Organic Farming

What Exactly Are Garlic Scapes?

The 2019 farming season is already gone, however, I found a few pictures from garlic scapes harvest on Hugh’s farm and wanted to share them. Below there are also interesting health facts about the garlic scapes.

Garlic scapes have wonderful health benefits such as improving digestive health, offering protection against heart disease, aiding vision, detoxifying the body, and increasing bone health among others.

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Organic garlic scapes are becoming popular with chefs and if you’ve not cooked with them, you are surely missing out on mildly flavorful part of the garlic plant that’s readily available only for a limited time of the year. You can sauté them in your favorite pasta dish, or dry them to use during winter in roasts, soups or stir-fries. Here is everything you need to know about organic garlic scapes.

What exactly are garlic scapes?

Garlic scapes are simply the tender stem and long flower bud of a hardneck garlic plant. Garlic scapes are green, long stalks which grow out of the bulb and have a similar weight and makeup as green beans. They make an excellent addition to a flower bouquet and besides being used in the same way as garlic, they taste just like garlic.

Garlic has two harvests; garlic scapes are reaped in the late spring as well as early summer, and to make it even better, the bulbs are reaped later in the summer. The garlic scape should be pinched off to direct the energy of the garlic plant to the development of bulb instead of garlic bulb or a beautiful flower. This, therefore, means that once you harvest the scapes, you are actually taking part in its growing cycle.

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When are garlic scapes in season in Canada?

It is worth mentioning that the farming of garlic is dependent on the temperature of the soil. This means that they grow excellently when spring arrives and when the soil starts to warm up. With this information, therefore, garlic scapes are in plenty in late spring and early summer. If you head to Canada between late May and early July, you’ll be lucky to taste these delicious plants because this is the time they ‘re harvested.

What do garlic scapes taste like?

Garlic scapes have the same texture as asparagus, have a greener and fresher taste than real garlic bulbs and taste like a blend of scallion, onion, and garlic. According to experts, garlic scapes have tremendous health benefits such as improving digestive health, offering protection against heart disease, aiding vision, detoxifying the body, and increasing bone health among others.

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The difference between garlic scapes and ramps

Most people tend to mistake ramps for garlic scapes, but they are completely different. Scapes are garlic plant stem and taste just like garlic, but ramps or wild leeks are their own plant and taste like onion and leeks.

How are garlic scapes prepared?

The preparation of garlic scapes is simple and straightforward. First things first, the scapes have a little bulb on the tip. Therefore, cut the tip of the bulb and wash the scapes using clean water to remove any dirt and then cut them according to your personal preferences.

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Where to find garlic scapes?

If you are looking to have a taste of garlic scapes, you have so many options to choose from. You can find them in Asian supermarkets, at farmers markets as well as independent grocers like the Urban Fresh Produce located at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, or purchase them directly from farms like Quebec and Bradley Creek garlic Farms in Forest Grove. In season, you can also order garlic scapes through Mama Earth Organics and have them delivered to your doors.

How to store garlic scapes and how long the can keep

Under normal conditions, garlic scapes can last for nearly two weeks. If you’d like them to keep longer, chop them into smaller pieces and then freeze them in plastic bags.

 

Photo Source: McVean Farm – Hugh Phillips Farm

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