I would have to say garlic is probably my favorite herb, I’m wild about garlic. I love the flavor, the smell, growing it… I love everything about garlic. Planting garlic in the fall for me signifies the beginning of fall and the hope for next years harvest. I enjoy digging in the dirt as the leaves are changing colors. I like to breathe deeply as the smell of the cooling autumn earth hits my nose. It’s like I’m tucking summer to bed for a long cozy nap under earth and mulch. There is also something wonderfully sustainable about garlic. You can save the cloves or bulbil and replant in the fall for next years harvest. Garlic cloves is a tasty herb and nutrition bomb all in one tidy little clove. No store needed…a full circle.
Garlic has been so favored thought history that is is mentioned in great works of literature like Homer’s Iliad (700 BC):
The draught prescribed, fair Hecamede prepares, Arsinous’ daughter, graced with golden hairs: (Whom to his aged arms, a royal slave, Greece, as the prize of Nestor’s wisdom gave:) A table first with azure feet she placed; Whose ample orb a brazen charger graced; Honey new-press’d, the sacred flour of wheat, And wholesome garlic, crown’d the savoury treat… – Book XI. Argument. The Third Battle, and the Acts of Agamemnon
What do I do with my garlic?
Talk about a health bomb! Ferments combined with garlic! It’s super easy, some salt, a jar, some clean water and poof! Here is some garlic from last years harvest that I fermented and stored in the fridge.
Roasted anything is pretty yum, I think you may see a trend on my blog. Roasted garlic, now this is amazing, its just beyond words….
Infused lard, tallow and vinegars-
One of the easiest things to do is make infused oils and vinegars. I prefer to roast the garlic and then infuse it into the fat of choice. It adds so much to bread, salads, roasted vegetables etc..
Many folks make something called fire cider. I have not yet made this but am working on using this recipe below to try this year. People claim it helps with digestion, colds and boosts immunity. I can’t speak for any of those claims but I am willing to make some to try for this winter.
I will take this by the teaspoon full or add it to some wildcrafted or home grown dried herbs. One of my favorite mixes, nettles, mullein and this garlic infused raw honey. It is a nice tea for a scratchy throat on a fall day.
Uses in the yard and on the homestead:
Planting under fruit trees for pests-
Garlic can deter mice and little chewing vermin that love to nibble on the trees under the snow. You can make a garlic spray for pests and to help treat plants with diseases, I will also be trying this next year.
Some but not all livestock can consume garlic, it can help with health and even in deterring bugs from pestering them. I’d do some good research here to make sure it is safe for your species of animal and specific breed.
Garlic Planting Experiment
My three year journey from bulbil to clove is seen below in the photos. You can see the size change as they progress in age. The little bulbil is planted just like normal garlic but you can plant it closer together. The second year I have a larger bulbil without any cloves. I could use this bulbil or plant it again to get the larger cloves like we are accustom to seeing.
All three of these are planted in my plot and spaced according to the size of the clove or bulbil. These photos obviously show a large breed of garlic called Elephant Garlic, it is botanically a leek but sold in the garlic section as garlic in catalogs and in online stores. I plant according to this method for my hard neck garlic varieties as well.
Why take the time to plant these and not eat them?
To grow my stash frugally.
So, off I go to stuff more tasty goodness under my fruit trees and in my garden! Fall has arrived in force here and I’m feeling the need to get things done quickly! You can listen to a recent podcast Harold and I did on garlic by following the link below. It’s available where podcasts are found.
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