I am thrilled to say that my new book has been released and is in bookshops and can be purchased online from my website shop . If you would like your copy signed to a specific person, then send me an email through the contact page. I’ll be talking about garlic and the book on radio over the coming weeks and there will be reviews in newspapers and magazines, so keep an eye out for them.
The book has taken me three years to write, but has been much longer in it’s gestation. It covers everything from more than 50 different cultivars of garlic, to guidelines for growing organic garlic around the country as well as interviews with twelve Australian garlic growers telling you how and where they grow their garlic. There are also recipes for cooking, preserving and smoking garlic and even making your own black garlic as well as medicinal uses and an extensive list of growers and suppliers.
This book starts to make sense of the confusion surrounding garlic and explains that garlic is not just garlic, it is Creole, Rocambole, Purple Stripe, Turban, Silverskin and more.
These are a couple of short extracts from the book, starting with Garlic ThoughtsPushing my fingers into the soil I pull back the dirt and feel the surface of the hidden bulb. The cloves are well-formed, so I know it is ready to harvest. I slide the fork underneath and unearth this compact, beautiful parcel of close-fitting packages of sweet, nutty, biting perfection. I know that in a few weeks, like unwrapping a birthday present, I will split open the papery white skins to reveal the glossy red cloves inside. And when these skins are removed they’ll release the creamy white flesh of odiferous wonder. A chemical miracle, thousands of years old. It has such an impact on all our culinary adventures and increasing importance in maintaining good health. Is it any wonder that garlic is my favourite edible plant?
And this is from the chapter on Growing Garlic
Choose the garlic cultivars suited to your climate.
Grow several cultivars – for a range of flavours and to see which best suit your region.
Prepare a sunny, well-drained position with a soil pH between 6 and 7.
Add organic matter – green manure, compost and well-rotted manures – and dig in several weeks before planting.
Plant cloves from March to June, 2-5 cm deep, pointy end up and 10-15 cm apart.
Mulch with a light, open mulch to a depth of up to 10-20 cm. Keep weed-free and well watered.
Spray leaves with seaweed or fish emulsion (alternating) once a month until one month before harvest.
Harvest 7 to 8 months after planting, when leaves start dying back but 4 to 6 green leaves still remain and the bulb has swollen with clear clove ridges.
Cure by hanging for 3 to 8 weeks in a warm, dry, airy position. Top and tail and store in a cool, dry, airy position until needed.
Set aside 10 to 15 per cent of your best cloves for replanting.
Eat the rest!