I love Garlic. I love cooking and the base of any one of my stir-fryies is usually onions and garlic. Garlic has a spicy yet mild taste , unlike hot peppers which sometimes make your mouth feel like its on fire. It’s a good thing we grow a lot of garlic at our farm. This year we planted three thousand garlic bulbs. We planted two hard neck varieties called Music and Garston’s Plunder along with one softneck variety called Italian softneck.
The difference between a hardneck and softneck is that the softnecks have softer stems that are used for braiding. Softnecks are also better for storing. They can last for almost a year. Hardnecks have stronger flavour and a harder stem. They can produce scapes, where as softnecks can’t.
Scapes can be used in a variety of things. They are the flower of the garlic but are green, skinny and curl around. Most people look at their scapes and just throw them in their compost because they either don’t know they’re edible or they don’t know what to do with them. I like to stir-fry them with broccoli and kale. They also go well with eggs like in an omelette or in a pesto.
This year we had a ton of scapes so we decided to make garlic scape jam. Now you are probably thinking “ew garlic scape jam, disgusting” but if you ever try it, I think you would be very surprised. Inside the jam there’s scapes, white wine, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, spices and pectin. That’s it! It goes really well with cheese and crackers, burgers, hummus and even perogies. We booked the kitchen at Lush Valley where we had two epic scape jam-making sessions. The first one was on the hottest night of the year so everyone was super tired and boiling hot. We ended up making over 200 jars! We sell the garlic scape jam at the market so if you are ever at the market, come and try some!
This August is going to be very busy because of the 2nd annual Comox Valley Garlic Fest! The Garlic Fest was started at our farm last year and it was a hit. We had way more people than expected and everyone had lots of fun. If you didn’t make it to last year’s Garlic Fest, this year’s will be held at Amara Farm on August 10th from 12pm-4-pm. There will be different vendors selling garlic, tastings (if you don’t mind eating raw garlic), garlic inspired treats, a kids zone with hay jumping and face paint, local musicians and farm tours.
So if you love garlic as much as I do or know anyone who loves garlic, be sure to mention the Comox Valley Garlic Fest. I hope to see you there.
May all your seeds come true!