#7 of 31 Ways to Eat Healthier in the New Year

Garlic! Yes, that pungent, vampire slaying and healthy edible garden super star. We made garlic #7 because we use tons of it, it grows well for us, and it’s really healthy. There are a lot of health claims for garlic and we are not sure exactly which ones are true. What we do know is much of the garlic in our local supermarkets come from far off places like China. Kind of odd since “the garlic capital of the world” is Gilroy, Ca.

Why is locally grown garlic healthier than the supermarket varieties? In our opinion it is a matter of trust.  China has not proven to be a great trading partner to the rest of the world. Google “China and food exports” and read for yourselves. Tainted or fake honey, chemically laden fish, false claims around organics, the list can go on and on. We are not saying every food from China is bad for you, but why take a chance?

In the case of garlic we have options. First, with some planning it is easy to grow your own. Here is a quick, easy video we made to help first timers learn the basics of planting garlic. The bad news is you are too late to plant garlic for the 2014 growing season. Garlic is planted in the Fall of the following year. Do not worry, you have options (beyond moving to the Southern Hemisphere).

There are many local farms growing garlic these days. Sure, it may cost a bit more to buy local, but what a difference in quality and taste. In addition, we think it is nice to know where your foods are grown.

Another option is to trade with someone who grows garlic in their backyard edible garden. Garlic is picked around June in NJ. We do not need a calendar to know this because each June and July we see signs declaring “garlic for sale” all around our area. Maybe you have an abundance of early summer squash or greens to trade with your local garlic grower?

Finally, it is a treat to see the green shoots of garlic popping up from the soil as Winter sets in. Our garlic shoots are covered in mulch right now, but a quick peak beneath the mulch reveals the vibrant, green garlic tops. A nice signal of Spring life to come!

8 thoughts on “#7 of 31 Ways to Eat Healthier in the New Year

  1. Garlic is great. It is actually a known anti-fungal. I have used it to treat ringworm that I got from horses. It is also great to puree with some water then strain and spray on any crop you have that has a fungus.

    • Thank you for the comment. We were trying to avoid sticking too many health claims on garlic. We believe it is a very beneficial edible plant and great cuisine contributor. However, the nutriceutical industry has taken some of the potential health benefits of garlic and well…expanded them a bit too much. We at DIY Backyard Farm believe in diets rich with whole, minimally processed foods. A diverse diet of simple, locally grown when possible foods is a nice way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need.

      • I know exactly what you mean about the industry expounding on the uses of garlic. I mentioned it’s anti-fungal properties because it has been used for generations and has been proved to work in multiple studies. I think it is really one of the only health claims I would stick on garlic.

        I am glad to see that others are weary of all that the nutriceutical industry has to say and that ya’ll are promoting locally grown foods. I grew up in a farming community and have seen so many lose their farms and livelihoods to big business. Not only is it destroying the small farmer but it is destroying most of the nutrition in food as well.

        I wish you the best in spreading the message of whole, locally grown foods and know that you are touching many lives doing this including many of my friends and family that own or work on small farms.
        -K

  2. Pingback: Grow Your Own Garlic |

  3. Pingback: Must Read For Anyone Interested in Growing Their Own Food | Backyard Edible Gardening

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