Elephant Garlic


If you can get your hands on some elephant garlic, now is the time to plant it. Elephant garlic is like regular garlic–only bigger! (It’s also a little milder, for when you don’t want that heavy-handed garlic assault.)

I got my hands on some elephant garlic when Leslie and Diane came back to show me how to inoculate more shiitake mushroom logs. (More on that in another post.) The universe, I’m telling you! You can always count on it! I gave them some homemade bread, jam, and soap. The universe works best when it’s operating in both directions. Leslie and Diane always enjoy seeing Jack. They are Jack’s former owners. Jack likes to see them, too. When Jack lived with Leslie and Diane, they let him come on the porch and he had all the licorice treats he wanted.

Now Jack has Poky. I figure he thinks that was a fair trade for licorice treats and porch living.

Back to elephant garlic.

Elephant garlic is easy to grow, and you don’t need much of it to get a whole garden of elephant garlic started. Just divide the elephant garlic into cloves then plant each clove an inch or two deep in the soil with the pointy end up. In the spring, each bulb will send up a flower head. If you break the flower off, you can direct the plant’s energy to produce a bigger bulb. (The leaves and flowers are also edible and are considered a delicacy.) You can harvest the bulbs when the tops die down. But don’t eat all of it–or you won’t have any next year!

And you’ll want some to saute with all those shiitake mushrooms…..

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on October 18, 2010  

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13 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 10-18

    Suzanne, once you harvest the bulbs, how do you store it so that it lasts? Do you braid it and hang it? How long does it last? Garlic always goes rancid on me. The stuff I buy in the store anyway. I’d like to grow my own one day, but I always think, “What would I do with ALL of it!” Do you have a post on this? Thanks!

  2. 10-18

    I’m planning to plant garlic this year.
    Thanks for the tips, Suzanne!

  3. 10-18

    You had me at “saute”… Ha!

    LOVE to see your donkeys!!!

  4. 10-18

    my growing garlic just arrived in the mail! :snoopy: yes, this is the time to plant, and thanks for the nudge Suzanne, as I have a tendency to put off…
    this will be my first experience growing my own and from now on I hope to never have to buy garlic again! :yes:

  5. 10-18

    Nice photo of the two donkeys. Cute! For some reason the onion family is fascinating to me. I’m tempted to grow some garlic, and I don’t even like it.

  6. 10-18

    I love this garlic, I used to see it quite a lot in the stores, but not so much any more, I am going to try to find some for planting, the flavor is so nice.
    Thank you.

  7. 10-18

    Miss Becky–would you please share the name of the place where you ordered you garlic from?
    Thank you

  8. 10-18

    I bought some elephant garlic for a recipe a few months ago and it was delicious. Definitely milder and sweeter when roaster or baked. Thank you for the tips on growing our own! Jack and Poky are so adorable!

  9. 10-18

    I FINALLY found leeks this morning that still had root ends (my grocery store likes to do me favors *HA!* by cutting them off) and now you tell me about this beauty. How will I ever keep up?

  10. 10-18

    I’ll be on the lookout for some bulbs.

  11. 10-18

    We have lots of elephant garlic, mainly for ornamental purposes the tall puffy tops are an interesting touch to the garden.

  12. 10-18

    try gurneys website, i remember seeing several varieties of garlic this spring when i was ordering my goodies :)

  13. 10-18

    Try roasting elephant garlic as a spread for fresh bread. YUM! Done this way it is sweet.

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