Before I share about the Garlic Scape Pesto, I want to introduce you to a very special family and the farm they call home. It is this farm, among several others, that provide our community and beyond with a bounty of fresh, organic veggies and eggs throughout the growing season.
Prairie Bottom Farm is a 20 acre farm that sets in the Ebey’s Landing National Reserve. It’s a stone’s throw from the Port Townsand-Coupeville Ferry and is nestled in the heart of Whidbey Island, about two hours North of Seattle.
They are a vital resource to our community not only providing access to fresh veggies and eggs, but they are a part of a collective of small, organic farms here on the Island that foster sustainable care of the land, people and animals.
Currently teaching and farming, Wilbur is a 5th generation farmer, on Whidbey Island. Julieanna grew up working the farms of Skagit Valley, yet college and a subsequent professional career took her away from farm life. She returned to farming full time five years ago, leaving the corporate world, putting her skills and energy into her and Wilbur’s farm. Together, they’ve been farming Prairie Bottom for seven years.
Prairie Bottom full-time farmer, Janiece said “I was only going to stay for 6 months, and I’ve been here for five years!” Kimbra and Brandon (not pictured) are both farm interns. And that cute little guy, Henry, he joined the farm five years ago. Perhaps he’ll be running Prairie Bottom in the future (6th generation?)?
I visited on a very cold, blustery, grey day in April to talk with the farmers. The wind was gusting from Puget Sound and across Ebey’s Prairie. Despite the blustery weather, the farmers were planting sweet onions. The 70-some free range hens, roosters, and Tom turkey didn’t seem to mind the cold.
Kimber was on her second trip, out of four, to collect eggs. I took a short break in the warmth of the hoop house (green house) where I found rows of seedling planter boxes which included tomatoes, peppers, peas and romanesco, among others.
Prairie Bottom Farm is the farm Rob and I purchased this year’s Community Supported Agriculture Share (CSA) from. We purchased a partial, or 3/4 share, because last summer, we found a full share was just a bit too much for the two of us. We purchased our share early where we saved about 10% on what a share would cost if we had waited to buy it now.
Even if we missed this window of savings, the benefits of purchasing from local farms exceeds any monetory savings of sourcing food elsewhere. I’ll be talking more about the benefits of supporting local farms, eating locally produced food and more about Prairie Bottom next week.
Until then, lets talk about these gorgeous scapes, direct from Prairie Bottom Farm!
Scapes may be challenging to find, although I have seen them at co-ops, farmers markets and through CSAs. They have a short season in the Spring, so if you see them, buy them up! They have a delicate yet pungent, spicy, garlicky flavor.
This recipe is so easy to whip up. It is vegan, however, if you’d like to try a cheesy version, try my Garlic Scape Pesto with Pecorino.
I typically make multiple jars of pesto, in small batches, and freeze it to enjoy throughout the many months scapes are no longer in season. It can be used like any other pesto but my personal favorites include using it on pizza, crostini, stirred into soups or on pasta.
Do you know where to find your most local farm or farmer’s market? If not, check out Local Harvest. It’s an excellent resource to find local food!
Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto
- 10 Garlic Scapes 154g
- 1/3 C Walnuts 30g
- 2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast 12g
- 1/2 Lemon juiced
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil 73g
- Trim the garlic scapes by cutting just below the bulb. Discard the bulb/tip and cut the scapes in about 1" pieces.
- In a food processor, add the scapes, walnuts, yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process by pulsing until the mixture begins to break down. Scrape the bowl down.
- With the processor running, slowly add all the olive oil. Continue to process until all the ingredients are incorporated and broken down, about 30-45 seconds, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Store in a covered container in the fridge and enjoy within a week. Also, you can freeze the pesto in a jar or in an ice-cube tray. Once frozen, in the ice-cube tray, remove and place in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
Thank you for reading! If you make this recipe, be sure to post it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter notify me @vanillaandbean and tag #vanillaandbean! I’d love to see what you’ve made! Follow me on Pinterest, too, for even more deliciousness!