Does anyone know what garlic scapes are or what they are used for?
I didn't until about a month ago and I've been raising garlic four years.
It turns out that the shoots that come out of the stem late in the season to set seed, make great additions to omelettes, salads and stir fries. You cut them up like chives or green onions and place them in your food. The scapes give the stir fry, for instance, a mild garlic flavor without the strong smell. It's a great concept.
Last year, after clipping the scapes, I threw them on the compost pile not knowing they could be used as an ingredient in certain foods we eat.
Several weeks ago, while on a high-tunnel farm tour, I was told by a Canadian counterpart that she uses them in stir fry and this happens to be all the rage in Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage La Prairie.
On that same tour, one of the tour guides, an Extension agent from Bagley, Minn., said he sells garlic scapes at the Bemidji Farmers' Market.
Returning to western North Dakota, I cut the scapes from 1,000 garlic plants and ran an ad in the regional newspaper to sell them, telling people to call evenings. It's been several days and I haven't received a call yet. It leads me to believe that the general public isn't aware of this nutritious alternative to garlic.
I'll debut them at the local farmers' market on Wednesday and see what kind of response I get. In the meantime, Ilene and I sure are enjoying them.