Episode 335. How can we preserve our garlic?

In today’s podcast, I am asking how can we preserve our garlic and I have had a productive day on the allotment.

A transcript of the podcast is available below.

How can we preserve our garlic?

Today I harvested my garlic. I’ve had a pretty good harvest surprisingly. However, as someone that hates waste, I am wondering what could I do to make sure every single garlic clove gets used in the kitchen.

Usually, I hang my garlic in my garage and most last a year but a few do not make it and start to go off. This leads me to believe that preserving garlic might be the answer and so I have researched several ways to preserve garlic including

  • Freezing
  • Preserving in vinegar
  • Preserving in oil
  • drying.

All of which I am going to try this year. If you have any methods to preserve garlic then let me know.

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Episode 335 Transcript

Intro tune

Hello and welcome to episode 335 of the veg grower podcast. My names Richard and I am on a mission to grow as much food as I can in my allotment and garden. Today is Thursday the 18th June 2020

Coming up a little later on I shall be talking about how we can store our garlic harvests on the hope that we can then make our homegrown garlic last till next year. But first what have I been up to today.

Music fade

Its Thursday the 18th June 2020 today. I’m down on the allotment, I’ve just jumped into the shed because the winds just started to pick up.

I’ve spent a few hours down on the allotment today getting quite a bit done but I’ll start at home today. When I got up this morning it was quite evident we had rain overnight which is very very welcome and also means I don’t have to worry about watering either the allotment or the garden today.

Now another thing that happened at home today before I left is that one of my quails hatched. This is my second batch of eggs this year and one has hatched and there’s a second one on its way so who knows when I get home I might have 2 baby quails. Maybe more who knows. Quite glad about that because my new incubator has turned up just the other day. So that’ll mean next month I can put that through its tests.

Anyway, I came down the allotment this morning. I waited till about 10 o clock when the rain had stopped and I’ve been rather productive.

The first task was to harvest my garlic. Now my garlic got attacked by leak rust and I thought it wasn’t going to grow into any really big bulbs and I wasn’t going to get a good result out of it. Well, actually the bulbs haven’t done too bad. A few small ones, a few average size ones and a few large bulbs. I’ve harvested them all they are in the greenhouse where they will dry out and I’m really pleased with it. And I’ll look at preserving them when I get home.

Now after that I pulled my lawnmower out the shed and this was having a bit of difficulty getting going for some reason but got it going after a while. (chuckle to me) this how thing about petrol lawnmowers again this debate and conflict I have within myself.

I I I erm cut up all my weeds did a bit more weeding and cut those up and then I went around the grass areas collecting grass clippings to mulch my sweet potatoes. Now I’ve only covered about two-thirds of my sweet potato with the grass clippings now.

The grass hasn’t really grown all that much recently due to such warm weather we’ve had. So not a huge amount of grass clippings available but what I have got I’ve collected and I’ve used that as a mulch which should hopefully make all the difference. Now we are expecting rain again over the next few days. So who knows that rain might just spur the grass on and mean that next week I might have to run around with the lawnmower yet again and get even more grass clippings.

Now after that I did a bit of tidying up and I’ve planted some gherkin plants into larger pots. Just in pots on the ground. Just using up space where I can.

And really that is what I’ve been up today, so quite productive, and I’m quite pleased with myself with everything that I’ve achieved. So I’m gonna head on home now and let’s see if we’ve got any more quail.

Birds tweeting

Well at this time I can say that no more quail have hatched just yet. I can see one quail egg is breaking through and another is shaking but I am keeping an eye and hoping for results soon.

You also heard in that section that I have harvested my garlic and I am pretty pleased with this year’s garlic harvest. A good range of good-sized bulbs but I don’t want any of these to go to waste which is where I need to look at storing and preserving my garlic.

All my garlic is now harvested and tied in bunches in the greenhouse where I leave it to dry out fully. This is important to help with making the garlic suitable for storage. After a few days, I can then hang these garlic bunches in my garage where it’s dark and cool and it can last till next year quite well. I personally have done this many years running and its worked well and has meant we have garlic all year round. Elephant garlic I have found to be very very good at long term storage although its technically not garlic.

However, not all of my garlic survives a full year and I check my garlic stores regularly I do have to throw some away so what can I do to improve my chances.

In my eyes preserving garlic might be the way to ensure all my garlic doesn’t get wasted. Although this does take a bit of work beforehand.

My first method Is to simply peel each clove of garlic and freeze. This is probably the simplest way to preserve the garlic and doesn’t involve anything other than a freezer. Of course, when I need some garlic I simply pop a clove out the freezer and use.

My next method is one I have discovered and involves storing the garlic in vinegar. Again we peel the garlic cloves and place them in clean jars of which we pour over some hot vinegar. Distilled vinegar is all we need for this nothing special. Place a lid over the jars and allow to cool. Again like the frozen when we need some garlic we just get some out and use like normal. However, this method I reckon will add a bit of a vinegary flavour to the garlic but will allow the garlic to last a year.

We could store our oil in garlic which is my original thought when I started thinking about this however I have read there’s a lot of concern about botulism if we simply placed garlic cloves in oil. However, we could still do this and then freeze or refrigerate to avoid botulism. Which is again another method I am going to try.

Both the methods using oil and vinegar has involved using whole cloves. But we could puree the mixtures too to make a garlic puree. We could also dry our garlic. Which is something I have done in the past. In fact, we still have some dried garlic in our cupboard from years ago.

What I did was slice the garlic cloves and then placed them in my dehydrator until dry and crisp. Some of these slices were kept as garlic chips. But some I also ground down into a powder to make garlic salt. Now I know this works and it lasted for many years.

I am going to try all these methods this year and hopefully we won’t waste any of our garlic. But if you have any methods of storing garlic you want to share then get in touch.

You can email me Richard@theveggrowerpodcast.co.uk. Or you can visit the website and leave a comment at www.theveggrowerpodcast.co.uk. Or you can find me on social media.

Thank you so much for listening today. I’ll be back tomorrow with the Friday night veg gardening pub quiz. So till then please take care and ill speak to you then.

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