Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Monday, July 21, 2014

A collection of adventures, in reverse chronological order

Oh hello dear reader, long time no see. I'm sorry. I haven't had much time to sit down and to actual blog posts, though I have been tweeting like crazy. There have been so many adventures that Sam, Dan, Mr. Cupcake and I have been up to so I'm going to do some binge posting for the next hour. I hope you will bear with me.

Saturday July 12th, I received an email invitation from Slow Food Utah to participate in a Farm Mob at Sandhill Farms in Eden. Show up, do some garlic harvest work, bring food for sharing for lunch, take a dip in the reservoir after lunch. Sounded good to me! My friend Emma from Wasatch Community Gardens and I went together (we had participated in an apricot harvest the night before) and had a great time doing good hard work and meeting lots of neat new people.

The first thing Marsha told us was that we could have as many garlic scapes as we wanted. Garlic scapes are the part of the flower that you actually cut off, usually around June, so that instead of flowering the plant puts all of its energy into fattening the garlic bulb. You can eat them, though they are a bit fibrous raw, so you usually steam them.

This place was amazing. They had an acre and a half devoted to 50 varieties of hardneck and one softneck garlic.

Hardnecks tend to be more interesting flavor-wise, and they prefer colder winters (you plant garlic in October, harvest in July), but they don't store as long as soft neck garlics do. It is soft next garlic that you buy in the grocery store. I have grown both before. Below is a rack on which to hang more soft necks.

They also grow lavender, though not for sale. Emma was bundling up lavender when we first arrived.

Brief orientation and introduction to the farm. They were expecting about 15 volunteers, but between Wasatch Community Gardens, Slow Food Utah, and Real Food Rising (as well as some friends of the owners), 30 people showed up to help!

Above are teen leaders from Real Food Rising. We were cleaning the dirt off the garlic that had been harvested a few days earlier. We used toothbrushes to clean the dirt off!

A view of the field from the garlic workshop.

Lunch was pretty spectacular, and I didn't take a full table shot (the table was getting mobbed by hungry gardeners!) but I thought this wooden bowl was especially beautiful.

More views of the farm.

At the end of the day, Roody and Marsha made all the rejected garlic available to everyone - anything that was ugly or too small or had been stabbed by a pitchfork in the harvest. I'd say I came home with quite a haul!

Then, later that day, we had the second of two neighborhood garden parties. We invited all our neighbors, and I invited some friends from the U, from Twitter, and from my community garden. Sam was uncommonly social for the first while until more than five people showed up. 

At the end of the night, I had about half our liquor cabinet on the counter as I was mixing cocktails for everyone.

The next day, Dan and I got busy making jam with the 20lbs of apricots I came home with on Friday.

My garden plots. The sunflowers are now taller than me, and I just strung up my tomatoes yesterday. The lettuce is done and the earwigs seem to be eating the greens off my beets.

Since Dan and I are such conservationists, Dan dried out the apricot pits (since we had a lot of them) and cracked the shells to get at the kernels inside. This is what is known as bitter almond and is what Disaronno is made from.

That it for this one! 

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