Happy summer, everyone. It’s been quite the good growing season this year, a welcome contrast to the last one. With all the heat and sunshine lately, things have been taking off. Deryk went around the garden the other day and took pictures of how things are doing, and some of the tricks we use to maximize yields in a small space. Click below to check out the public photo album on Facebook. His captions tell the story.


Baby pattypans

Chard and kale companions

Golden russet apples forming

Garlic scapes are on the latest things that we’ve been reaping from the gardens. For those of you who haven’t heard, garlic scapes are the immature flower stalks of the garlic plant. They are deep green, succulent, and crisp, and they carry that famously pungent garlic flavour—with their own twist. And twisted they come, coiled like snakes. We farmers pick off the scapes, both to direct more of the plant’s growth into the bulb, and to satisfy those early summer cravings of this delightful delicacy.

We brought our first harvest of scapes to the market today, but we’ll have more next week. On Wednesday, An is going to try out the Wednesday Market at Annapolis Royal, which runs from 10am to 2pm. And they don’t sell out that day, you can expect us to have them again next Saturday.

Here is a recipe for a creamy, nutty garlic scape dip that a friend shared with me and Laire when we had our urban farm in Nelson a few years back. We loved it so much that we’d make a new double batch every week until all our scapes were used up. It was a hit with everyone—even fussy 9-year-olds. Surprisingly addictive, we had it at parties, on camping trips, and during our lazy summer afternoons at our favourite beach. Try it with crackers, tortilla chips, veggie sticks, or experiment!

Creamy, Nutty Garlic Scape Dip

Garlic scape dip

Serves 4 to 6.

  • a dozen (1 bunch) garlic scapes
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or experiment with another hard cheese)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • a few tbsp. sour cream and/or mayonnaise
  1. Wash the garlic scapes and cut off the flower tips so you are left with just the crisp, curly stem part. Chop them coarsely.
  2. Add the scapes, almonds, sunflower seeds, and parmesan cheese to the food processor. Process for a minute or so. Then add the olive oil and pulse until you have a pesto-like consistency.
  3. Put the “pesto” into a small bowl and mix in the Greek yogurt.
  4. Finally, mix in a few tablespoons sour cream and/or mayonnaise. You can vary these to your tastes. I like a bit of both.

This dip keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll finish it on day 1 or 2.

About Farmer Paul

Paul grew up in a yuppie-laden Toronto suburb, though he lucked out having been raised by eccentrics who rejected the neighbourhood status quo and converted the lawn into organic gardens. In his starry-eyed 20s, his obsession with living sustainably subdued his interest in high-tech anything (somehow scraping by with a computer science degree all the same). His interest in farming was piqued while apprenticing at Everdale, an organic farm in Ontario, and studying permaculture design in BC. He's since operated three market gardens, and now takes a lead in garden management and cheesemaking at Snow Lake Keep.

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