Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH LIVING and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-456-6018 or by email. Stay safe!

Harvest Garlic Like a Pro

| October/November 2011

  • Harvest garlic like a pro.
    Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison

Decades ago, the jar of garlic powder—a staple in my kitchen at the time—ran empty, so I improvised by mixing freshly minced garlic with softened butter. The difference was immediately discernable—deep, rich and complex, with a distinctive flavor and freshness. Fresh garlic became a kitchen and garden standard that day, and I’ve never looked back.

Lemon-Mustard Salmon 
Garlic-Rosemary Focaccia
Roasted Garlic
Warm Spinach & Arugula Salad with Garlic-Balsamic Dressing
Kale, Potato & White Bean Soup 

Know Your Type

Garlic comprises two main categories: hardnecks and softnecks. (Elephant garlic is actually a type of leek.) Hardnecks, which thrive where winters are cold, are believed to be the original descendants from wild garlic, sending up a flower stalk as they mature. The cloves are typically larger, more flavorful, and easier to peel than softnecks.

A few choice varieties include ‘German Red’, with a hot and spicy flavor favored by chefs; ‘Northern White’, an extremely winter-hardy variety ideal for baking; ‘Spanish Roja’, with rich, spicy true garlic flavor; ‘Russian Red’, one of the best storing hardnecks; and ‘Purple Italian Easy Peel’, with a rich zesty flavor and sweet aftertaste.

Softnecks grow well in a wide range of climates and growing conditions. Tight skins make them harder to peel, but also make them good for long storage. Given the right conditions, many softneck varieties can easily keep for up to a year. Due to their pliable stems, softnecks are always the best choice when you want to grow garlic for braiding.

Softneck ‘Inchelium Red’ stores for up to nine months, and is tops for its mild lingering flavor that sharpens with storage. The strong and pungent flavor of ‘Italian Late’ keeps well in storage, and some growers and crafters say this variety is one of the best for braiding. ‘Oregon Blue’ is a highly productive Northwest heirloom with a hot, spirited flavor. Extra-early maturing ‘Chinese Pink’ offers fine quality cloves with a nice mellow flavor.

11/2/2013 10:01:33 PM

great article!! I live in an apartment, so I can not have a garden, but I have a medium sized plastic pot that I am growing garlic in....and the stem is just now starting to poke through the soil!! I grow garlic, as well as other herbs for cooking/baking, to give me something to do...there's not much to do here in this apartment, so growing my herbs(each in their own pot...all 22 of them!) keeps me busy & keeps the insanity of boredom at bay. After I harvest this batch of Garlic, I will refer back to this article, to create a better environment for my garlic...and other herbs as well.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


click me