Tag Archives: garlic

Garlic Soap???

I have decided to edit this post in light of recent comments  made by a reader. Their comment was:

“Hello, we grow giant seed garlic and noticed your blog. There is a serious possibility of introducing botulism with this- “I would use a cold infusion method – mince the fresh garlic, add it to the oil and let it sit on a sunny window sill for several days.” Reference page:
https://donteatitsoap.com/2018/06/20/garlic-soap/

Setting the garlic in a sunny window would raise the temperature up to levels where botulism would multiply. And windowsill temperatures (especially if a sealed jar were used) will go beyond the breakdown point of the most common garlic chemicals such as allicin and other organosulfur compound products of the alliinase reaction.”

Original Post

Yesterday my blog stats showed that someone came across my site, twice, through a search engine – The search terms were “where can I buy garlic soap?” and “how to make garlic soap”. I am certain that my blog came up because both soap and garlic are topics I blog about. While I do use many types of plants and foods in my handcrafted soaps Garlic is not one of them. I would be lying if I said that the thought never crossed my mind, but whenever it has I have immediately dismissed it, thinking it was not a good idea.

Regretfully the person searching for information on garlic soap did not find what they were looking for on my blog, so today I want to fix that.

There are actually two things that come to my mind when I hear the term “garlic soap”. One is a soap that would remove the smell of garlic. For this purpose a coffee soap is commonly recommended. Truthfully you wouldn’t even need a coffee soap, just rub some wet coffee grounds onto your hands and the garlic smell should be eliminated.

I do, however, make a coffee soap and many of my customers love it. This soap is made with a triple coffee infusion. I use brewed coffee as the liquid in the soap. I infuse the oils with coffee by adding coffee grounds to the oil and heating it to about 190 degrees Fahrenheit, and I then leave the coffee grounds in the soap to add some extra scrubbing power. I do sell my soaps locally and am willing to ship within the U.S. but I feel that shipping out of the country would be cost prohibitive. You can view my selection of soaps and skincare products here and if you are interested in ordering please email me at ruth20012001@yahoo.com and be sure to put “soap” in the subject line..

The second thing that comes to mind when I hear the term garlic soap is a soap that is infused with garlic. This is the one that I thought was a bad idea. I can see some potential benefits to applying garlic to the skin. Garlic is said to be antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. It sometimes used as a pesticide and is said to ward off evil. All that being said, it is questionable whether any of the beneficial properties of the garlic would survive the chemical process required in soap making.

Edited

Considering the above comment and knowing that there is a the risk of botulism growing when garlic is in an anaerobic environment that had a acidic value above 4.6 I retract any statements or recommendations previously made about using garlic to make soap. Although botulism is generally contracted through ingesting foods that have been improperly processed or stored there is the possibility that botulism could enter the blood stream through open wounds as well.  Thus garlic added to soap may pose a treat to the user.

I personally will not be making “Garlic Soap”.

Thanks for reading and have a great day 🙂

 

A Year In Growing Garlic (Part VII)

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If you planted garlic last fall, as we did, by now you should be seeing vigorous green top growth. How vigorous can depend on many things. Variety of garlic you planted, clove size that was planted and soil conditions are all major factors. If You are not seeing vigorous green growth you will probably need to add some nitrogen fertilizer to give it a boost. It is recommended that nitrogen only be given up until the time that the bulbs start forming. This article explains that bulbs start forming around the time the ground temperature reaches around 60 degrees. http://greyduckgarlic.com/Southern_Garlic_Grower_Guide.html  Another article I read said that bulbs start forming around Memorial day. That article I’m assuming was referring to growing garlic in a cooler, northern climate like ours.

This time of year it is also important to make sure that garlic is getting enough water. This year our problem has been too much water, since we have had “April showers” in January, February, March, April and the first part of May. Although our garlic has shown signs of being stressed with some yellowing of the leaves, due to too much water, we are optimistic that we will have a decent crop.

It is recommended that garlic receive 1 inch of water a week during dry periods up until about two weeks before harvest. At this time we have no intention of watering the garlic anytime soon.

Keeping garlic weeded is the other chore that needs to be done from now until harvest. “Weed early, weed often” seems to be a garlic growers mantra as I seen it written in more then one article that I’ve read about growing garlic. Last week my husband and I spent several hours on two separate days weeding the garlic. Weeding garlic is something that needs to be done by hand, especially if it is planted with several rows close together, like our is.  At this point the weeds were still small and with the ground being wet the weeds came out easily. I believe this is the reason for the “weed early” advice. As bulb formation begins making sure the garlic weed free is even more important, as garlic that is crowded by weeds or roots of weeds will produce smaller bulbs. I do expect that we will be on our hands and knees weeding the garlic a couple more times before harvest. 🙂

 

 

A Year In Growing Garlic (Part VI)Unintended Consequences

Tuesday’s warm temperatures allowed me to get into the garlic field to do some work. If you are growing your own garlic this is a job that you shouldn’t have to worry about, but I decided to write about it so that others can learn from our mistakes.

My task for the day was digging green garlic. The garlic that I was digging were not the cloves that we planted last October for harvest this July. This patch of garlic was coming up seemingly independently. What happened was when we planted last years crop, in the fall of 2015, we planted a short row of small cloves that we thought we would use as a test row to try out the potato digger that we hoped to use to harvest the garlic. That row went largely neglected (unweeded and unfertilized) last year as it was not really figured in as part of the crop that we would sell. When harvest season came the condition of the soil was so dry and hard that using the potato digger was out of the question. That short row of garlic also went unharvested.

When my husband tilled the area to prepare for the next planting those garlic plants were tilled under. It is very apparent that many of the cloves from that unharvested garlic survived the tilling, as they sprouted up along with the garlic that we planted for this years crop.

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More garlic coming up would be a good thing except that they were coming up amongst the garlic that we planted for this season. If left in place they would be too crowded which could reduce the size of the bulbs.

Needing to get rid of them, but not wanting to waste them, I decided to harvest the greens. These are referred to as green garlic. Normally to harvest green garlic I would just snip it at the base of the plant and leave the roots in place, but since I did not want this to grow back up I needed to dig it. The job was somewhat complicated by the fact that the soil was still pretty wet and therefore sticky mud, also many of the plants were growing sideways so the roots were not directly below the greens. I spent several hours Tuesday with my hands and knees in the dirt and filled up a paper shopping bag with green garlic.

When I took home the bag full of green garlic Tuesday evening I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do with them. I started by clipping all the roots off that evening. I would decide more in the morning.

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Tuesday morning I decided my next step was to clean the greens. For several reasons I decided I was not ready to send these to market. Mostly because people are not familiar with buying and using green garlic, so before market it I need to learn a little more about it myself. I need to know the best way to store them and how long the will keep. I need to experiment so I can educate others.

I expect that they will keep well for a while in the refrigerator, but they do need to be sealed in a bag to prevent the garlic smell from adulterating other foods. So I put a sealed bag of greens in the veggie drawer in the refrigerator. I’ll add some to my salad this weekend.

I then decided to see how well they would dehydrate. If they maintain their flavor they would be even better than dried chives in my opinion. Using scissors I cut them into small pieces and loaded my dehydrator. I set the temperature at 90 degrees and checked them every few hours. It probably took about six hours to completely dry them. I was quite happy with the flavor that was retained through the drying process. A word of warning for anyone who might attempt this: the dried greens are very light weight and confetti-like; the least amount of movement can make them blow around. Many of the green flakes ended up on the counter and even the floor. So move cautiously around them and DO NOT open the dehydrator when it is still running!

My sister and my aunt who stopped by while I was cleaning the green garlic were each given a bag and we talked about ways to use them. I hope to hear back from them how they used them and how well they liked them. 🙂

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I had enough to fill the dehydrator again on Thursday so I did a second batch. I’m sure my husband will agree that dehydrating garlic should come with this WARNING: Do Not Try This At Home. During the first few hours of the process the smell of garlic is over powering. We opened windows and put in a window fan blowing outward. We also agreed that in the future when we dehydrate garlic it will be done outside.

In conclusion, I highly recommend growing (and eating) green garlic, so watch for future posts about where I will be intentionally growing it. 🙂

A Year In Growing Garlic (Part V)

If you are new to reading my blog you may have missed these earlier posts, so check them out and catch up on our year in growing garlic.

https://donteatitsoap.com/2016/09/30/a-year-in-growing-garlic-part-i/

https://donteatitsoap.com/2016/10/13/a-year-in-growing-garlic-part-ii/

https://donteatitsoap.com/2016/10/18/a-year-in-growing-garlic-part-iii/

https://donteatitsoap.com/2017/01/28/a-year-in-growing-garlic-part-iv/

In my Part IV post that I wrote in January I expressed our great concerns about how well the garlic would grow in the wet conditions that we were having this past winter. The wet conditions continued pretty much throughout the winter, with only short freezing periods, and now into the spring. At this point we have learned that garlic is much more resilient that we believed it to be.

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The garlic is coming up beautifully and we are so thankful. Since it has all grown up through the straw, we will leave the straw in place to help with weed control. If the garlic had not grown through the straw we would be raking the straw away in hopes of revealing the garlic spouts.

As the ground dries and temperatures warm I expect to see vigorous green growth on the garlic. We will keep them weeded and watered as necessary and probably side dress it with nitrogen fertilizer in the spring to encourage the green growth. It is recommended that fertilizer not be given after May because at this point the bulb will be developing.

 

For Garlic Lovers

I am a bit afraid that things are getting somewhat confusing on my blog since I’ve recently written about soap and sap, but I still feel the need to add this post about a soup that I made recently. To be clear this is definitely a recipe to eat but I would not recommend bathing with it 🙂 .

The soup which I might call cream of potato with mushroom and garlic was loosely based on this recipe  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13131/cream-of-garlic-soup/ . I’m really not sure how much you have to change a recipe before it can become your own, but I am fairly sure that the original recipe would be good as well. I didn’t precisely measure most of the ingredients so I’ll just share with you the changes that I made to this recipe.

I started with three medium size bulbs of garlic, I peeled each clove and minced it in the garlic press, this was at least 3/4 of a cup maybe more. I heated the olive oil in a pan and then added the minced garlic to the hot olive oil and turned off the heat. I had also peeled, cubed and boiled three good size potatoes. Instead of white wine (in the original recipe) I increased the amount of chicken broth to about 3 1/2 cups. I added the garlic/olive oil to the chicken broth. I drained and mashed the potatoes. I then began using a mixer to beat the potatoes and slowly adding the broth. If you decide to use the mixer like I did, instead of a blender that is recommended in the original recipe, it is important to add the broth slowly because at some point the mixture might become so thin that it begins to splatter. Take it from me, you really don’t want to find yourself washing it off the counter, walls,  your shirt and anywhere else it happens to land. When the mixture did get too thin to use the mixer I found that I was able to stir in the rest of the broth. I put this mixture on the stove over medium heat, stirred in about 3 cups of half and half and added about one teaspoon of salt.

While that was cooking I washed, sliced and sautéed about 12 ounces of fresh mushrooms. I then added them to the soup. I let this cook over low heat for about an hour, stirring every now and then to make sure it was not scorching.

As my title says this soup is for garlic lovers. It does have a very strong garlic flavor. Yumm!  I am not sure that I would like it as much without the mushrooms and it might even be better with cheese melted on top.

As garlic farmers we are interested in all things garlic, so I invite you to share how you like to use garlic. Do you use it medicinally? Do you have a favorite recipe? Please feel free to comment on this page.