Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Ok I know I had one of these posts earlier, but it was so apropos for today. I went out in the morning and had the most wonderful surprise. My garlic has scapes. Whoohoo! I haven't grown garlic in at least a decade. Then I didn't understand that scapes were more than just flower stalks. I snipped them off, but didn't know you could eat them.

Now that I've harvested them I'll have to figure out what to dow with them. The have the most delectable smell. Soup? Stirfry? If you have a favorite recipe for scapes, put a link in the comments section.

As I was carrying my treasure inside, I noticed the dog seemed really interested in the grass. I looked over and noticed a nest on the ground. Oh no! I was hoping that it was a nest from a previous year and it had just come down in the wind last night.

No such luck. This image certainly brought me down from my garlic high. It looks like it was a robin's nest and the eggs were new. Sob! I love my robins. I didn't even know there had been a nest there. I see the birds all the time, but I rarely see nests in my yard since the birds usually pick way up in the trees. I've heard that robins don't build very well made nests. This nest seems well made. It just wasn't attached to the tree well enough.

When Mother Nature picks some of my plants to destroy she seems so capricious. The loss of house and children just seems cruel. I know it is the way in the natural world, but I hope they learn from this and their next nest is better attached.


  1. OMG that's so sad! :( Was it really that windy in your parts? I hear it's supposed to be really windy over here tonight. I hope my plants will be okay.

    BTW, I never knew robin's eggs were so blue.

  2. Awww...thats terrible to find.
    Your garlic is gorgeous...mine hasnt done that yet. We have had so much rain I hope it doesnt rot!

  3. Cynthia, It is sad. The weird thing is that there wasn't bad wind last night. There was a storm that was going to the south of us, but the closest personal weather station to us (just a couple miles away) says the worst wind was only 11 mph. That is just a mild wind. I'm just guessing it was a robin from the size of the eggs and the fact that we get so many of them around here. I always thought they were more baby blue myself.

    Susan, thanks. I keep having to water because the storms keep missing us. The storm last night was supposed to give us rain, but it never made it this far north. It seems that happens every time now.

  4. I've never grown garlic so I enjoyed seeing yours. Hope someone shares a yummy recipe with you. So sad about the Robin's Nest. We had some bad rain & wind last night and some of my plants suffered some damage. Mother Nature isn't always kind.

  5. I am very strict about keeping the robins from building nests on our patio rafters, after having to personally euthanize two baby robins who fell from a nest and suffered terrible injuries. It was heartbreaking, and not something I ever care to do again. If a robin happens to get the job done, and I don't catch her in time, I swear....I'll build a hammock under the nest to protect those little ones!

  6. A robin built a nest on one of our front porch lights. The babies were about 4 days old, and when we got home from work that day, they were gone. We didn't see the parents again. I don't know what got them, but it sure made me sad.

  7. Garlic scapes??? I've never heard of those!! I'll have to look those up online because it's a brand new thing for me.

    And soooo sad about the robins. How heartbreaking... You need to check out my friend's blog - She's got a nest of 4 baby robins that she's following on her blog. I think you're supposed to put the nest back in the tree, right? I'm not sure, of course, but I think that's the thing to do, although it'll probably just blow out again.

    I'm easily saddened when stuff like that happens to animals...

  8. Sad so sad Daphne, I haven't seen a Robins egg before, what a lovely color it got.

    Greetings from Tyra in THE GREENHOUSE

  9. perennialgardener, I hope someone shares too, but right now it isn't looking like anyone has recipes. I'll have to go do a search online.

    Annie's Granny, I don't know of any other bird that can't keep their nest stable. I wonder why robins have such a hard time.

    Kim, how sad. With all the stories about how robin babies die I'm shocked we still have so many robins around.

    Kate, ah the joy of reading blogs :> you get to figure out new things. That is how I found out you can eat the scapes. When I had garlic years before I hadn't a clue. Sadly there is no way for me to put the next back. I don't know where it came from. The trees in that area are 50' high. The lowest branches are about 30'. Even if I could find the spot, I'd never get up there.

    Tyra, they are a pretty color. I always wonder why eggs have such different colors.

  10. My garlic have been putting out those flower things for a little over a week. Should I be picking them off? I sure hope my garlic are ready for harvest in July as I already have leeks started to take their place.

    I have been following a red winged blackbird nest since finding it about a month ago. It went from 4 eggs to 3 babies to 2 babies and now all that is left is one dead one. I hope at least one of them made it.

    Also, my tatsoi plants are bolting which is a bit of a bummer. Should I reseed some now or wait and plant it for a fall crop? The chard's are doing well, I do need to start a leaf miner clearing program though.

  11. Yes cut them off and eat them :> they are wonderful. Since they are flower heads they will use up some of the strength of your plant so you want them off if you eat them or not. The only reason to leave them would be if you wanted the little bulbils that form on them. I hear they take about 3 years to form a real head of garlic once they are planted. For me that is way too long.

    It depends upon your weather. I can grow it all summer long if my summers aren't too hot. But I have a marine climate. Most inland areas get too hot. If your spring crop bolted it is either stress or heat or just age. It almost always bolts by about 40 days, but then it forms a pretty full size head. If it bolted before that it is stress or heat. My summer crops never gets as big as my spring and fall crops.

  12. I just did a post like this--The Good, The Scary, and the Really Ugly. We're trying garlic for the first time--fall planted. It overwintered nicely, as did the shallots. The shallots sent up scapes but not the garlic. So we've been having shallot scapes. Last night I made angel hair pasta with shrimp and snow peas. The snow peas were yellow and purple so I used the scapes for some green color.