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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pickled Garlic Scapes

Pickled garlic scapes was how I was introduced to garlic scapes almost 20 years ago at the Elkhorn Ranch near Richmond, IN one night whole bartering German white hardnecked garlic for a bushel of ripe bell peppers. The pickled scapes were the first lesson on how to grow hard necked garlic-you got to take off the scapes in May for full size corms in July. But what to do with several hundred scapes when you have no market for them (something we developed later on)? You pickle them by the quart!
Scapes in the raw

Scapes cut into approx 3" section and the tips, but not the flower bud, removed

The brine-7 cups white vinegar and 7 cups water along with about 1/3 cup pickling spices and a TBL of cayenne flakes. bring to a boil

Packing jars and adding brine

Lids on and ready for the canner

10+minutes in a hot water bath

and they are done!

Boulder Belt vs Eggland's Best™ Eggs

Yesterday at the local Kroger's store I saw they had certified organic Eggland's Best™ eggs on sale for the stupid low price of 99¢ a dozen. So I bought a dozen, not to eat but to show the huge difference between what we raise-pastured hens fed certified Organic soy based feed plus all the leafy greens, berries, insects, seeds, etc they can get their little beaks on

Eggland's Best vs Boulder Belt Eco-Farm. Notice we reuse cartons and do not spend money for fancy plastic cartons and a label, a couple of sustainability points for BBEF!

Eggland's Best™ eggs and Boulder Belt Eco-Farm eggs in their cartons. Not much difference other than ours are unsized and tend to be extra large to jumbo and all the EB's eggs are large to medium. Oh and all EB eggs are stamped with their logo. So from the outside there doesn't seem to be much difference. I will assume we are both using golden comets for layers

But crack the eggs open and we see a world of difference. the pale egg with the runny white is the EB egg; the deep orange egg with the white that has structure is the Boulder Belt Eco-Farm Egg. Why pay $4.09 for a pale egg, devoid of much nutrition (despite the claims on the carton, I wonder how often they test their eggs to make sure their claims hold water?) when fpor a buck more you can get a dozen eggs that really are what they say they are?

As we can see the BBEF eggs are clearly better and when you cook with them and eat the resulting food there is no doubt you have found a truly great egg

(Edit-8-17-13) I was at the local Kroger store today and saw Eggland's Best Organic brown eggs for $4.09. That is not even a dollar less than what we charge for obviously superior eggs


A kitten met me at the door this morning. I suspect Tuttle brought her here in order to raise her. He has a strong maternal streak.