garlic

Garlic Breath Warning…

In the gardenIn the kitchen

I planted my first crop of garlic way back in March and have been faithfully weeding and waiting (im)patiently for the bulbs to form.  After 8 long months in the ground, I harvested last month and my clothes rack is now draped with nearly 100 bulbs of garlic drying out for storage.  Consider yourself issued with a perpetual garlic breath warning…

Garlic is something we eat all year round, most days even.  Local garlic can be difficult to source sometimes but I have developed a serious distaste for the imported stuff from China or South America, sometimes all you can buy in the supermarket.

Imported garlic is likely not very fresh, been in cold storage for a while and probably treated with some sort of growth retardant to stop it from sprouting.  All imported garlic is treated with methyl bromide before being allowed into Australia, and don’t get me started on the miles…

Growing my own means I know it contains no nasties and, because it keeps so well (in theory), I shouldn’t have to resort to that horrid imported stuff ever again!  It is worth mentioning the flavour of my homegrown cloves is vastly superior too – deliciously fiery and pungent.

If it didn’t take so long from sowing to harvest, I presume most people would have a go at growing their own.  The big garden allows me that space and time, but I appreciate not everyone has that.

Keeping on top of the weeding is also critical, and a bit time consuming.  I get teased regularly about my stubborn use of stringline in my plantings, but I have to say the neat rows of garlic made it easy to run the hoe through each week and keep the weeds under control.  Other than that, a regular watering was all they needed.

Now that I have an abundance of the stuff, I feel the urge to experiment with the famous French classic ‘Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic’.   How wonderfully excessive!  I’ve been reading up on the health benefits too – anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, anti-septic, even anti-cancer!  I downed a few raw cloves with some local honey the other week and promptly knocked an oncoming cold on its head.  Magic stuff.

Now, basking in my success, I can’t wait to get next year’s crop in the ground.  I’ve sorted through and identified which bulbs are split and need to be used first, bunched the rest for hanging in storage, and I’ve kept the biggest and best of this year’s harvest to re-sow.  They suggest about 10-15% should be held back for re-planting.  Here’s hoping the remainder will last me till next year.

 

First of the garlic harvested!

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