Why Garlic is Good to Eat
• If you eat only small amounts of garlic – like 1-2 cloves in the family dinner, we can’t supply you with many nutrients, but if you eat lots of us, we could give lots of dietary fibre, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamin C
• We have some sulphur compounds that scientists believe are very good for our health. Some of these change when we’re cooked and the top benefits seem to come from eating both cooked and raw garlic.
• 100 grams has 520 kJ – but eating that much could be difficult. A clove of garlic might weigh only a few grams.

Garlic does leave an odour on your breath, but anyone who has also eaten garlic will not be able to smell it, so eating garlic may need to become a communal activity. Some people claim that chewing parsley removes ‘garlic breath’, but this rarely works.

History of Garlic
We’re an ancient plant, having been cultivated for food and as a medicine for thousands of years. The Egyptians used us as far back as 3750 BC and we were eaten in China from about 2000 BC. It’s thought that we came from the mountains of Central Asia and from there we were probably spread by travellers and traders to China, India, Egypt and the Mediterranean. Garlic was used by the Greeks and Romans for at least 2500 years. The Romans were probably responsible for our arrival in the British Isles.

Growing Russian garlic also known as elephant garlic

Russian garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is a tough, robust plant to 1.2m (4') tall. It has cylindrical stems, greyish green, waxy leaves and pale pink to lilac flowers. It will grow everywhere in Australia. (Note: Russian garlic is an environmental weed in Western Australia.) 

Enrich the soil with manure before planting. In cool to temperate climates plant the cloves in late summer, pointy end up and 15-20cm apart. In hot areas chill Russian garlic in the fridge for a month, then plant in midwinter. Add a slow-release fertiliser at planting time, or use a complete fertiliser (such as Dynamic Lifter) while it's growing in winter and spring. Harvest after flowering when the stem is just starting to die back. Dig up the bulbs, peel away the outer dirty layers of skin, and leave in a dry place until the leaves turn papery. Hang the giant garlic up in big bundles tied with string until ready to use


Thanks to funtrivia and Burkes Backyard fact sheets


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