Monday, November 19, 2012


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.

I planted four varieties: Inchelium Red, Spanish Roja, Music, and Romanian Red. The night before planting I carefully separated individual cloves from the bulb. On planting day I placed the bulbs about five inches apart, labeled each row, and covered the cloves with one to two inches of soil.

Then I used our reel mower to chop up a big pile of fallen leaves. (In this picture the leaves don't look very chopped, but I assure you, they are.) I raked the chopped leaves into a cardboard box and dumped the box over my newly planted garlic cloves as a layer of mulch.

I had a very good leaf cruncher for a helper. She meticulously crunched one leaf at a time while studying every aspect of each leaf and taking breaks to chew on the stems.

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!


Sharon Telschow said...

Oh man, I just love it clove - top chopped and oven roasted in foil with some olive oil. When its done I just spread it over toast like butter. So good! I can't wait to see your garlic growth!

Maggard said...

You two are killing me with garlic talk! Love this post Lizard - definitely makes it seem doable and simple!!