) this occurs in June. So, we cut the scapes when they start to get curly;doing so emoving ensures larger and more robust garlic bulbs come harvest time. This practice is essential for maintaining the quality and yield of the garlic crop. Scapes can be used in various culinary dishes, adding a mild garlic flavor. They are yummy: grilled, in stir fries, sauteed, in pesto, in salads, pickled… and countless other ways!

Yes, we will remove 14,000 scapes by hand!

Thanks to an awesome crew, on Friday we cut about 100 pounds of scapes – ~400 more pounds to go! Purchase scapes by the pound through our online store (for pickup or delivery), or sign-up for one of our PYO nights in June – bring your friends and/or kids (just no pets, please)! For our pre-scheduled scape picking events you will walk away with a full bag of scapes (1-2lbs) per family at no charge. We hope to see you at the farm soon!

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