Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Old Scythe

My Dad was visiting last week and he and the kids decided to do a little barn clean-up. It really needed it! They uncovered many forgotten tools, and discovered and played with random items left in the barn. There was a broken mirror and they took it out to see how far the mirror could reflect sunlight. The light went more than 800 feet! An old piece of garden hose was used as a siphon to move water out of a bucket.

One discovery was of an old curved wooden scythe that belonged to my great grandfather at the turn of the last century. We took the scythe out to our very tall and bushy cover crop and the kids tried to see if they could cut 'hay' out of it. Here are some pictures.

After looking at scythes online I noticed that the handles should have been 90 degrees from each other, not at the same angle, and that perhaps they were a little too close together. The middle handle was a bit loose and was sliding on the shaft. Next time we will position it in the right place and tighten it up. We did wind up with a little bundle of fresh green 'hay'. Here is an old-tyme style photo for fun.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Green Garlic!

We are starting to sell our green garlic this week, and hope to move most or all of it soon - while it is still green. Once the bulbs get bigger, the skin will dry and we will have to cure it. Green garlic is best when the skin is still soft and easy to cut. It can be used in the same way as dried garlic in recipes and you can use it from tip to tip (root, stem and leaf), with no peeling. I tend to find it a little bit milder than dried garlic, so I use more, but you should test it yourself. Now is the time to find it in farmers' markets in California.

Above are some garlic cleaning photos. We peel off the outer leaves, trim the long green tips, and then wash the garlic before packing them into a box. The kids created a 'puppet' show with the garlic - roots were hair, bulbs were heads. There was a 'lady' garlic with a dress, and a 'cool' guy garlic with a flat top hairdo. Below is the 'lady' garlic.