Monday, November 1

Almost risked botulism!!

This week I split one of the large garlic bulbs that we grew last year and planted the cloves in pots in our cold garden greenhouse. We did this last year and then planted the sprouted cloves out on the plot in mid March. All in all this method proved rather TOO successful as I ended up with more garlic than we would ever use even after giving some away to whoever wanted any. My sister in particular was fed up with me asking "Do you want any more garlic?"
This year I'm trying to be more restrained and have planted up 18 cloves - there were 19 in the bulb but my tray holds 18 pots! 18 garlic bulbs should be plenty shouldn't it?
Anyway moving on to the near miss with botulism. Having loads and loads of bulbs I decided that I should try to preserve some to use in the gap when the fresh garlic is dried out or sprouting and harvesting the next lot of bulbs. I thought maybe if I chopped up the cloves and popped them in oil they should be OK as you can buy them like this in the supermarkets.

Luckily I decided to research this a bit first and found out that the stuff you can buy in supermarkets is treated specially as once peeled garlic kept at even refrigerator temperature can develop botulism. Apparently the only safe way to preserve garlic at home is to freeze it! You can freeze it as whole bulbs, whole cloves or chopped so I decided to freeze some freshly pressed! When I had finished the whole house and my hands reeked of garlic. Even after a couple of days the faint smell of garlic is still lingering. Maybe if I do any more I'll have to set up outside like Martyn did when he made our piccallili!
I've added my diary entry for the last week in October - click here - and also another photo alum - click here. Just click on the links if you are interested.

Martyn has also published the complete weather charts for October on his blog click here if you want a look.



13 comments:

  1. I would love some of your garlic:) Our garlic consumption perweek is average 2~3bulbs. You plant them out in spring. We plant them from April (Autumn) and I usually harvest them during Christmas.

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  2. Pity you're not nearer!!! When we plant out they are usually fairly well grown.

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  3. I don't grow garlic as we only use very little. It seems that you're a victim of your own success.

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  4. Just hope that I resist planting any more.

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  5. I've done exactly the same - planted them in pots in a cold greenhouse. Hopefully they'll get a good start and be ready to plant out in the spring. I've done the same with shallots but after two weeks neither of them are showing any signs of life.

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  6. Hi Woody,
    It worked really well last year - I grew some in tubs that didn't do as well - haven't tried with shallots or onion sets but may do that in future. Winter onion sets are planted on the plot and have sprouted a few centimetres.

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  7. So good that you researched. That could have been dangerous.
    I wish i had some of the garlic too

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  8. Maybe I should set up as a mail order garlic supplier.

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  9. Garlic is a member of the allium family it is also includes leeks, shallots & onions. Individual cloves act as seeds. The bulbs grow underground and the leaves shoot in to the air. Although garlic is traditionally thought of as a Mediterranean ingredient garlic is also grown successfully in colder more Northern climates. I am also planned to grow in my home.

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  10. haha! you can never have enough garlic :)

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  11. I have planted my garlic directly into the ground as I did last year. Last year I planted about 20 out and we got through them way too quickly so this year I have gone for three times that many...also hoping for no fire damage so we can receive a better crop. I had no idea the only way to store garlic was to freeze it so thanks for the tip!!

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  12. Lucky escape! You can never have enough garlic!!

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  13. Wow - you lot eat lots of galic don't you?
    Tanya Im hoping that most of the bulbs (heads) will last just hanging the frozen will just tied us over in between crops.

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