Garlic –

organic CSA farm garlic bulb close up

Garlic bulb close up, by Amy Love

Allium sativum

var. Allium ophioscorodon

About

[From Wikipedia: “Allium sativum is a bulbous plant. It grows up to 0.6 m (2 ft) in height. Its hardiness is USDA Zone 8. It produces hermaphrodite flowers. Pollination occurs by insects and bees.”

Garlic has been widely used in cuisines all over the world, probably throughout human history, and has been shown to have many beneficial health effects. Animal and human studies have shown that garlic reduced accumulation of cholesterol on vascular walls in humans and animals, reduced aortic plaque in animal studies and reduced serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in humans. Crushed garlic has been found to contain the antibiotic allicin and many cultures have used it to treat viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Some medications may interact with garlic, particularly medications to regulate insulin. (For more information and published study citations, see the Wikipedia garlic page)

organic CSA farm garlic bulbs in tubs

Organic CSA farm garlic bulbs in tubs, by Amy Love

Growing

From Wikipedia: “Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. While sexual propagation of garlic is indeed possible, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground… In cold climates, cloves are planted in the autumn, about six weeks before the soil freezes, and harvested in late spring. The cloves must be planted at sufficient depth to prevent freeze/thaw which causes mold or white rot… Garlic plants are usually very hardy, and are not attacked by many pests or diseases. Garlic plants are said to repel rabbits and moles…. Two of the major pathogens that attack garlic are nematodes and white rot disease, which remain in the soil indefinitely after the ground has become infected…. Garlic also can suffer from pink root, a typically nonfatal disease that stunts the roots and turns them pink or red….

“Garlic plants can be grown closely together, leaving enough space for the bulbs to mature, and are easily grown in containers of sufficient depth. Garlic does well in loose, dry, well drained soils in sunny locations, and is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4 – 9. When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large heads from which to separate cloves. Large cloves, along with proper spacing in the planting bed, will also improve head size. Garlic plants prefer to grow in a soil with a high organic material content, but are capable of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and pH levels….

“There are different types or subspecies of garlic, most notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. The latitude where the garlic is grown affects the choice of type as garlic can be day-length sensitive. Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates; softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator….

“Garlic scapes are removed to focus all the garlic’s energy into bulb growth. The scapes can be eaten raw or cooked….”

Nutritional Information

Nutritional InformationGarlic, raw, Nutritional value per 1 clove, 3 grams
Nutrient Amount % US RDA
Energy 16.736 kJ (4 kcal) N/A
Carbohydrates 0.99 g N/A
Sugars 0.3g N/A
Dietary fiber 0.1 g 18%
Fat N/A g N/A
Protein 0.19 g .5%
Vitamin A 0 mg (3%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.021 mg (4%)
Vitamin B6 .0.0375 mg (13%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 0 mcg DFE *
Vitamin C .9 mg *
Calcium 5 mg *
Iron 0.05 mg (*%)
Magnesium 1 mg (*%)
Phosphorus 66 mg (5%)
Potassium 12 mg (*%)
Zinc 0.03 mg (*%)

Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Organic CSA farm garlic

Organic CSA farm garlic, hanging to dry by Amy Love

 

Uses and Cooking Tips

Domestically, garlic is stored warm [above 18 °C (64 °F)] and dry to keep it dormant (so it does not sprout). It is traditionally hung; softneck varieties are often braided in strands called plaits or grappes. Peeled cloves may be stored in wine or vinegar in the refrigerator…. Commercially, garlic is stored at 0 °C (32 °F), in a dry, low-humidity environment…. Garlic will keep longer if the tops remain attached….

“Garlic is often kept in oil to produce flavoured oil; however, the practice requires measures to be taken to prevent the garlic from spoiling. Untreated garlic kept in oil can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum which causes the deadly botulism illness; refrigeration will not assure the safety of garlic kept in oil. To reduce this risk, the oil should be refrigerated and used within one week. Commercially prepared oils are widely available. Manufacturers add acids and/or other chemicals to eliminate the risk of botulism in their products.[25] Two outbreaks of botulism related to garlic stored in oil have been reported….”

Recipes

Garlic Chevre Stuffed Mushrooms, Gaabriel Becket

Ingredients

  • dozen large white or crimini mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • fresh rosemary
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 cup mild goat cheese
  • ¼ grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°.
  2. Crush garlic cloves with knife flat to remove skins, mince and set aside 15 minutes.
  3. Crush or chop rosemary and cut into goat cheese,add half parmesan and mix until soft and well combined.
  4. Wash mushrooms and remove stems. Arrange mushroom caps upside down in oiled glass baking pan or on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Brush caps with olive oil.
  5. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and pan roast garlic until brown.
  6. Mix toasted garlic well into cheese.
  7. Stuff mushroom caps with cheese mixture and sprinkle remaining parmesan on top.
  8. Bake about 15 minutes, until cheese begins to brown.
  9. Serve hot.
 

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