Planting garlic this fall represents an important milestone in my journey to reconnect with the land and those I’m sharing the journey with.
Garlic was the first crop we built garden beds and prepared the field for. We barely got all of it the ground before the ground froze with the first big snowfall. In learning from our first garlic plant of last year, we are much better prepared and organized this time around.
With the change of the seasons, fall has brought us around full circle. Along the way, those I plant with and I have learned and shared many lessons. These lessons continue to be built upon as we grow together, both on the land and with each other. Our shared experiences have given us a better collective understanding of what factors affect the size and quality of the garlic. I personally have also discovered how menacing dogs and chickens can be when they get into your raised bed of garlic.
Sharing the garlic with family, friends and community was one intention when it was planted. It has made its way to a number of garden beds and fields, including the community garden supported by the Our Sustenance program. Also, it has played a supporting role in many local preserves and meals. I have also been lucky to have made a new friend and pen pal that lives in Ajax brought forth by our mutual love of local, organic foods, especially garlic.
The mass produced, imported garlic you typically find in grocery stores lacks many qualities of the locally grown hardneck varieties.
Many are surprised to find out how much depth of flavour our garlic has without being offensive. Aside from tasting great, garlic is good for you. It has many medicinal qualities that help boost your immune system and is also a proven anti-fungal medicine.
This past weekend, we got a number of rows planted with friends and family. We then shared a pot of naturally grown, local vegetable soup.
Sharing the soup in good company warmed me in more ways than one and gave me a moment to stop and reflect on the last year, which I am truly grateful for.
- Olive Oil Poached Garlic
- Local Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Break apart bulb, peel cloves and trim off the root.
- Place in a small pot just covered in oil.
- Heat up on medium heat.
- Once bubbles start to appear, reduce heat. If they start to brown remove from heat immediately.
- Cook until the cloves are golden brown and soft. Should take about 30 minutes.
- Cool and store in oil in your fridge.
Garlic done in this way can add a wonderful flavour to your favourite pasta dish. Use the oil and garlic in a salad dressing. Mix the garlic cloves with mayonnaise for your sandwich or dip. Mash it and mix the cloves with fresh herbs and spread it on toasted bread. Try using just the oil as a garnish for your favourite soup. There are an infinite number of uses.