The garlic I planted on the winter solstice has taken advantage of the recent rain. It is now 5cm above ground, and looking great!
Of course, when the garlic in the garden starts sprouting, so does the garlic stored in the shed. And once it starts sprouting, its flavour goes off. The goats will still eat it (they seem to love garlic, and the local breeders feed it to them to help fend off intestinal parasites), but it’s not very tasty to the human palate.
So it’s about this time of year when we switch to using the garlic we dried at harvest time. The thin slices grind well in a mortar and pestle, and are easy to use. Though they aren’t as good as fresh garlic, they’re much better than sprouted garlic, because they were dried at peak freshness.
We’ll use this dry garlic until we can start harvesting the first immature new heads around Christmas. But as spring comes on, and the winter-planted leeks and the spring onions begin to be harvested, we naturally start using more of these fresh members of the onion family and less garlic. There will almost certainly be dry garlic left when the new heads start coming in. But that’s okay—the goats like dry garlic, too!