Beneficial Garlic

Friday, April 22, 2023 (Earth Day) – I am in the process of digging up two large beds of garlic, so that I can rebuild the beds and plant them with vegetables. But, what will I do with all this garlic?

I’ll relocate some to serve as companion plants for select fruits and vegetables. Garlic has a strong odor that deters garden pests. It can repel cabbage worms, Japanese beetles, moths and aphids away from cabbage and kale. It can even help deter rabbits and deer.

In addition, garlic bulbs release sulfur into the soil, which helps to reduce fungal infections in nearby plants and fruit trees. For example, garlic is known to reduce potato blight and apple scab.

Garlic is an essential perennial plant for both permaculture and medicinal gardening.

Among its many health benefits for people, garlic is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. Garlic also a natural blood thinner, however, people should avoid it before surgery, and people on blood thinner medication also need to be cautious.

Garlic provides the culinary benefits of distinct flavor and versatility, and it stores well.

I use a lot of garlic in my cooking. For example, I harvest Rosemary buds and Garlic scapes in July to infuse with olive oil. After pouring the olive oil into a double boiler, I add the flowers, rolling the rosemary between my palms to release the oils and crumbling the garlic scape flowers with my fingers.

Then I heat the oil and flower/bud mixture in the double boiler for ten minutes, turn off the heat, and let the mixture sit for an hour, before straining out the herbs and decanting the oil into a clean bottle.

Still, I have far more garlic than needed, and I am ready to share the abundance with interested neighbors.

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