Garlic Obsession: How to Grow and Harvest Garlic


| April/May 2004


• Try our recipe for Roasted Garlic 

Our obsession as gardeners and knowledge seekers continually draws us to totally immerse ourselves in a plant genus. This time, it’s a culinary favorite we can’t live without: garlic (Allium sativum). We found ourselves so enthralled with the history, lore and growing information of this alluring, time-tested herb that we began growing different species and cultivars. We hope you’ll find the information from our garlic expedition a satisfying, inspiring adjunct to gardening with garlic.

Variety, the Spice of Life

In pursuit of information about garlic, we found many informative websites and books (please see our bookshelf for some). We purchased a variety of different garlics from Bob Anderson of Gourmet Garlic Gardens, asking him for a range of mild to hot, both soft-neck and hard-neck types. Our plans were to grow them in two different regions — Susan in her home garden in Brookeville, Maryland, and Tina Marie in the Kitchen Garden at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas.

We began our in-depth study of our newly acquired alliums with enthusiasm, thrilled by their exotic names, such as ‘Shantung Purple Turban’, ‘Burgundy Creole’, ‘Spanish Roja’ and ‘Siberian Marbled’, which conjured up cuisines from around the globe.  First, we examined the vast differences in appearance and color of the bulbs, from creamy white to yellow tan, pink, rose and purple striped. Cloves per head ranged from five to 15.

We decided to do a tasting as described by Chester Aaron in his book Garlic is Life (Ten Speed Press, 1996). So we prepared 10 plates, one for each variety of garlic. On each plate we had a roasted clove of that particular variety, bread that we rubbed bruschetta-style with a raw piece of that variety, and a raw clove to taste. We arranged them in order of the mildest to the most pungent, according to the grower’s description. We made a form to record details of each type of garlic, starting with appearance, aroma and taste of the cloves roasted, rubbed on bread and raw.

Shades, Sizes and Flavors, Oh My!

The purple-veined ‘Persian Star’ had 12 medium-sized cloves with a sweet, mild smell. The roasted clove had a slightly grainy texture in the mouth with a mildly sweet, starchy taste. The bruschetta was the mildest we tasted, actually rather delicate, and the raw clove had no burn, with a sweet light flavor of garlic and a raw vegetable crunch. This is a garlic for the meek — a very mild-mannered allium indeed.





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, 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 $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265