This Saturday the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market will host the second monthly Food Fest.
Building on the success of ‘prawn fest’ last month, this month’s feature is Early Veggies.
With the onset of the scape season, green garlic will play a strong role in the samples created by local chef and grower Laura Agnew from As You Like It catering and product line. Laura is passionate about local food and creating fresh and dynamic flavours from seasonally available local herbs and veggies.
What is a scape anyway? Basically they are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers.
These stalks start to appear a month or so after the first leaves. They are usually cut off of the plant, since leaving them on diverts the plants strength away from forming a plump bulb. If left on, they eventually form small bulbils that can be planted to grow more garlic, but it takes two to three years for them to form large bulbs.
Many gardeners simply toss their scapes in the compost, but garlic scapes are not only beautiful, but edible and delicious, as are the bulbils.
Harvest them while they are still curly and tender and use them as you would chives, or garlic either fresh steamed or sautéed.
Don’t grow garlic?
That’s where the market comes in. With their popularity on the rise, scapes are now common produce at most local farmers’ markets.
Scapes appeared last week at the Comox Valley Farmers Market to the delight of those who are familiar with them. But buy them when you see them since the season is very, very short.
Chef Laura will use scapes to complement the various early veggies that are available at the market this month including salad greens, peas, strawberries, early beets and carrots. Tastings and recipes will be on hand as well as growing advise and lots of inspiration from your local farmers.
— Comox Valley Farmers’ Market