There may be some truth to the old New York proverb: ‘A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat’!
Known as ‘the stinking rose’, garlic has been used since ancient times as both a food and a medicine. It has been found in Egyptian pyramids and ancient Greek temples, and has even been referenced in the Bible!
Garlic is now far more commonly grown than formerly.
It was customary here to phat the bulbs in March
but Garlic is perfectly hardy and it is better to follow
the Italian method of planting in October or early November.
Split the bulbs into cloves, discarding the smallest.
Plant the large cloves 8 inches apart in drills 2 inches deep.
Does best in light rich soil, and full sun is essential.
Harvest the bulbs the following summer as soon as the foliage
has faded. Although Garlic is so hardy, it is extremely susceptible
to damp once the bulbs have been harvested.
Dry the bulbs in full sun with their roots to the south.
The best method is to lung them up in bunches under the cover
of a very sunny veranda. In the event of rain, or even a damp atmosphere, the bulbs must be taken indoors or they are likely to decay during the winter.
Store by hanging up in a very dry, frost-proof room.
It’s not by chance that these ancient cultures all came to the same conclusion about garlic – it’s a pretty awesome herb.
And modern science tends to see garlic in the same light, as a powerful food to help prevent and treat so many different health issues.