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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
bower
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Default When to harvest rocambole scapes?

I want to know when is the best time to harvest my Spanish Roja scapes - I mean, do I let them curl once, twice, or ??? before snapping, for the best eating quality.

Yes we are very late here, I just harvested some porcelain scapes today and the Spanish Roja are not at all started yet - which is a good thing in the circumstances - later the better. My brother is getting married the third week in August, SIL is a chef, and I offered her these scapes for the weddin food preps. I know they can be kept in a fridge for a couple of weeks for the fresh uses... I'm not sure what she will do with them at all... but I want to be sure I harvest them when they are primo. TIA for your advice!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
pondgardener
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I grew Spanish Roja this year, which I got from Filaree Farms. And according to their home page:

Hardneck garlics send up a flower stalk in early June in northern climates and as early as March or April in warm climates. Before the stalk begins to turn woody, starts to uncoil, and begins to stand up straight, the stalk should be cut off 1/2 inch above the top plant leaf. This redirects the energy downward into the bulb.

But I usually trimmed the scapes off before they ever had a chance to curl very much.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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I personally go with one curl, but you could go a bit longer. Just be sure to get them before they start to straighten out.

If you do need to store them for a while, they will start to get woody and just like asparagus, you can bend the end and it'll snap apart where the woody part ends and the tender part starts. The longer you keep them, the higher on the stalk the snap point.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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And please let us know what your sister-in-law ends up doing with them!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Thank you both for the advice!
I knew they will start to get woody if left to develop too long...
I didn't realize that they also start to get woody in storage.
So for once I'm just hoping they are later than ever.
I read that the rocamboles are different because they will make two full turns before straightening. Last year I just nabbed them when they made the first turn, as I did with porcelains too. But if I harvest earlier for the tenderness, won't be anything gained if they get woody in storage too... just be a shorter amount of scape overall.
I also wondered whether the growing conditions affect the tenderness of scapes. We're continuing to have hot (for us!) dry weather so I've been watering the garlic like never before. (Seriously, some years no watering at all). I'll stop with the porcelains now because the scapes are off, but I guess I'll keep pumping it to the SR.
I have about 80 head of Spanish Roja this year, so that's a few scapes to work with. A whole extra bed of 58 got planted two weeks later with extra seed leftover from the farm. They are bigger plants and should have the nicest scapes... maybe the latest too.
Yes I will FD let you know what she does with them. She has made us some amazing taste treats in the past.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
oakley
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Great weather. ("good on clothes!")
Rare that we can't run the cook stove. Trinity Harbour is full of boats...well, maybe 12 It seems years since we have had such a good long stretch of clean days.
Lots of talk of wells running dry.

Fish for dinner, catching our quota.

The heat will speed up your garlic. I had a great harvest of scapes before I left NY.
And did notice one variety did get woody before others. So I harvested what I could
early. Made pesto, fresh fridge pickles, and froze a couple containers with sautéed
mushrooms and leeks. (the scapes I added off the heat of the pan at the end).

If they bolt, a quick pickle might be a way to preserve them. I also like to pickle them
with nasturtium buds. Wide mouth canning jar can go right into the freezer as another
option.

What a treat to have a chef in the family.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
bower
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Thanks for advice Oakley, and you are right... the heat is speeding them up and the first scapes tips were spotted this morning. So... they'll probably be ready to pick in a week or week and a half if I let them curl the more, which is still a full month before the wedding.
First time ever wishing something was later!
I suppose I should at least water generously to keep them as tender as possible in this dry heat.

I don't have a boat and am not getting my cod. My other bro and SIL just arrived and they have a sailboat but for some reason don't fish. It will take them a week to get it in the water anyway.

Caplin are rolling in Middle Cove too and probably (usually) at St. Philips beach a week later, I don't know if I will even get any of those. Whoops cranky moment. And BS for sure, I may not go fishing but I'll be surprised if no caplin turn up at my door.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Oakley, do you have a pickle brine recipe for that? Just curious, I make a lot of sweet pickles but am hankering for salty this time...
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