Just can’t get enough garlic around here. We cook with it profusely. Last fall I planted a lovely row of garlic cloves which did very well. Wintered beautifully and and grew to full size bulbs. I dug them up about a week ago and was pleasantly surprised to see well formed, large bulbs of wonderful garlic.
I knew they were ready to be harvested when the tops had started to to die down and turn yellow. Once dug and gathered I did a little research on how to store them for later use and read that I now had to cure the garlic bulbs. It was not going to be good enough that I had planted and grown them all through last winter and spring, I now had to cure them begfore they would be ideal for using. I knew you cured ham, tobacco and leather but never thought about having to cure my garlic. First instince was to groan a bit as I thought I was in for another to do on my list.
Turns out that it is no big deal, 0nly sounds that way. To cure garlic simply means to let it dry out. Once dug, you just lightly rub the bulk of the dirt off of the bulbs, place the bulbs in a dry, warm, airy place out of the sun until they are dry. Not a big deal at all. Once they are dry they can then be stored in a cool, dry place for later use.
Making a Garlic Rope After digging up your bulbs, peel off one or two layers of outer leaves and trim the roots close to the bulb. Place the bulbs on a screen and let dry in a protected area outside. When you notice the leaves are mostly dry but are still flexible, choose about ten bulbs and plait (braid) them together to make a garlic rope. Store your dried garlic in a well aired place for later use. They look great hanging in the kitchen where they are convienient for cooking. They also make great gifts. Benefits of Garlic Garlic is known for its vitamin A, B and C content and its antiseptic qualities. An indispensible ingredient in the ktichen, it flavors soups, sauces, oils, meat, chicken, fish and vegetable dishes. “If you understand the uses of garlic, you understand 50% of all herbal medicine” Steven Foster