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**Taken from OffGrid News letter**
Right about now in my area of the country, we're winding down the summer harvest. We're picking those last lingering tomatoes, filling the cupboards with a little more canned squash, and putting the last of the corn into the freezer. We generally don't think of fall as the time to prepare for next year's harvest. Heck no! It's time to take a break, sit back, and enjoy the fruits of our labors.
At least that's what I thought until I happened to stop by my neighbor's house just a few days ago. She was digging in her raised beds, adding some organic nutrients, and turning the soil over. I won't lie, I'm a little new to this whole gardening thing. I've planted peas, corn, squash, beans, tomatoes, and okra successfully, but I'm by no means a master gardener. I'll take any opportunity I can to learn--and that's why I asked my neighbor if I should be getting my garden beds ready for spring.
And that's when I learned about nature's all-purpose remedy
My neighbor just laughed and shook her head. Then she snatched up a paper bag and plopped it into my hand.
It was garlic, my neighbor informed me ... but not just any garlic. Just like you can't plant potatoes from the grocery store, you can't plant garlic from the grocery store either. Not if you hope to get a decent crop, that is. She explained that, while she could wait until spring to plant the garlic bulbs, it would produce a much smaller clove that wouldn't even be worth the effort of harvesting. Planting her garlic in the fall would make all the difference. It would give the garlic time to grow roots before winter, and come spring, it would be ready to produce foliage and much larger bulbs.
My neighbor also reminded me of all the health benefits of freshly grown garlic. Garlic has been used in the healing traditions of countless cultures for thousands of years. Just as its flavor makes it essential for the discerning cook, garlic's track record makes it a no-brainer for a survival garden. For example, did you know that:
Garlic contains allicin, an organosulfur compound that scavenges hydroxyl radicals. This process is thought to prevent LDL, the bad type of cholesterol, from being oxidized. (Oxidized LDL contains free radicals that damage the walls of the blood vessels.)
The allicin in garlic increases antioxidant enzymes in your blood. These enzymes help counter the effects of aging and nicotine.
Garlic helps promote cardiovascular health. It promotes vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, which helps blood flow more easily.
Garlic has one percent of the potency of penicillin. That may not sound like much, but this natural germ-fighting quality is important in today's climate of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Bacteria easily can become resistant to antibiotics ... but not to garlic! In numerous studies, garlic has gone up against listeria, salmonella, E. coli, cryptococcal meningitis, Candida albicans, and staphylococcus. (In a TEOTWAWKI situation where medical care is scarce or non-existent, garlic would be an essential ingredient in any survival medicine chest.)
Choose the right seed garlic, and you'll never have to buy garlic again!
My neighbor was planting a hard neck garlic variety called German Extra Hardy that is known for its vigor. It has a white outer parchment and reddish-tinged cloves. And while it loves northern winters, it grows well in Zones 3 - 9. It also stores well.
I asked my neighbor why I couldn't just take a garlic bulb from the store and plant it. She explained that grocery store garlic bulbs are field runs, which means they're just snatched out of the ground, weighed, then shipped. They're only suitable for cooking, not planting. Her German Extra Hardy garlic, on the other hand, had been carefully pulled out from the ground (not snatched), and had been selected for several desirable qualities like vigor, output, uniformity, and even looks. Her seed garlic was graded not only on its culinary value, but also on its ability to reproduce with the least amount of problems. Plus, it's certified disease and nematode free.
After she explained all that to me, I wasn't surprised to learn that she had purchased her garlic from Heirloom Solutions. They're particularly excited about this stock of German Extra Hardy that they now have available for fall planting. It hasn't been fumigated (like so much stock from China has been) and it has not been sprayed with any type of sprout inhibitor, so it's not contaminated with chemicals. Plus, it's grown by fiercely independent farmers who pride themselves on providing nutrient dense, healthy stock to their customers.
Each one-pound package of German Extra Hardy comes with 6 - 8 bulbs that contain about four to seven cloves per bulb. This means that you could harvest up to 45 bulbs of garlic next spring! By the way, when you do, choose the healthiest, most vigorous of the bunch and plant them again the following fall. Do this every year and you'll never have to buy seed garlic again!
German Extra Hardy isn't just great in the garden, though. It's absolutely delicious in any dish you could ever cook up. This robust tasting garlic is the perfect addition in soups, pasta dishes, stews, chowders, or any recipe that calls for garlic. (By the way, to get the maximum health benefits of the garlic, wait until the last few minutes of cooking to add it to your dish. This will ensure that its health-promoting compounds stay active.)
You can add German Extra Hardy to your survival garden (and your emergency health supplies) for just $19.95 plus shipping and handling. You'll get a full pound for fall planting, and by spring you'll have almost more than you know what to do with! Heirloom Solutions has special ordered this batch of bulbs in response to requests from their loyal customers ... and when this lot of German Extra Hardy garlic is gone, that will be it for the season. To get in on this special price, click here to order your garlic today.
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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
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