Sunday, June 17, 2012

Garlic Harvest 2012, plus Pickled garlic buds and scapes

I apologize for such few posts recently, but I HAVE been really busy in the garden (plus I'm having some health issues on the side). This is my 2012 garlic harvest, better bulbs than I expected from just 2 short rows!

Actually, this photo is not all of them, just what I had already dragged up to the porch to dry when I took the photo. They will get hung to further dry in the tool shed in a few days. I think my harvest is more than enough to see me through the winter and still have enough cloves to replant in the fall.

The shallots and onions won't be far behind, but the leeks won't be harvested until early fall.

About a dozen or so of the garlics were hardneck, which develop a scape with a bud on top. I cut the scapes and put them in to lacto-ferment, cutting off the buds to ferment them separately since they don't keep as long.

Close-up of the seedheads...

The lacto-ferment "brine" and technique is easy. Use 1 tablespoon of non-iodized salt to each 2 cups of non-chlorinated/non-fluoridated water. Cover the foods with the brine, leaving a space at the top of the canning jar, and the lid loosely tightened to allow gas to escape. Use a weight of some sort to keep the food submerged if necessary. (I used a piece of plastic cheesecloth on the seedheads since they wanted to float. The scape pieces sank, so no weight needed.) Keep on a warm counter for several days as they ferment. (Caution: they may overflow, so I put mine on a saucer.) After about 7-10 days the fermenting (bubbling) will have ceased. Tighten the lids and store in a cool, dark place... or refrigerate.

I use Ball plastic lids to avoid the lids getting corroded.


  1. Hi!

    I have a question on the lacto-fermentation. This is the second time this week I have seen a recipe for lacto fermenting (the other was summer squash) where there is no whey in the ferment. I just started reading the nourishing traditions book and she talks about using whey. I only have goat milk and noticed an "off" taste in the one thing I tried to ferment so far.
    Any help would be appreciated.


    1. Kathy, I have made lacto-ferments both with and without whey for several years. If I happen to have whey from cheesemaking, I use it. If I only have fresh yogurt, I will often drain some for a yogurt cheese and use the whey for lacto-fermentation.

      In my opinion, all the whey does is jump-start the natural lactobacillus on the foods since whey already contains some lactobacillus. It just takes a bit longer to ferment without the whey.

      I cannot address the goat whey and an off-flavor since my whey is generally either from cow's milk or fresh plain whole-milk yogurt which I make 2-3 times a month.

  2. Thank you! I didn't know the bacteria was naturally occurring. My brain was only making the lacto-dairy connection.

    Thanks again :)

    1. You are welcome! Most folks don't know we have enough lactic acid on our skin to make several loaves of sourdough bread...

  3. I am sorry to hear of your health problems. I hope you are on the mend. The garlic bulbs look wonderful and very healthy! Excellent post.


I'd love to hear what you think about my posts! We all learn together.