Grow your own Garlic!

We live in a truly amazing time and in a truly amazing country.  I can go one mile from my house to multiple stores and get a banana from South America, a crab from Alaska, a pineapple from Hawaii and some caviar from Russia.  OK I admit that I have never actually done this but I could if I needed or wanted to.  But……   I believe there is a downside to this.

I was at “Big Box Store X” admiring a jar containing a “years supply” of fresh garlic that was clean, looked fresh and was already peeled and ready for use.  The price was amazing and it just about went in my cart until I saw that it was “Grown in China”   I stopped in my tracks.  “Grown in China?”  How can fresh garlic be grown in China, peeled and packed fresh in a jar, shipped to the US (Two Months later) trucked to central Ohio and sold to me for an amazingly low price?  It doesn’t make sense and seems too good to be true.  I don’t need or want my garlic to come from China.

We don’t need  the Chinese to grow our garlic anymore than we need them to drive our kids to school.  (too random?)

I am of the opinion that fresh garlic should be grown in our yards.  I have grown garlic and it isn’t hard.  It basically takes two seasons (garlic is a biennial crop) to get a nice (smallish  but potent) head of garlic.  During the two years the garlic tops can be cut sparingly and used as a fresh herb.  When ready you pluck the plant from the ground and…..

  1.  Hang it up to dry in a cool dry place for future use.
  2.  Share it or trade it with friends for the funky new pepper they grew this year (and now have a bushel of)
  3. Preserve it by pickling it. (my daughter’s favorite)
  4. Cook It
  5. Or leave it in the ground until you need it!

So where do you get garlic seed?  You already have it.  Just take a whole head of garlic (it’s in the grocery produce section), break it into cloves (don’t peel it) and put the garlic cloves in the ground.  It likes a well drained soil and doesn’t need to be watered all the time.  Legend has it that it like to be near roses and roses like it too. 

So Grow your own!  We don’t really benefit from investing the world’s resources into something that we can easily do ourselves!

Check out the website of  Slow Food. (see my links) Its a great place to see the big picture of the real price we pay for cheap food.  Go Local!!!!

Also, if this concept of local food makes sense to you then you might be interested in the short movie “story of stuff” which explains the view that the cheap prices we pay are far below the real cost of producing things.  The hidden costs include nasty things like pollution, child or low wage labor and environmental distress.  You can find the film at:   www.storyofstuff.com     It is a 20+ minute video so make some popcorn and invite your TV mates to join you.

I will now step off of my soap box and resume blogging! Thanks for listening.

 

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