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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Weedy Wednesday: Garlic! Garlic! Garlic!

Yes, I get just that excited about garlic. More about that in a minute.

First, I want to let you know that I am interviewed in a very cool Aussie book blog along with author Nicola Marsh, who used my "Witchcraft for the Paranormal Author" class as research for her book. Check out what we both have to say (and see how cool the book sounds) HERE

There are Things In the Air here... (and I'm not just talking about all the balls I'm juggling). Stay tuned this week to see what happens. If anything.

Today is a Weedy Wednesday post, when I feature some aspect of my garden. This week, I'm all about the garlic. And why wouldn't I be? Garlic is one of nature's wonders--it tastes amazing, has the medicinal properties of an antibiotic [Fun fact: during WWI, when the Russian Army ran out of antibiotics in the field, they used garlic instead. You're welcome.], and is easy to grow. I'm a big fan of easy :-)

If you've never grown garlic, this is what it looks like:
The actual garlic bulb is underneath the ground where you can't see it.
Garlic is an allium, related to onions and chives. It is planted in the fall, and then in the spring it is the first thing up in the garden. It couldn't be easier to grow. Take a head of garlic and break it into individual cloves. Poke a hole in the ground about 2 inches deep and place one clove in it, with the pointy end sticking up. Ta da! You've just planted garlic. You don't need to buy a special garlic from a supplier--just plant the kind you most like to eat. There are many varieties, but they are divided into two basic types: stiff neck and soft neck. The soft neck kind is what you see braided, so if you want to be able to braid your garlic when you've harvested it, get that kind. I like the stiff neck, because it tends to have fewer but larger cloves and is easier to peel.

Garlic is harvested in mid to late summer, when the bottom leaves start turning brown. Before that, you will want to clip the "scapes" or the flowering stalk that comes up from the middle. Not only do you want to remove this bit because then the energy of the plant goes into making larger bulbs instead of useless and not very pretty flowers, but you can also use the scapes in cooking. They have a mild garlic flavor and are good in stir fries.

This week was harvest time. I pulled the garlic out and let it rest for a few days, then cut the bulbs off the stalks and trimmed the roots off the bottoms.


And there you have it--this year's garlic harvest.
The heads will be spread out in a single layer to cure (dry) and then about half of them (the biggest and best ones, since the biggest cloves make the biggest plants) will be replanted in the late fall for next year.

As for the rest, why, I'll eat them of course.

If you really love garlic, you might want to try making garlic aoli, which is a kind of REALLY garlicky mayonnaise. Here's a recipe on Food.com garlic aoili recipe . Otherwise, you can just cook up a big pot of spaghetti sauce, or saute it with onions and mushrooms to serve with your next barbequed steak. Yum.




9 comments:

  1. And now I need to go raid next door's veggi patch for the garlic that they're growing....

    This looks amazing Deb!

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    1. Thanks Lisa. And don't let your neighbors know I sent you :-)

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  2. Yum, garlic! Haven't grown it, but would definitely like to in my someday-garden. The garlic in the grocery stores is so variable as to quality and levels of overripeness.

    You sure you have enough to get you through the winter there? ;)

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    1. Maybe. If I don't get too many colds :-)

      Also, CONGRATS!

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  3. I wonder if you can grow garlic in a pot? I might just try that.

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    Replies
    1. It would have to be a large pot, but I don't see why not.

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  4. Right, now I'm craving garlic... :)
    Love garlic, have always loved it. :D

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