Updated: Jul 22, 2021
Stop the presses! It's time to talk garlic. There are few plants that I adore as much as this one. Give me garlic breath or give me death!
Garlic has perhaps the richest history of any other plant. If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with ancient history, specifically the cultures from 500 BC and earlier. That's where garlic comes in. Cuneiform tablets from Sumer speak of garlic cultivation in the Middle East at least as early as 2000 BC, no doubt they were grown long before then. Preserved garlic has been found in tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, written about by Roman scholars, and sanctified by ancient Greeks.
Why? Because garlic is one of the easiest to grow, healthiest to eat, and prettiest vegetables to look at.
I'm not sure who loves the plant more, pollinators or culinary experts. Personally, I can (and do) add it to nearly every dish. That's why I have a healthy supply of garlic growing in the garden constantly.
It has been used for protection in white magic since the dawn of humans. Nowadays, it could be used likewise by every muggle simply for its incredible disease preventing and well being promoting abilities. Though serious studies seem to be lacking, there has been evidence that regular garlic intake has reduced stomach and other gastrointestinal cancers in people. Same with cardiovascular health, as insufficient studies have been able to prove its effectiveness.
That being said, garlic has been the number one go-to plant for generations of moms all over the world for treating the common cold. Whether or not it is truly effective, you simply can't go wrong adding more garlic into your diet. Growing it is so easy and beneficial, you'd be a fool not to!
To plant garlic, the easiest method is to plant a whole clove in late fall or early spring. They can be planted as bulbils created by the flower, but the quickest method is by whole clove. Simply plant them 6-8 inches apart so they have room to grow. Once the leaves begin to turn brown, you know it's ready to harvest!
One awesome method for growing garlic is to treat them as a barrier for other plants that deer and rabbits tend to eat. Most creatures will choose to avoid the area altogether due to its pungent flavor and aroma. Garlic has been a long time favorite companion to keep damaging insects away from tomatoes and peppers!
Garlic can be dried, braided, and saved in a warm, dry area like a loafing shed for upwards of six months! If grown and stored correctly, you can be enjoying it all year long. Take that vampires!
One thing I find interesting is that garlic is one of the best remedies for altitude sickness, and at the same time grows the best at high altitudes! If that doesn't qualify it as a High Altitude Homestead staple, then I don't know what does.