Garlic Scapes


Garlic scapes, also known as “poor man’s garlic”, are immature flower heads and stems cut from the tops of garlic shoots as they emerge in early summer.  Hard neck varieties of garlic have long stems that protrude in the spring, slowly unraveling until they stand upright and the flower develops at the tip.  They are cut off before they straighten out and develop a full flower head to prevent the plant’s energy from being spent on developing seed.  This keeps the garlic bulb large and potent in flavor for harvesting in July.  Garlic scapes provide a mild garlic flavor that can enhance the taste of stir-fried meals or pasta dishes, and tide people over in spring until garlic is harvested later in July.  They can be stored in the fridge and should be chopped stem and all into small pieces for cooking.


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Medicine Wheel Garden (C6-7)

This area is inspired by traditional Indigenous Medicine Wheel gardens. The four quadrants represent the four directions and four seasons. We created this garden to provide an opportunity to learn, teach and honour traditional Indigenous practices, perspectives and being.

  • North – Kiiwedingong: This section represents the winter. The winter is the place of wisdom, The bear teaches about fasting as it hibernates and rests throughout the winter months. Sweetgrass is braided to remind us of the strength we gain when our mind, body and spirit is balanced.
  • East – Wasbingong: This section represents the springtime and new life. The eagle is the messenger between the people and the creator and teaches us we need to be thankful for creation and to live in a good way. Life is a gift. To honour that gift we have been given tobacco. Tobacco is used as a sign of thanksgiving and to remind us to be grateful and humble for all aspects of life.
  • South – Zhaawanong: This section represents the youth, summertime and nurturing. The deer teaches us the importance of generosity and sharing, The cedar is used as a cleansing medicine for the body and soul.
  • West – Epangishmok: This section represents the adult stage, autumn harvest. West is the berry stage. It is here the growth from the summer has come to ripen. The berry teaches us forgiveness and peace. It honours the cycle of death and rebirth. The buffalo teaches us to look within ourselves for guidance. Sage is used by Indigenous people to clear their minds and hearts, preparing for the rest of life’s journey.
  • The Centre: The rose in the centre tells us that life is like a rose. The thorns remind us of the up’s and down’s in the journey of life. As the flower dies each year come winter, we remember that we too are reborn after self-reflection, dedication and acceptance. The centre reminds us to find balance in our own lives and maintain our fire within. How is your fire burning?


– Etobicoke Outdoor Education Centre