Garlic, one of my favorites!

I have heard before, don’t know if it’s true, that in the Middle Ages, garlic and onion were considered the common man’s herb. The low life folks food. Guess that’s me then!  My garlic was amazingly wonderful this summer. I will be using these same garlic cloves, that I harvested in July, to reproduce itself for me next summer.

It is truly one of the many things that keeps me going about gardening. It’s many miracles. People ask me often about garlic. They can hardly understand how one clove of garlic can produce an entire head of garlic. Amazing huh?! I think so.

There are so many varieties of garlic, it’s sad how limited the grocery stores are of their variety. I do not even think people realize there IS a variety of garlic. Just like carrots. Carrots used to be sold in purple, red, and yellow variety. Main stream wanted orange. So now it’s orange. So orange, that folks do not know there are other colors. See where I’m going with this?

Freshly harvested garlic

Freshly harvested garlic

The actions of garlic are amazing. I love it in a culinary way. But when you find out how amazing it is for us, in a medicinal way, well, it is simply mind blowing! And to think back to the colonial days, only the low blood would consume garlic and onion.

I cut and pasted these actions and indications of garlic off of www.healthy.net . Thank you Healthy.net!! You saved me loads of typing.  😉

Actions: Anti-microbial,  diaphoretic,  cholagogue,  hypotensive,  anti-spasmodic.

Indications:  Garlic is among the few herbs that have a universal usage and recognition. Its daily usage aids and supports the body in ways that no other herb does. It is one of the most effective anti-microbial plants available,  acting on bacteria,  viruses and alimentary parasites. The volatile oil is an effective agent and as it is largely excreted via the lungs,  it is used in infections of this system such as chronic bronchitis, respiratory catarrhrecurrent colds and influenza. It may be helpful in the treatment of whooping cough and as part of a broader approach to bronchitic asthma. In general it may be used as a preventative for most infectious conditions,  digestive as well as respiratory. For the digestive tract it has been found that Garlic will support the development of the natural bacterial flora whilst killing pathogenic organisms. In addition to these amazing properties,  Garlic have an international reputation for lowering both blood pressure,  blood cholesterol levels and generally improving the health of the cardio-vascular system.  A recent study was conducted on two groups,  one consisting of 20 healthy volunteers who were fed Garlic for 6 months and the other of 62 patients with coronary heart disease and raised serum cholesterol. Beneficially changes were found in all involved and reached a peak at the end of 8 months. The improvement in cholesterol levels persisted throughout the 2 months of clinical  follow-up. The clinicians concluded that the essential oil of Garlic possessed a distinct hypolipidemic,  or fat reducing,  action in both healthy people and patients withcoronary heart disease. Garlic should be thought of as a basic food that will augment the body’s health and protect it in general. It has been used externally for the treatment of ringworm and threadworm.

Planting garlic is quite easy. I amend the soil with rabbit bedding. This includes manure and moistened straw. And of course, some leftover food. Which is compressed grain. Nitrogen rich everything!

The garlic can go in as early as October around here in  Maryland. Some could possibly put it in earlier. I have planted garlic as late as the end of November. Truly, I cannot say there is much difference in harvest time. It seems to finish up in July.

I noticed a difference with my garlic that was mulched with rabbit bedding, topping the garlic bed as I changed it, and garlic left without. Manure and straw top dressed made the plants larger and generally healthier. Thanks, bunnies!

This summer I harvested the garlic earlier that I thought I should, according to the outward appearance of the top growth. From what I read, the top growth was supposed to have died back , pretty much, completely.

Freshly harvested garlic

Freshly harvested garlic

Happy I took a peek when I did. Which I mean, took a garlic bulb out of the ground to “have a look”. Making sure the paper on the garlic was formed completely and not deteriorating . Most of the garlic was in a perfect state to harvest. So I dug it with a shovel. Making sure to stay clear of the bulb its self. This is what I got! Laid out to dry on the picnic table in the shade.

I must say, Music is a wonderful “full body” garlic. I would recommend it for this area. The elephant garlic is fun, because of the size, but mild. Your choices are more varied than you think. Take a look at some of my favorite seed distributors, listed on my main page. You will be surprised how many types of garlic there are to choose from. Life should be fun, try something new! I always do.

Drying out for 2 day's in the shade.

Drying out for 2 days in the shade.

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2 thoughts on “Garlic, one of my favorites!

  1. This makes me so envious. No garlic for me this year. There really is something about fresh garlic, isn’t there? And even better when you grow it yourself and don’t have to pay 10 bucks a pound at the farmer’s market!

    Thanks for the tips about bed preparation – I’ll try it for this year.

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