Scapes are one of the beautiful bonuses of growing your own garlic. Snip while curly and you've got garlicky goodness with an asparagus-like texture and versatile appeal. The scape represents a particular stage in the life span of the garlic plant, so it's like an early birthday present from Mother Nature! We start harvesting our Scapes around the middle of June.
Harvesting Garlic Scapes is easy. It is best to wait for a nice dry afternoon so the cut stems heal up quickly. Then just cut the stems at the point where they meet the top leaf of the plant. We use pruning sheers because they leave a clean cut. Be careful not to damage any leaves.
Scapes should be firm but somewhat flexible and free of blemishes and moldy spots. As they age, scapes will fade and brown similar to what happens with a scallion.
Store your scapes in the refrigerator and use within a week. However, we have used ours up to 4 weeks later for pickling, relish or pesto and they are still great! The stalks will eventually soften and lose their punch. You may discard the flowery blossom at the end (Umbel Capsule), but it is still very edible and very appealing when serving. You can also blanch (quick boil) for 60 seconds, followed by an ice bath, then freeze for when you get a scape hankering later in the year.