September 3, 2010

Growing Garlic

Garlic. It's supposed to be good for us. They say it helps our hearts. It lowers our cholesterol. It helps to lower our blood pressure. It is said to help us get over a cold or flu. And it also keeps the vampires away.

There are definitely a few blood sucking vampires I would like to keep away.

Thank goodness garlic doesn't keep homegrown countryboys away... because I like to eat a lot of it!

If you grow garlic once, just one year, you can keep growing garlic every year, without ever having to buy more garlic to plant.

Here's what you do: Plant some cloves of garlic in the late fall. Let it sit there, tucked safely away several inches underground. Then forget about it (just don't forget where you planted it). Mother nature will take care of the rest. In the spring, when the time is right, some garlic shoots will appear, sometimes even while there is still snow on the ground.Eventually those little green shoots will grow tall. In the heat of summer, they will start to yellow and wilt. Then they'll turn brown. This is when I dig them up. I tie them together and cure them by hanging those bundles of tied garlic bulbs in a dry place. This is similar to curing onions.After a few weeks, when the garlic is nice and dry, I rub off the dirt covered outermost layer. This reveals the next papery layer which is a nice bright clean white. I pull each bulb from the cluster of tied up bulbs, trim the roots, and then I put all those pretty garlic bulbs in a pantry drawer.

That's it! Those bulbs of garlic keep just fine for months. Not much work for a whole lot of powerful, healthful, vampire-fighting taste!

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