This is not a garlic rant but a comment from a plants man and nurseryman. Garlic is often SOLD as a health supplement. Having worked in the Santa Cruz/Gilroy, Salinas area of CA., I can only caution garlic users to buy ‘organic’ garlic. Gilroy may be the garlic capital of CA. but it is also heavily pesticided and the use of herbicides is commonplace.

During some seasons of the year I could barely drive through that valley without wanting to put on a gas mask. Worse yet, we are now importing most of our garlic** from China which not only has the worst track record for polluted soils but the very water they irrigate with.

SO???? Try searching out organic farmers in this country. Buy locally, but buy organically. I have used this supplier in Texas for decades and his website is awesome.

Gourmet Garlic Gardens

** throw in honey as well.
Another site worth investigating would be Filaree Garlic Farm in WA. Great links!!!

One site critiqued me that the pesticides would be so minute they couldn’t hurt.

garlic black and white

 Having once had a pest adviser’s license and having worked with some licensed pest control people, I must disagree. “I would recommend home grown garlic over Chinese garlic too – but not because of any pesticide issue (as any residue remaining would be miniscule and in too small a quantity to be harmful),”

It is important to remember:

1. All people react differently to pesticides. What will put one person under will not affect another.
2. Some pesticides (dermal and oral toxicity) vary greatly. Some former organic pesticides like Nicotine sulfate would put you in the grave if you spilled the concentrate on your palm.

Others like Malathion you could pour on and probably get little reaction (comparative) BUT, Malathion never leaves your body and gets stored in your body fat. One day, being complacent with this “safe” insecticide you will apply it and keel over needing to be hospitalized. Other pesticides being applied to crops are fine powder like substances that can be windblown from the application to other crops. They also are deadly to bees. Most EU countries have banned them.
3. We are ignoring the herbicides and fungicides being applied to crops. The latter has turned out to be a big issue as well, esp. to soft fruits like raspberries, strawberries and fuzzy peaches. Hard to wash off.
4. We are also dealing with water (irrigation) that may be contaminated by all the above as well as fecal coliform.
5. Sometimes shipping also adds to the problem. Residues of fumigants in apples and sweet cherries can be a real problem. Methyl bromide fumigation is commonly used in the shipping of many fruits, avocados, oranges etc. Some countries such as Japan have banned the importation of such treated fruit. I can attest to this! A friend bought a couple of boxes (Co-op buying) of oranges and then threw the empty boxes into a burn pile. Fir and Cedar trees twenty away defoliated from the released fumes. Nothing to do with the heat!!! — just the smoke.

So as you suggested buy locally and buy from an organic grower if you can.
Another shopping site: Seed Grower exchange.

rose garlic
Peel desired amount of garlic. Or slice the top 1/3 off the heads of the garlic, brush with 1 TBS of olive oil and place the sliced top on. (Italian method)

Place in clay dutch oven proof container. I like a 50/50 ratio. If you have an open container, cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until garlic is very squishy.
When cooled, squeeze out the garlic pulp. Mash it all up with a fork and refrigerate or add to mashed potatoes or whatever.
*NOTE* Eat it up within the week and keep it in the fridge! Mash it all up with a fork and refrigerate.
Remember: Garlic + Butter at room temp = Botulism. The same goes for roasted/baked garlic in olive oil.
I would return you to the site I mentioned earlier.
Check out the umpteen varieties he carries. A list of the varieties can be found here!

I remember one he called the "Firecracker garlic" Nothing too bad, until a few minutes passed. It then would explode in your gut and you would start sweating like you couldn't believe. I thought even my hair (when I had some) began to sweat.

dynamiteSome varieties can also be used to make great insecticides.

(C) Herb Senft 2014

Age is not important unless you are a cheese.

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