Wild West Yorkshire, Friday 26 November 2010
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WE'RE GOING to plant our garlic in a sunnier spot this year. Last season it went in a bed shaded by a tall hedge and the cloves weren't as plump as usual, although the bulbs have kept well and we've still got ten of them in a basket at the back of the garage and another ten hanging from the shelf, tied up by their stems.
This is Garlic Wight Cristo, a variety that is intended for the British climate.
In addition to its uses in the kitchen, garlic has medicinal and insecticidal properties. It can be used in companion planting - for example you can grow it next to carrots to discourage the carrot root-fly.
In Grow Your Own Drugs, James Wong gives recipes for using garlic in gargles, in a footbath and in a talcum powder to treat athlete's foot. He suggests mixing it with honey to treat coughs. It's one of the active ingredients in his recipe for oil for treating head lice and in a super-charged chicken soup which he recommends to 'help boost immunity and generally ease the symptoms of cold and flu.'
Perhaps we should grow a whole bed of it!
Richard Bell, illustrator
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