Wild About Garlic

garlic bulbsI have always liked garlic, but never really gave a thought to how many varieties there were, until I discovered ‘The Garlic Farm’. I planted up three varieties of spring garlic just a few weeks ago, Picardy Wight, Solent Wight and Mersley Wight. Most of it is growing fine but it will be some time before it’s ready for harvesting and in the meantime wild garlic is growing thick and fast. I am fortunate to be in a small rural town, which means you are within easy reach of the small rural lanes which meander through our local countryside. You don’t have to walk far until you reach the swathes of wild garlic in the woodland. You only need to pick what leaves you need, so you are not permanently damaging the plant.

It’s perhaps not a good idea to grow it in your garden unless you have no access to what’s freely available to foragers. It spreads very quickly and would need to be contained otherwise it would take the opportunity to establish and take over. It is quite a thought though, if you have a problem with slugs and snails, they just don’t like garlic, however tempting and tasty it is to others.

Wild Garlic is one of the common names of Allium urisinum, it’s also known as ramsons, buckrams, wood garlic, broad-leaved garlic, bear leek or bear garlic. Apparently brown bears have the same good taste in garlic as humans and can’t get enough of it, so dig it up to get at the roots. They probably aren’t bothered with slugs or snails either, but I wouldn’t like to see what would happen to a countryside warden or ranger, if they dare to challenge it for going against the country code of digging up wild plants. It so happens that wild boar like it as well, and as there are wild boar in the area, I hope their foraging skills don’t find a way through the fencing.

If your climate is anything like ours on the south-west coast of Scotland, then you may also be familiar with Culicoides impunctatus, the Scottish midge. A very small, blood-sucking insect, which makes you feel you are being eaten alive. They don’t, however, like garlic, but I think you would need to consume copious quantities, particularly of the milder wild garlic, to have any impact.

Mushrooms and wild garlic are a feast to die for, so simple and so delicious. The milder garlic flavour is a perfect partner for mushrooms. There are plenty of recipe ideas on the internet for it and freshly gathered, will taste all the better.

Thanks to The Garlic Farm for allowing me to use one of their photographs as my garlic bulbs are already planted. It’s well worth a look at their website which is packed with information on growing garlic.


Why not visit my other blog, grannysattic

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