Column: Half-Acre Happenings Crystal Larder

Garlic is my favourite thing to grow and one of the best things about it is scape season.

Garlic is my favourite thing to grow and one of the best things about it is scape season.  Garlic scapes are the tender, curling stalks that shoot up from most hardneck varieties. Traditionally farmers snap them off as it’s believed to direct more energy to the bulb below ground, resulting in larger heads. If  left on the plant they will eventually stand straight and tall, producing a bulbil on top that can be used to expand and strengthen your seed garlic stock. The straightening of the stalk is a sign that it’s time to stop watering your garlic and it will be ready to harvest three to four weeks later. I like to leave at least a dozen scapes on for each variety and have been enjoying experimenting with growing the resulting bulbils.

Beyond it’s usefullness in the garden the garlic scape is a culinary delight that is only available for a few weeks each year, if you are lucky enough to find them! They are similar to asparagus in texture but with a garlic bite.

Cooking scapes will mellow them out a bit, they are delicious lightly steamed or grilled with a dash of balsamic vinegar. They can be chopped and used anywhere you would use garlic — you can even pickle them. Just like asparagus, scapes can become woody towards the end of their short season but don’t despair, they can still be dried and used for spice mixes.

Garlic scape pesto is a family favourite. I make a base of scapes, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and pepper and freeze it in jars to be used throughout the year. You can make endless pesto combinations from that point by simply switching up the types of nuts and cheese. It makes a superb addition to roasted potatoes, sauces and stirfrys.

Garlic scape season is fast and furious, if you blink you might miss it so keep your eyes peeled at your local farmers market for this tasty treat!

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Doukhobor Heritage Society seeks zoning change for water plant

Questions remain on how taking 500,000 litres a day from aquifer would affect local water supply

Can the Arrow Lakes ecosystem be restored?

With cooperation and coordination, a local environmental group says it can

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

Former teacher acquitted on two of four sex charges

Judge found no evidence to support sexual assault charges against Shanny McIvor

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Most Read