Garlic: wild and cultivated

Our cultivated garlic is looking sturdy in the rain, but it will be a while before there is anything to harvest. I know that some people advocate harvesting immature bulbs at this time of year, as they have a delicious mild flavour but honestly – who’s going to do that unless they have a total garlic glut already? And even if I did have a garlic glut, I’d be worried that something would wipe out my crop before harvesting.

At present, we haven’t found that the old adage for garlic ‘plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest’ holds true. We do try to plant around 21 December, but we’re not usually harvesting until early August. That’s a long time away from now, and I’m not pulling up any of my garlic at this stage, just in case some marauding fox comes and digs some of it up in June (it’s happened before) and leaves me without enough to get through the winter.

Meantime though, there are Ramsons. Wild garlic is pretty, invasive and dead easy to grow. It can’t be mistaken for anything else because it smells like garlic (only milder) and in April and May it’s a delight to eat. The bulbs aren’t a lot of cop, to be honest, it’s the leaves that are the tasty part: use them like chives in an omelette or make Ramson soup, which is delicious and not as anti-social as garlic soup!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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