It's garlic harvest time! We eat alot of it and have been eyeing off the bulking up bulbs for awhile now...ever since our stash from last year ran out in early spring. Australia imports thousands of tonnes of garlic, at least 90% of which comes from China. Chemicals that are banned in Australia are still being used to grow garlic overseas. Chinese imported garlic is gamma irradiated to prevent sprouting and is also sprayed with Maleic Hydrazide to extend shelf life. All imported garlic is fumigated with Methyl Bromide by quarantine at the docks because this kills everything and quarantine have an obligation to do that. Is local, biodynamically grown garlic sounding appetizing?
Garlic is in the ground a long time - we planted this crop last March.
With regular weeding and watering, as soon as the days start growing longer, the bulbs start getting fatter. We grew mostly "Australian White", which is a soft neck garlic and does not send up a scape. But we did plant about 300 hard neck garlic and are very excited to be putting garlic scapes in the box this week.
We use the garlic scapes in everything from dips to stir fries to calzones! Their flavour is just like garlic...only sweeter. Lovely raw and cooked!
Our garlic is also biodynamic. It was planted on a root day in soil amended with biodynamic compost, received monthly applications of 500 throughout the Autumn and Spring, monthly applications of 501 (which helps the plant access minerals in the soil), weekly seaweed sprays and harvested on a root day. What does all that mean to taste? Hopefully, the flavour will be that beautiful subtly sweet and pungent flavour fresh garlic has - But more importantly, we hope that the garlic contains all the health giving nutritional benefits it should!