Monday, September 27, 2010


Starting your own food production can be somewhat daunting for those who have not considered it.  Between the dirt, worms, and digging many may not sense the immediate appeal of the task.  That's why it may be good to start small and easy.  Something to stick your toe in the water without diving in head first.  Garlic might be a good place to start. 

How often do we eat garlic and not even think about it?  Italian food including spaghetti, lasagna, and pizza. Asian food from around the world including Chinese, Philipino, and Thai.  And, garlic bread.  For me, garlic bread holds a separate category of it's own because I am happy to munch a whole loaf with salads, soup, or many common entrees.

Some of the reported health benefits of garlic include:
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improve blood circulation
  • prevent cold and flu
  • reduce bad cholesterol
  • prevents clotting of the blood
  • reduces risk of heart diseases
  • source of Vitamin B6
  • regulates intestinal bacteria

Wikipedia has a wealth of information about garlic including the history and production trends throughout the world that report China, India, and South Korea being the top three producers with the United States coming in 6th place. 

September is the planting month for garlic and Frugal Living NW has an article that shows you how.  For those of you who don't want to step outside or have a place where you can plant garlic can also be planted indoors.  And here is a video for those who would like to see the process, complete with a commercial and tips about the uses for getting rid of vampire problems.

Where to buy garlic
Can you believe there are over 300 varieties of garlic? It would be nice if you could run to your grocery store and buy a head of garlic to plant.  That may work however they may have been sprayed with a chemical to prevent growing.  Better to pick up some fresh from your local plant nursery or order from a catalog such as the ones listed below.  Just looking through them may get you motivated for your spring garden plans.  Gurney's has been a major provider for years.  For Canadian readers this site has much good information including ordering, storing, and recipes. 

Photos from google


Practical Parsimony said...

Garlic is delicious, but mine starts deteriorating as soon as I get it home. So, planting garlic is a good option for me. I really don't want anything from China, which is where all the garlic in the stores around here originates. I read packages. Even using it to grow my own sort of creeps me out.

When I go to the market this Saturday, I can buy a bulb that was grown locally, knowing it has been grown in my climate and likely to succeed again.

Plus, local garlic will surely have less toxins. I suspect anything grown in China has been grown in some sort of toxic sludge or runoff...Ewwww.

Garlic will probably have to be grown up high to keep the hens from scratching it up like they do all my flower bulbs!

Thanks for reminding me.

Jesse said...

I love garlic, but my brother in law actually eats it's quite disgusting to be around him afterward as garlic quickly gets in your system and starts seeping out your pours...

Through this experience I have learned that garlic is much more like an onion than you may think. It's moist and soft under the paper shell and has a lot of great uses.