Fall is the time to plant garlic, and as garlic is one of my favorite foods, I planted enough bulbs to almost completely cover the entire area of my two raised beds. The only area not planted in garlic is growing kale. I think I could live the rest of my life on nothing but garlic and kale.
And now all I have to do is . . . wait. The hardest part! I'm so looking forward to seeing shoots peeking through the leaves this spring!
Besides the amazing flavor and culinary diversity of garlic, it's pretty much a miracle substance. I call it a "substance" because, well, what is garlic, really? Is it a food? A spice? An herb? A medicine? It seems to fit into each of these categories but none explain it fully. It's too diverse to be pinned down to a single label. Did you know that garlic has been used medicinally for over 5000 years? It's antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. It's lipid lowering and anti-inflammatory. Garlic is great for all sorts of infections, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, imbalances in intestinal flora, boosting the immune system, warts, cold and flu, ear infections, burns, circulation problems, and yeast infections. In fact, garlic is good for almost any ailment; the only time it's not recommended is around the time of surgery because of its blood thinning properties.
I was very intimidated by the thought of growing my own garlic. I have no idea why. Perhaps because it isn't anything like your typical garden vegetable, but so far the process is completely non-intimidating. We shall see if I'm singing the same tune this spring.
One of my favorite uses for garlic is in my famous hummus. I like a really garlicky, lemony hummus, and this is just the recipe for it. What about you? What are some of your favorite garlic recipes? I hope to be needing lots of them this spring and summer!