We have lifted the first of the garlic at Hawarden and Cilcain – there’s a lot of it!
We are growing four varieties this year.
SPRINT (above) – a hardneck which means it puts up a ‘scape’ (flower stem) which you can eat. Hardnecks need eating first as they don’t keep as well as softnecks. Can be lifted from end June and should keep till around Christmas.
The next three are all softnecks – probably smaller bulbs with more cloves. They are suited to a better climate (!) than ours and may not perform that well given our horrendous summer. Longer keepers than hardnecks – till about May – and better lifted a little later.
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1. Leave it outside (out of too much rain) for 2 weeks
2. Bring into a warmish, dry place to cure.
3. When the leaves are crispy you can either plait it (dead easy) or just bunch it. Cut off the roots, if you need to, to ½ inch.
4. Hang up for use in a dry light place (a utility room?) or keep it in the fruit bowl. If it’s too cold it may sprout prematurely.
It can also be used ‘green’ at stage 1. Use like a spring onion or
- Clean up a few large heads without removing too much outer skin.
- Cut the top off to expose the cloves.
- Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with thyme
- Roast for about 40 mins. If it’s smallish put in loose foil parcel.
- Scoop out the cloves and cut off any bits of root
- Puree in a pestle and mortar or just with a spoon.
- Spread on toast!! Or add to any dish for a gentle garlic flavour.
- Keeps for 2 weeks in a tightly closed jar if a layer of oil is drizzled on top.
- Eat your hearts out, Vampires!!