Allium sativum

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I love growing garlic.  It is one of the easiest crops to grow, there is little maintenance when it is mulched, and the production is fantastic. It's like having a strong, silent partner, one who will do whatever it takes to succeed, needs no help or advice, and will always return great dividends. A gardener's friend indeed. So glad to see our 2018 crop planted yesterday before overnight rain.

I am really happy to see Australian garlic on your menu again. We have long imported most of our garlic, and cheap garlic from China (who exported 1.8 million tonnes in 2016/17, including around 9,000 tonnes to Australia!!) made it hard for local growers to find a market. But now you have rediscovered the freshness and flavours of local garlic, and are turning away from the perfectly  bleached bulbs grown where chemicals banned in Australia are notoriously used.

Garlic breath is not compatible with most polite company. Though all sorts of remedies have been suggested - raw beans, parsley, spinach, celery, ginger, chervil, peppermint, fennel, fenugreek seeds, and coffee beans - it seems that good old cows milk might be your best option to counteracting this scourge of good dinner parties and keeping your genteel friends. Why?

Garlic breath happens when allyl methyl sulfide, a volatile garlic compound which is absorbed into the blood and taken to the lungs, is then exhaled in your breath. It also goes to your skin, where it is exuded through your pores. Studies have shown that sipping milk at the same time as consuming garlic can significantly neutralize garlic breath. Mixing garlic with milk in the mouth before swallowing reduced the odor better than drinking milk afterward. Plain water may also reduce the odor, but the mixture of fat and water found in milk was the most effective. So there you have it!

PS We will begin harvesting this garlic crop in November... Sorry for the wait!

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