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Here’s the scoop: You have to try garlic ice cream

By Don Fennell

Published 3:08 PDT, Wed August 14, 2019

The initial thought leaves most people shaking their heads in disbelief. Then, curiosity takes over and the courage to try garlic ice cream wins out.

The initial thought leaves most people shaking their heads in disbelief. Then, curiosity takes over and the courage to try garlic ice cream wins out.

“It’s really popular and it sells out fast every year,” says Sarah Drewery, executive director of The Sharing Farm, which is putting the final ingredients together for its annual Richmond Garlic Festival Sunday, Aug. 18. “I think it is popular because it sounds so strange but actually tastes really good. I think people are intrigued to try it.”

This year, adds Drewery, organizers are excited that (Vancouver-based) Earnest Ice Cream is coming aboard as the new ice cream sponsor.

With a base of vanilla or honey and cream, to which the ancient species in the onion genus is added, garlic ice cream has become a staple at many garlic festivals. It’s even made its way onto the menu at San Francisco’s Stinking Rose.

Popular the world over, the pungent vegetable is enjoyed in a variety of dishes. And, says Drewery, local organic garlic—if you can gets your hands on it—is especially tasty.

But while the savoury ice cream treat is arguably the main attraction, it’s just a small sample of what the festival—now in its 11th year—is serving up.

“It’s a really relaxed, grassroots festival in a beautiful setting; a little slice of rustic charm in the city,” offers Drewery. “Walking around the farm on a sunny day, sampling delicious food from local chefs and enjoying live entertainment makes a great day out.”

This year, for the truly brave, Drewery suggests picking up a small batch of garlic kombuca made by local brewers Bouche Kombucha.

All told, 11,000 bulbs of garlic have been grown at The Sharing Farm this year. West Coast Seeds will be preparing workshops throughout the day, and there will also be farm tours, live music and raptor flying demonstrations. The Kids Zone will be packed with fun activities in safe, natural surroundings. Kids can also make crowns from the garlic stalks, take part in interactive math games and play with our many low-waste, upcycled activities.

The basic premise of the festival is naturally organic, but Drewery says it is always evolving. Birds of prey demonstrations with expert bird handlers will be back for second straight year, educating and entertaining the crowd. These birds will also perform a number of flying maneuvers, acrobatics and speed, and dexterity drills.

Added to this year are free bicycle tune ups and seed saving demonstrations from Farm Folk, City Folk.

For Drewery, however, the highlight of the festival is the food.

“Local chefs from Vancouver and Richmond are volunteering their time to make delicious garlic based dishes, and the results are always incredible. I'm very excited to try as many as I can this year.”

The 11th Richmond Garlic Festival is being held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Terra Nova Rural Park, 2771 Westminster Hwy. The main festival parking is the field west of Spul’u’Kwuks Elementary School, which is entered from Barnard Drive.

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