Now is the time to plant garlic for next summer’s crop where I live. It has been a trial and error effort, like most of my garden experiments, to find the right variety of garlic to plant in my rocky clay soil. Plant different varieties of garlic to see which works best for your particular micro-climate. It all depends on where you live. Hardneck varieties tend to do better in cooler climates, and softneck do better where the weather is warmer. And with a proper schedule of benign neglect in the garden, walking varieties will never need to be replanted.
Garlic is a helpful friend in the kitchen and the medicine cabinet, too. Small cuts are quickly healed when a clove is cut in two and the fresh end rubbed on the boo-boo. (This may sting a little.) It’s anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties are well documented.
To keep your garlic fresh after harvesting, allow it to air dry for a few days then braid the heads together. One braid may last your family the whole year, and it looks so homey hanging in the kitchen. As with any herb, the more you break the plant apart, the more it degrades. Keep this in mind when you consider buying pre-chopped garlic in a jar.
An amazing use for garlic, is to add honey for a soothing throat syrup. Honey is likewise known to be anti-viral and anti-bacterial, and this combination of savory and sweet is surprisingly tasty too. It’s easy and you can make it yourself.
Try a teaspoon of this Garlic-Honey straight, as a throat syrup after exposure to crowds of coughing people. Or add a spoonful to a mug of hot water with a wedge of lemon when you’re feeling a little itchy in the back of your throat. Leave the peel on the lemon for the extra anti-biotic effect of the citrus oil.
Never get sick? Well, garlic-honey makes a great marinade for grilled vegetables, and chicken, too!
The syrup will separate a little in the jar, just stir it up before each use. It is easy to add to the recipe, too. Just warm the honey in a double boiler and run it through a strainer to remove the garlic bits, then peel a head of garlic and add honey to fill the jar again.
A note about honey~ there is no such thing as ‘organic’ honey. Yes, bees may be kept organically, as in: without using any chemicals in the management of this livestock. However, with a flight range of up to 20 miles it is really impossible to say where a bee is collecting pollen. Placing you hive in the middle of an orchard helps, and this is how most honey is sorted and labeled today. Raw honey has not been cooked in the process of harvesting and bottling, preserving delicate enzymes in the product.
Now you have the full buzz about garlic-honey. It is one of my healing cabinet staples. And if I make and give you a jar, you will know, I really love you.