Time to get the garlic! Local farm markets have fat bulbs of garlic waiting for you to take it home! Garlic has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibacterial properties, and can lower cholesterol and triglycerides by 5-15%, can lower blood pressure, and can improve iron metabolism. It is an excellent source of manganese and a very good source of vitamins B6, thiamin (B1) and C, as well as a good source of phosphorus, selenium, calcium, and copper.
Garlic consists of small separate cloves which together form a bulb which is encased in a papery covering. Choose garlic which is plump and firm, not hard and dried out. Store it at room temperature in a dark place. Do not refrigerate it as the cold will stimulate the growth cycle and your garlic will begin to sprout (garlic that has begun to sprout is perfectly fine to eat, but use it up right away as it will not keep much longer).
A convenient way to use garlic that has begun to sprout (or any garlic) is to mince it and keep it in a small jar in good quality olive oil. A teaspoon of this mixture equals a clove of garlic in recipes, and it is quick and convenient for use in your favorite dishes. Be sure to keep this mixture in the refrigerator, as keeping it at room temperature is the perfect set-up for botulism.
Pick up some fresh garlic from Fine's Creek Garlic at the Sugarcreek township farm market on Fridays from 3-7 pm now through the end of October.
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