Overview: Garlic is one of the most versatile and popular spices in the world. Strong in flavor, smell, and health benefits, garlic can be added to many dishes as a main or supporting flavor.
Seed Starting: Garlic is grown from cloves. It takes 8-9 months for cloves to become new garlic heads. Garlic is one of the few foods planted in the fall in New England. It is harvested in late spring/early summer.
Growing Advice: Plant each clove tip up and 3 to 5 inches deep. It helps to insulate garlic over winter with a layer of mulch (shredded leaves, straw, etc.). . You can plant garlic from sprouted garlic, just add it to soil. Although garlic only has one life cycle after picked, simply replant a clove or two from each harvested head, to restart the process.
Harvesting: Harvest your garlic when the lower leaves of your plant turn brown. Don’t rinse dirt from garlic with water: shake it off to preserve the papery protection.
Recipe for Garlic Confit
Remove garlic cloves from head and peel
Put in ceramic or any oven safe container.
Separate cloves and cover completely with olive oil.
Add any additional herbs to your liking (rosemary, basil, peppercorns, lemon, etc.) and bake in the oven at 300 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Use as a spread, add to butter, or any of your recipes there are hundreds of uses!
Save the oil and now you have garlic infused olive oil!
Since you cooked the garlic and the oil make sure to refrigerate for keeping!
This inaugural Warrior Fresh post highlights three easy perennials that should be in more gardens. First time gardeners often plant annual vegetables. For the cost of a few vegetable six packs, you can put in pest-resistant plants that offer food for decades.
My family’s first foray into growing berries seemed off to an abysmal start. I received 12 black raspberries canes (Allens and Bristols) for my birthday in September of 2010. My husband and I hastily dug up some grass and planted them in “garden beds” that were about a foot wide and contained no added nutrients. Because of our shoddy work, only 3 plants survived that winter in western New York.
But this story has a happy ending: those 3 plants thrived, growing long canes that gracefully bowed over and took root to produce many offspring. I may have watered them twice in my life. I never pulled a weed and only cut back canes when they became too disorderly.
At peak harvest time, the berries would rain into our baskets. We gathered gallons: freezing some, baking a pie or two, but mostly eating them fresh. Any scrapes from wayward bramble thorns were well worth the sweet rich taste of berries that cannot be bought in a store .
“Half a pound from a crown.” It’s not the start of a British nursery rhyme; it’s the yield from an asparagus plant. After we moved to New Hampshire in 2016, I quickly readied a bed for these perennials. Ten Jersey Giant and ten Purple Passion asparagus crowns arrived in the spring and sent up their ferny fronds. The crowns cost roughly $30.
I’ve faithfully weeded, fertilized, and mulched while the asparagus plants built their strength for two summers. The harvestable part, the spears, emerge early in spring and can be cut before opening into ferns. 2019 is our year for fully mature plants and a big harvest–up to 10 pounds. That’s worth $30 in the grocery store (well, $29.90 if you’re really precise). Ten pounds is way more than my family can eat…so my friends are in luck come April. With proper care, these asparagus can produce for up to 20 years.
It’s not a perennial, but allow me this exception to the rule. Here’s how growing garlic works: you buy seed garlic in the fall, break a full head of garlic out into individual cloves (ideally, with paper wrappers still on), plant cloves about 2 inches deep (pointy side up), throw some mulch over top, watch sprouts emerge in spring, harvest in summer. To keep the cycle going, just select several of your biggest cloves to plant again in the fall.
Deer, squirrels, woodchucks, (and vampires) leave them alone, so no fencing is needed. And I’ve never had another pest, fungus, or blight bother my garlic plants. Plus, you can make a pesto from the curly garlic scapes that grow out of the plant early in the summer.
Biding its time underground through winter, spring, and summer, each little clove eventually matures into a full head of garlic. When several plant leaves have turned brown (usually mid-July in New Hampshire), gently dig up garlic and let it “cure” in a cool dry place for a few days before storing for months. We’re still eating this year’s harvest.