As a beginner farmer having lots of fun but hesitant in spending too much money on balcony farming, regrowing food seems to be the obvious go-to step. Especially if you enjoy experimenting, and are naturally curious, which I am!
Green garlic 蒜苗 is quite common and popular in Taiwan, but I still didn’t know much of it offhand, such as how it grows from garlic bulb, is it the same as garlic scapes, etc. Of all I’ve learnt these 1.5 weeks balcony farming, this might be the most important reminder of all. To put more thought into what we consume; where they come from, and how they grew to become who they are today.
The Kitchn does a good job explaining the differences between green garlic and garlic scapes. On instructions for growing and harvesting green garlic, I liked Garden Betty‘s post the most. Main points to remember:
- Green garlic are basically younger garlic with tender leaves, before the buds (scapes) form.
- You normally plant them from garlic cloves
- They are very tasty and can be eaten raw or cooked
- Garlic is a natural pest repellant, so it might help ward off pest from your other crops (Yay!)
Highlight on point number 2: You normally plant them from garlic cloves
What to do if I had the leftover bottom of a green garlic like below?
I’m not sure why the roots are sooo long compared to Garden Betty’s photos, hmm… but being the experimenter then I am, I had to try it out. So here’s the plan:
- Soak in water, submerge the roots, but just barely soaking the bulb (was afraid it would rot from too much water)
- Change the water daily, while using a spray bottle to spray water directly to its center
(Observation: The water gets murkier / cloudier and smells faintly of garlic, which is different to the generally clear water of celery or basil. Hence the daily changes of water are even more essential.)
Here is Mr. Green Garlic five days later:
Ta-da! I see green, I see sprout-like things, I see an alive-looking green garlic! I think I should bury the entire bulb when planting, so I’m going to wait until the center stalk grows a little more before planting Mr. Green Garlic here into soil. Maybe one or two more days.
For better record-keeping, here are the day-by-day images:
Of all the people I know, my father-in-law loves green garlic the most. Hearing of my new experiment (he was very excited by the way and requested for endless supply if the experiment succeeded), he graciously provided me with two more green garlic ends last night. They came with super mega roots too… maybe green garlic in Taiwan just have more roots?
Today is their second day, and they look promising so far.
Project #regrowingfood continues!
The Vege Girl Project: Day 13