“Reeking” is the word often used to describe how one smells from garlic. It is a word which carries with it an implication of something unpleasant, undesirable and unwanted and, though I disagree strongly with this description of the garlic aroma, I must admit to washing my hands thoroughly today after an hour handling garlic bulbs and before I picked strawberries. Somehow, much as I like it, I don’t want the whiff of garlic on my strawberries.
We have six varieties of garlic growing in the garden; four had been lifted the week before last and I lifted the final two today – ‘Tartto’ an Estonian cultivar and ‘Voronezh’ which is Russian. Both make good sized bulbs with good flavour and, a very important consideration, both store well so will be good to eat well into spring. I plant some extra bulbs which I can lift in spring to tide us over until we lift the main crop in summer.
‘Purple Wight’, ‘Solent Wight’ and ‘Iberian Wight’ are from a garlic supplier on the Isle of Wight and are all of good flavour, especially ‘Solent Wight’, though they are not the strongest of growers for us. ‘Riley’s’ is one we were given by friends, John and Iris Riley many years ago and which we like very much. The bulbs are smallish but have a excellent flavour. We also grow ‘Elephant Garlic’ but ate it only on the first year we grew it. We found it had an unpleasant flavour, what I describe as having a touch of cabbage green in the taste, and we no longer eat it but grow it for its attractive flowers.
Elsewhere in the vegetable garden, where I spent my afternoon: