Whether it is roasted, raw, smashed or crushed there is something intoxicating about garlic or Allium Sativum if you want to get botanical.
Garlic has long been used for its medicinal and healing properties since ancient times and when I say ancient we are talking 3,700BC.
It’s popularity caught the attention of the Sumerians, Chinese, Egyptians, Indians and Tibetans, Japanese, the Middle East, Europe and lets not leave out Americas.
Apart from warding off evil spirits in many parts of the world, ( I think the smell might have been a contributing factor ) some of the amazing properties of garlic include; it’s use as an antiseptic, aphrodisiac, a tonic for strength , anti bacterial & anti viral, helps to reduce blood pressure, regulates insulin, protect the heart, aids in poor digestion, helps with fatigue, allergies and the list truly does go on…
With such amazing properties and so easy to grow WHY are we importing this voluptuous bulb of beauty into this country?
Most store bought garlic is imported into Australia from China or Mexico which defies logic when you consider the time, money and energy it took to pop a couple of cloves in the evening meal or salad dressing.
That being said, I would highly recommend you grab a couple of Australian Organic garlic bulbs and have a crack at growing some in a pot, backyard or veggie patch – here is some basic tips from Margaret Stuart who grows lovely garlic in the Southern Highlands of NSW.
* Garlic has a 7-8 month growing season and was traditionally planted on the shortest day of the year and harvested on the longest day of the year.( Start planting in mid March – April )
* Choose bulbs with the largest cloves, mark out rows about 60cms wide and 20cms apart running North/South in FULL SUN.
* Make sure soil is well drained, if not, best to create a mound or hill
* Plant individual bulbs pointy side up about twice the depth of the clove and water in.
* For best results compost with chook manure and apply some lucerne mulch
* At harvest time around mid November you will be looking for the plant that has withered leaves at the bottom and the top is still green, gently dig the plants, leave in a shady spot and then gather up to hang in bunches of about 8-12 plants. NB: This is the time you can hang a bunch or two at the front door to ward off any stray spirits.
If you feel it is too much of a stretch to Grow Your Own then check out some of our local Aussie growers – at least there is only a ‘little’ carbon footprint :)