Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

Planting Autumn Garlic

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Planting Garlic with

Can you ever have enough garlic?  I know we used 10 cloves in tonight’s dinner  alone, so I’m already worried that we don’t have enough to last the winter.  After disappointing seasons of not being able to grow garlic at all we’ve had great results the last few years. With a little practice, garlic is one of the easiest and most satisfying crop to grow, no matter what size of garden you’re tending to.

Harvesting Garlic

A few years back we were given some county-fair-award-winning-garlic with firm instructions: Eat half and plant half. Do this for a few years and you’ll have what you need. We pick the nicest, biggest garlic heads to plant and then eat the rest. This year we’ve planted 320 bulbs all descended from just a few given to us a few years ago. This fall, we added one head of Mennonite garlic from Railway Creek just to mix things up.

Rebecca's Garlic Harvest

So let’s plant some garlic:

Mantis Tiller & Garlic Harvest

We’re starting a whole new bed this year since doubling your garlic ever year means eventually you’ll need more space. After finding a well draining spot we gave my brother Patrick and Ryan turns with the Mantis rototiller and had a great spot in no time. Once you’ve got a bed of nice loose soil, rake it smooth with a hard rake and then dig shallow trenches 4-6cm deep and 20cm apart (that’s about 2 inches and about half a foot).

Preparing to plant Garlic

Now take your heads of garlic and break them into individual cloves. Leave as much of the skins on as possible.

 Plant Garlic pointing side up

Plant them in the trenches pointy side up. I admit that in some earlier gardens I have planted garlic upside down. It really struggles to grow and wastes a lot of energy that should have gone into making a bigger bulb.  So pointy side up.

Much Garlic with Straw

Then cover it up with a hard rake and cover with mulch for the winter.  We use straw, dried leaves are another great option.

 Garlic Scapes

Then forget about it until spring when it will be one of the first things you see poking up and the next thing you know you’ll have scapes!

Some things to keep in mind:

Garlic likes loose, well drained soil and full sun.

You will want to pick and eat the scapes in the spring to ensure the plant puts effort into the garlic instead of into producing seed.

The less you bother garlic the happier it is, so plant it in your garden somewhere where you wont be tempted to fuss over it until it’s time to harvest late next summer.

Like most things in the garden, garlic planting isn’t an exact science. Rebecca planted the garlic in the 3rd photo in June this year and it grew wonderfully despite the fact that it really shouldn’t have.

Here are some articles if you need more information on growing great garlic:

Canadian Gardening has an informative article here:

You Grow Girl has planting instructions for containers and uses her dibbler instead of digging a trench:

Kale Caesar Salad; Eating Local in Prince Edward County

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Kale Caesar Salad from

Caesar Salad has always been in heavy rotation on our weekly menus and recently we’ve had some Caesar salad epiphanies.

Here is a list of simple caesar salad ideas that have made us a little giddy. And garlicky.

Chopping Kale from

Ceasar Salad is amazing with kale.  Romaine is nice, but kale is nutrient dense and filling and I actually find it easer to grow than lettuce.  Any sort of kale will do, Red Russian, Lacinato, any of the curly varieties. This time of year I always throw in a handful of dandelion greens since they’re so plentiful free and everywhere.


Recently I attended a workshop with cutco knives and I learned about chiffonade chopping. Learning something new makes me really happy. This is the perfect way to cut kale for a salad where you will be eating it raw.  The action of rolling the leaves before cutting them softens them up much like massaging the kale does in my raw kale and beets salad. Just tear out most of the stem, roll a few leaves together tightly and chop with a good sharp knife.  My understanding is that chiffonade is usually reserved for herbs and fine chopping and with kale you’ll want to chop roughly every inch or two.

Chopping Kale Chiffonade

Chopping Kale Chiffonade

 Chopping Kale Chiffonade

Chopping Kale Chiffonade

Mushrooms. Mushrooms really go with Ceasar salad. You can either throw them in as an gluten free alternative to croutons or serve them on the side. We’ve been buying these perfect little button ones straight from the Highline mushroom farm outside of Wellington, Ontario and they are delightful.

Kale Ceasar Salad

When we do feel like croutons the bakery just down the road from the farm  just happens to have a full selection of gluten free baked goods including perfect pumpernickel bread. We just toast up a few slices from Schroedter’s, chop it up and we’re good to go.

Some final thoughts:

Bacon is better than bacon bits, period. Fry up extra a breakfast and save it for your salad.

Salad is often our main course and I like to switch up what we serve on the side. It’s great with organic chicken, a good glass of local cider from the County Cider Company, a slice of lemon, sheep curds from Monforte.

Like most things, it’s best enjoyed while siting in a field admiring a day’s work.

 Picnic Salad with County Cider

Cubit’s Classic Basil Pesto Recipe

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

I make quite a bit of pesto in the summertime and it seems I have posted variations on our pesto recipe a few times too (here it is with garlic scapes, and then again with arugula). Somehow I keep skipping our classic basil version though. Which is a real shame as it is really so delicious! So without further delay, here is Cubit’s Classic Basil Pesto recipe.

It’s really quite simple and you can add or subtract ingredients based on what’s in season or your personal food rules (ie please feel free to just skip the cheese, this recipe can handle it).

4 cups of washed basil with stems and flowers removed
1 cup of pine nuts
¼ – ½ cup of olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
3/4 cups of parmesan cheese (if dairy free just skip the cheese)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon of salt
We mostly use the food processor but the mortar and pestle works just fine for small batches and mashing basil is an excellent toddler activity.
We start with the nuts and oil, move on to the garlic with salt and pepper, then add the cheese, and lastly toss in the basil.
We eat it on potato leek pizza, spread it on sandwiches and most importantly, heap it onpasta.
Etsy has such wonderful things and some of my favourites are included in this post. The gorgeous Mortar & Pestal is from Canadian woodworker Brenda Watts’ Cattails Woodwork. Our cutting boards are from Timber Green Woods. Lastly, I have fallen in love with these stitched ball jar labels from mud and twig and have been using them for everything. Now go make pesto!

The last of this Season’s Garlic Scapes

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

This is it, the last of this year’s scapes. I picked them last night, gave a handful to a neighbour who has been eyeing them, had Ryan roast some up with potatoes for last night’s dinner, and this afternoon I’ll turn the rest into this pesto with arugula and kale from the garden.

Combined with my grandmother’s pan and cutting boards from Timber Green Woods I can’t stop taking pictures. It’s a bit of an addiction.

Here are some of my favourite scape posts from around the internet. I’ve also been pinning scapes all over pinterest.

What are some of your favourite ways to enjoy these pretty and delicious garlic shoots?

Well Preserved’s Pickled Garlic Scapes and Pesto.

Shana’s roasting hers over on Folks Gotta Eat.

Karen is admiring hers for a bit after “borrowing” some and before eating them over at the Art of Doing Stuff.

Young Urban Farmer’s are making vegan scape pesto.


Instagram Updates. Now with More Scapes.

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

There’s so much going on right now that I’m having trouble writing any of it down. It’s all good, just a little dizzying.

Here’s a few quick instagram shots from the last few days and a promise that I will finish and hit publish on a bunch of half written posts.