There are few seasonings that are more ubiquitous than garlic.
It’s an automatic addition to just about every meal in our house - from soups and stews, to pasta sauce, to stir-fry, and everything in between. Jonathan has even been known to slice raw garlic onto peanut butter toast! The ubiquity of garlic makes it easy to overlook the provenance of this simple root, one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops, but who wants to imagine a world without garlic?! Not us!
Garlic is a funny old crop to grow. It is unlike just about any other vegetable grown in this area, in that it is planted in the fall and left in the ground all winter long. It’s true - the garlic that will be harvested next July/August is already planted and literally chilling out under the snow right now. Garlic requires a very long growing season and planting it in the fall allows it to set down roots before going dormant in the cold, only to burst forth as soon as the ground thaws in the spring! A plant that hardy is deserving of our respect!
Why do we love locally grown garlic?
Healthful: Garlic is delicious, yes, but did you know that it is also a nutritional powerhouse? Garlic is filled with natural plant compounds that are responsible for the plant’s heart-healthy, immune-supportive, and anti-inflammatory properties. A daily dose of garlic is said to have the ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce inflammation and blood clotting, and support immune function. Who knew that garlic breath was so good for your health?!
Less travelled: Have you ever considered the distance the clove of garlic you just added to your spaghetti sauce has travelled? Eighty percent of the world’s garlic is grown in China and Shandong province, China’s garlic growing powerhouse, is a whopping 11,000km from Ottawa! In comparison, our garlic comes from Calabogie Rustic Farms and Ferme la Corne d’Abondance - both located within 100km of Ottawa. Not only is our garlic less travelled, it is 100% organic, never bleached, and never fumigated.
Full of flavour: The extreme temperatures of the Ottawa Valley make for garlic of unparalleled flavour. The receding of the Champlain Sea has led to the unique terroir of the Ottawa Valley and the increased minerals and nutrients have left the soil here incredibly fertile, leading to produce of unparalleled flavour. Locally grown garlic that has been properly grown, cured, and stored retains its moisture, meaning you won’t find shrivelled, flavourless cloves beneath the papery shell.
Treat your friends and family (or yourself!) to flavourful and healthful cooking for months to come! Any foodie on your list will love to receive a handmade, organically grown garlic braid - beautiful to look at and delicious to eat.
Looking for some great garlic recipes? We've got you covered!
--------Thanks to CSA member Uljana for this great photo of Jonathan with one of our handmade, organic garlic braid!