Sunday, July 11, 2010

Go Local-Week 6- Use Your Bounty

One of the first times I visited the Farmer's Market in my town I ran across the booth of this lovely girl named Heidi. Her booth was called Ruth's Hands and I could. not. walk. away. Everything she had on display was so beautiful. I remember specifically falling in love with her goats milk soaps. Heidi's art inspires me, and she is striving to live an authentic life filled with meaningful things, which also inspires me. She and her husband have an amazing organic garden (gardens) in their backyard and they are active organic gardening enthusiasts in our community. I'm very excited that Heidi was willing to share some of her knowledge about gardening. Especially about something I've been wanting to grow myself! (And if you've ever wanted to spin yarn or knit you'd better get over to her blog right away!)
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Garlic

We just harvested the garlic we put in the ground last fall, and to me there is nothing quite as beautiful as bundles of freshly dug garlic hanging up to dry. Garlic is one of the most no-fuss crops you can plant, and in my kitchen one of the most useful.

You can plant in the fall for a spring or early summer harvest, plant in the early spring for a fall harvest. Something that a lot of people might not know is that you can use a fresh garlic bulb from the store for planting. You simply separate the segments of the bulbs and plant each one to grow into it’s very own beautiful head of Garlic.

You know your Garlic is ready to harvest when it has about 4 stalks and the tops of the plant start to dry out. It is always good to just check with one or two bulbs to make sure they are the right size. When you harvest it all your first instinct is to plunge them in water to get all of the dirt off of them. This is a no no unless you are planning on using the garlic right away. I bundle them up with twine and hang them on my porch for a day or two (as long as the temperatures outside are not over 90 degrees) until the outer skin is no longer soft. If you want a beautiful garlic braid instead of a bundle, this is the time to braid the stalks together while they are still green and pliable. The papery layers on the outside of the bulb form and then with your hands you can gently rub the excess dirt from the bulbs.

I bring the bundle right into the kitchen and hang it on a hook, pulling heads off as I need to use them.

Over the years I have developed this recipe after trying hundreds of different combinations of ingredients.

Garlic Ceasar Dressing

(base recipe)

1/3 cup Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (not concentrate)

1tsp salt

1tsp mustard seed powder

Pepper (or lemon pepper) to taste

2-3 cloves of fresh crushed garlic

1 T organic sugar, or sweetener of choice

Shake well in a pint mason jar and enjoy!

For a creamy dressing add 3 T of mayonnaise or silken tofu

My favorite Summer variation to this recipe is adding:

Fresh chopped chives, lemon thyme, and a whole pureed fresh tomato

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Heidi, thank you! This information is exactly what I needed to know and I can't wait until I can make my first garlic braid this fall. It's hard to be patient!! I will certainly be making this dressing as well. I can almost taste it!


What have you all been up to? Leave a comment with your link if you'd like! We'll come visit.

11 comments:

  1. I've been doing the mash ;-)

    http://someofakind.blogspot.com/2010/07/do-mash.html

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  2. I finally did some more local cooking. Our neighbor was out of town so she gave us her share from her berry CSA. We have made blueberry compote that we ate on top of pancakes. I made a blackberry cobbler that was awesome and the peaches didn't stand a chance. I ate those standing over the sink with juice dripping down my arms!!!! I think I might join the bery CSA next year. It is awesome.

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  3. I like garlic scape as well. I had never had it until we got it in our CSA basket a few years ago. Growing garlic...that is something I really want to do! I have so many garden dreams and so little garden space! :)

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  4. Oh...I'm just about to harvest our 25 plants. Not nearly enough - next year we'll be quadrupling our plants. Thanks for the recipe. I've tried a bunch of ceasar dressings; looking forward to trying yours. -Debbie

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  5. That's something we haven't tried growing yet! Maybe we'll have to plant some this fall! We've been eating a lot of our go-to meal this summer for our Go Local challenge this week:
    http://knittingknot.blogspot.com/2010/07/gl-week-3-our-go-to-meal.html

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  6. Ooh! I want to grow garlic! That's perfect that I can plant some in the fall, once baby #2 is born! Great guest post!

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  7. I have one lonely garlic plant that must have been left over from last year (didn't do well; not enough sun).

    This week we've been gathering tons of fruit. That's here:
    http://inthepurplehouse.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-berry-your-berry.html
    and this week's favorite recipes are here:
    http://inthepurplehouse.blogspot.com/2010/07/independence-days-filling-freezer-with.html

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  8. Funny, for some reason I've never thought of growing my own garlic. Might have to give it a shot!

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  9. Oh, how I love me some garlic, and that recipe for dressing sounds so yummy. I'll have to give it a try!

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  10. Thanks for this information. This is the first year I have planted garlic. Now I know what to do when I harvest it.

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  11. This is awesome! I've always been curious about growing garlic.

    This week, I'm finally showing off my garden. Check out my video here: http://feedingthebigguy.blogspot.com/2010/07/addendum-to-garden-status-update.html

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