On a misty Saturday morning in June we harvested half of our heirloom garlic crop. The other half was planted later and is not ready yet. If you have ever had home grown or locally grown fresh garlic you will know that it is very hard to go back to the grocery store variety once you have had the opportunity to taste the real deal. The flavor of fresh garlic grown at home is fresh and vibrant with a sweet flavor when cooked and a zesty (sometimes hot as fire!) kick when eaten fresh. I use fresh garlic in salad dressing, on top of baked potatoes, in scrambled eggs, on bread with butter, and with just about any savory dish I make.
The other bonus are the scrapes, which you cut off as they emerge. They will eventually form into flowers, but they do inhibit formation of the bulb if left on the plant. We use them in soups, stir fries, and lately have been putting the whole scrapes onto pizzas in our wood burning pizza oven. Really good.
Garlic also has some really amazing natural health benefits. According to K.C. Thompson, Editor-in-Chief of The Herb Companion, Garlic is “the best overall plant for stimulating the immune system, the best anti-clotting herb, one of the best anti-fungals, and potentially useful for preventing heart disease and cancer.” You can read more about the health benefits of garlic at www.herbcompanion.com.