Why buy garlic from a farmer you KNOW?

Why buy garlic from a farmer you KNOW?

Garlic is amazing!

Think of all the different ways we eat garlic...soups, sauces, salas, marinades, spaghetti sauce, with veggies, garlic powder, etc.  You eat it in SO many different ways!

That said, most of the garlic Americans eat is not grown in the U.S. or from people you know their growing practices.  Why does that matter?

Did you know garlic is a super-food?

Garlic adds so much flavor in cooking, and it is high in medicinal value. Garlic is high in Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and many other trace minerals that are vital for healthy immune function. 

The compound found in garlic, allicin, is what gives the flavor & antioxidant punch. It's closely related to onions, shallots, and leeks.

In addition, garlic has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, reduce LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, improve the immune system, remove parasites from the GI tract, prevents and treats colds, and works as a natural antibiotic in all areas of the body.  

I use it all the time minced in salad dressings, soups & chili, chopped in tomato sauce, salsa & marinades, and I love adding it to stir-fry's and fresh pesto.

Years ago, when I was shopping for garlic in the winter, I noticed that most garlic in the grocery store looked so different than what we grew.

Knowing about other countries’ agricultural practices and soil pollution, I became curious. 

Stay clear of Unknown Garlic

In the U.S., around 60-80% of Garlic comes from China.  Garlic from China is of questionable safety. China uses many pesticides illegal to use in the U.S. You don't know for sure what they fertilize their garlic with!  Pesticides alone, no matter where you are, are not exactly useful to your health. 

It is then sprayed with chemicals to prevent sprouting, bleached with chlorine to make it look white, and, by law, fumigated with methyl bromide, according to Henry Bell of the Australian Garlic Industry Association. 

High doses of methyl bromide can cause respiratory and central nervous system damage. According to the UN, it’s 60 times more dangerous than chlorine.

How can I tell the difference between more naturally grown garlic & potentially harmful?

Typical characteristics of imported or less naturally grown garlic:

Very white (likely bleached).

Lack of soil stains.  It is completely natural for garlic to have soil stains. Imported garlic is heavily bleached to remove soil stains and has an unnaturally white color.

Lack of roots. It is required by the FDA that all roots be removed from imported produce to prevent soil-borne pathogens from entering the US. 

This is not a requirement for US garlic farmers so they often leave the roots attached. 

If the bottom of a garlic bulb has a bare, concave surface where roots would naturally be, it is most likely imported. 

Sprouting. Garlic bulbs naturally sprout and will sometimes grow little green shoots. Again, the heavy bleaching of imported garlic will kill the garlic and prevent this from occurring. If there are shoots coming from the top of the bulb or tiny roots trying to form at the bottom of a clove, another sign you are good to go. 

Taste. Imported garlic has a more metallic and bitter taste due to a lower concentration of allicin and higher concentration of chemicals and heavy metals. 

Better Yet, Buy Local, Organically Grown Garlic

Know your farmer...know your food.

One of our big Fall crops to plant is garlic.

We usually keep a portion of our own crop for seed we plant in Oct/Nov.  We are already planning out where we will plant it.

All in all we feel REALLY happy about growing garlic for you.

It is becoming increasingly important to know where your food comes from. 

We’re here to help and we can’t do it without you!

RECIPE for Roasted garlic (it’s so easy!)

Rub a whole head of garlic with olive oil, wrap it in aluminum foil and roast it in the oven (a toaster oven works great) at 350F for about 30-40 minutes. Easily squeeze out the garlic ‘paste’ from the cloves. 

Roasted garlic is great in sauces when you want a milder garlic flavor with delicious depth.

Roasted garlic is great in hummus or on it’s own pureed with olive oil and salt as a super trendy bread spread.