Ahhh. . .Garlic!








Above, garlic drying/curing in a covered shed on Delta Farm.

We love garlic for flavor and aroma, but ancient civilizations viewed garlic primarily as a medicine. They used it as a remedy for arthritis, toothache, chronic cough, constipation, parasites, snake and insect bites, and gynecologic diseases, as well as an antibiotic against infection. Modern science has proven that some of these concepts are actually true.

Garlic has organosulfur compounds, which are responsible for its pungent aromas and flavor and also for its health benefits. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, organosulfur compounds help prevent cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure because of their anti-clotting effects. Some research indicates they may protect against cancer, and that they purify the blood. People use raw garlic topically to prevent infections, or fight fungus. Some consume garlic when they feel a cold coming on, or for beautiful hair and skin.

What about that pungent odor and sharp taste? Even though they indicate the presence of the enzyme alliinase, which breaks down into the organisulfur compounds, most people prefer cooking garlic before they consume it. Does cooking reduce all those health benefits?

Most studies indicate that yes, long cooking reduces the benefits. But according to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, baking garlic at 390°F for 3 minutes (or boiling it for 3 minutes) does not greatly affect its anti-clotting abilities. However, heating it for 6 minutes reduces it significantly. At the same time, crushing or mincing raw garlic and leaving it for 10 minutes, then adding it towards the very end of cooking time maintains more of the alliinase. So watch the clock, and you can have your garlic and eat it, too!


Red Kale Plant Starts 7-25-14

A bonus for your garden

In November our Farm share program will end, but right about then, if planted immediately and kept moist, the little Nash’s Red Kale  starts that you find in your box will be producing enough leaves for you to harvest and eat!

These starts are not a substitute for any veggies you would have ordinarily received. We had a bunch of extra starts and wanted to share them with our farm family. They are grown from Nash’s own seed stock, that we’ve developed over a period of many years. You can plant the starts in your garden outdoors (they are winter hardy) or in a pot inside or outside, or share them with friends and neighbors. Each plant needs about 18 inches radius around it to grow. Keep them well-watered, especially in the summer heat. We cut the tops off so that the new plants will focus their energies into the roots, and so excess water is not lost via the leaves during their adjustment to their new home. In a short time, the leaves will grow back.

Next week we will have full bunches of Nash’s Red Kale in the boxes, a preview of what these little seedlings will be doing this fall and winter!