Here at OUR ECOVILLAGE we grow garlic every year. School groups come in the fall and plant garlic and then at this time of year, after the school year is over, they usually come again to harvest the tops of the garlic plant called scapes. It is one way that we empower young people to do hands-on projects that they can see the results of with little work.

Garlic is a low-maintenance crop, so the patch pictured here is located in what Permaculture designers call “Zone 5”, an area at the back of OUR land that we visit rarely.

As you support OUR Ecovillage’s mission and vision, you are joining in with us in obtaining a yield every Thursday.

This week we found a recipe that combines both the Garlic Scapes and Lemon Balm that you are receiving in your box.


Garlic Scape Lemon Balm Pesto


1 cup chopped garlic scapes (about 8 or 9), top flower part removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup sunflower seeds or other nut of choice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for topping

1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or other hard cheese of choice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper



Place the garlic scapes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are broken down, about 30 seconds.

Add the nuts and pulse until they are combined with the garlic scapes, about 15 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper.

Turn the food processor to blend, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Turn it off the processor and scrape the sides again.

Add the lemon balm leaves, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and process until it reaches the desired texture. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

Use immediately, store in the refrigerator, or freeze for later.

To refrigerate: Pour the pesto into glass jars, top with olive oil, cover and store in the refrigerator for about a week.

To freeze: Pack into freezer safe containers, label, and freeze for up to one year.

Makes about one cup of garlic scape lemon balm pesto.